After years of delay, the District of Columbia broke ground in 2011 on two colossal projects, CityCenter D.C. and the Washington Marriott Marquis convention center hotel. Once considered key to starting a rejuvenation of the city’s downtown, the developments have taken so long — and the rest of the area has progressed so far — that the projects are likely to feel more like final pieces to the puzzle when they are complete in coming years.
In April, Hines and Archstone began work on CityCenter D.C., a development of the city’s former convention center that is to feature 458 apartments, 216 condominiums, 185,000 square feet of retail and 515,000 square feet of offices. CityCenter is expected to attract a bevy of new retailers downtown and may have a law firm as a tenant. The hotel is to have 1,175 rooms, should provide a boost to the city’s convention business and may be followed by two other Marriott hotels next door.
— Jonathan O’Connell
Contractor left L.A. for home in Falls Church
After plenty of ado — including a secretive selection process that had Virginia and Maryland officials each courting the company — Northrop Grumman this year relocated from Los Angeles to a 14-story building in Fairview Park in Falls Church.
The new facility is home to about 500 employees, and features a restaurant-like cafeteria, high-tech conference rooms and an executive top floor with views of Falls Church and Fairfax.
Wes Bush, the company’s chief executive, chairman and president, said the building is saving Northrop money as it provided an opportunity to reduce its headquarters staff.
Other contractors, too, relocated this year. The U.S. division of Munich-based global conglomerate Siemens, which opened a new federal unit, moved its corporate headquarters from New York to Washington, while ammunition and rockets manufacturer ATK transferred its corporate office from Minneapolis to Arlington.
— Marjorie Censer
Bank made two deals to become bigger
It was a busy summer for Capital One Financial. In June, the McLean-based banking and credit card giant struck a $9 billion deal to acquire the online bank ING Direct, a move that would catapult Capital One from being the eighth largest U.S. bank by deposits to the fifth.
Two months later, the firm announced a $2.6 billion deal for the U.S. credit card portfolio of London-based HSBC Holdings. Once the deal closes in the second quarter of 2012, it will make Capital One the nation’s third-largest issuer of private label, or store branded, plastic.