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Dulles, Clearly On Tech's Radar

He searched for new digs elsewhere in Arlington County, as well as in Maryland. But, in the end, he said, no location could beat the convenience of a 45,000-square-foot space in Reston, a short drive to Dulles Airport.

"The move to the Dulles area was a natural: There's that daily nonstop to Milan and six to eight flights a day to London," Moss said.

Charles and Steve Kuhn moved JK Moving & Storage Inc. to Loudoun County in search of more space. (Len Spoden For The Washington Post)

Building a Hub for Business Dulles corridor proves a convenient home for government contractors.
_____In Today's Post_____
Office Buildings, Hotels Spur New Growth (The Washington Post, Dec 13, 2004)
Travelers Give a Lift To Arlington Economy (The Washington Post, Dec 13, 2004)
_____On This Site_____
Airports Special Report
_____Special Report_____
Metro Business: Coverage of Washington area businesses and the local economy.

Dulles is also attractive, he said, because it accommodates private jets, which were banned at Reagan National after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. "Now companies will be able to fly in on their private jets and be in our office in 10 minutes," Moss said.

AgustaWestland is among an estimated 400 foreign-based companies that have settled in Fairfax and Loudoun counties -- most on the Fairfax side of the Dulles corridor.

Triumph of Accessibility

International gateway airports "will shape urban development in the 21st century as highways did in the 20th century, railroads did in the 19th century and seaports did in the 18th century," predicted John D. Kasarda, director of the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Kasarda points to Washington Dulles, Dallas-Fort Worth, London's Heathrow, Paris's Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam's Schiphol as airports that are shaping a new urban form, which he calls the aerotropolis.

Built around highways, and extending out as far as 15 miles from the airport, the aerotropolis -- with hotels, shops, high-speed transportation systems and even theme parks -- will become as vital to regional economies as city centers, Kasarda says.

"The three 'As'--accessibility, accessibility, accessibility -- will replace the three 'Ls' -- location, location, location -- as the most important commercial real estate organizing principle," Kasarda writes in a report that spells out his vision.

The 1984 opening of the Dulles Toll Road that links the airport, via Interstate 66, with downtown Washington made communities such as Reston, Herndon and Sterling accessible.

Until then, the fastest way to Dulles was an "access road" that had no exits before the airport. "The toll road opened up that entire corridor to local traffic," generating new business, said the airport authority's Bennett.

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