Businesses Find Room To Grow In County

By Jennifer Buske
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 24, 2008

James Bounds said he saw something special in Prince William County almost 10 years ago.

Although remnants of the county's agricultural history remained, pockets of growth began to show through as a university invested in the community and office parks emerged, said Bounds, president of Logis-Tech, a Manassas-based engineering company.

Those signs of growth, he said, led officials to make Prince William the company's home.

"When we were growing out of our Fairfax office, I looked at Prince William and said to my boss, 'Hey, check this place out,' " Bounds said. "My boss said it looked like a farm [community] still, but I said, 'Here is a financial opportunity to invest in a community.' . . . I saw the growth that was and would continue to occur out here."

Logis-Tech officials moved the company's headquarters to Innovation at Prince William Technology Park seven years ago, building an 83,000-square-foot facility.

They haven't looked back, Bounds said.

"This is a progressive, very forward-thinking environment, and it has really benefited us," he said. "In Fairfax and Alexandria, sometimes you feel like you're more on the outside looking in, but here, everyone makes you feel like you are part of the community."

Bounds shared his story with about 100 guests Wednesday at the monthly luncheon of the Prince William Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Representatives of Power Loft and Covance spoke, as did the county's economic development director, Martin Briley, who discussed economic growth and advantages of doing business in Prince William. Power Loft specializes in developing data centers; Covance is a drug development services company.

"There are 12,000 economic development offices across the U.S. trying to compete for only a handful of business opportunities," Briley said. "We're competitive, though, and there's no doubt about that. We have the right people, the right climate . . . and it gets better every day."

Briley said the county prides itself on its infrastructure, schools and educated workforce.

Housing life sciences facilities for George Mason University and having a local government that supports business growth also bodes well for the county, he said.

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