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Northrop Grumman picks Virginia for corporate headquarters

Northrop Grumman Chief Executive Wes Bush said Tuesday that the decision would come down to which building site offered the best "economics," signaling that Arlington and Fairfax had submitted their final incentive packages to the company.

The high-stakes competition was not without its critics. Many local government leaders expressed frustration about the public nature of Northrop's negotiations with neighboring counties, and some resisted the company's efforts to get matching cash incentives. Economic development and political officials in two jurisdictions told The Washington Post that Northrop asked for several perks during preliminary discussions, including reimbursement for moving costs and country-club memberships. The company has denied making those requests. At least one perk was included in Fairfax's final offer, those sources said: a discounted rate for space at a hangar at Dulles International Airport for Northrop's corporate jet.

"Every company is a little different, and this has been different but that's Northrop Grumman's choice," Arlington County Board Chairman Jay Fisette (D) said.

Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), whose congressional district includes both potential locations, said the move was a "big win for the entire state," and Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), a former Fairfax board chairman, said that despite the unorthodox vetting process, a win is still a win.

"I think you have to be flexible, but the results speak for themselves," Connolly said.

The state will provide up to $3 million through the Governor's Opportunity Fund and up to nearly $11 million through the Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant, Langston said. The money from the Governor's Opportunity Fund is paid to the localities, and then to the companies, and localities must match the state dollar per dollar but it does not necessarily have to be through cash.

Staff writers Dana Hedgpeth and Rosalind S. Helderman contributed to this report.

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