Woodward & Lothrop Inc. plans to move more than half of its corporate staff to Alexandria in two years, company officials confirmed last week.

Although corporate headquarters will remain at F Street NW, between 10th and 11th streets, about 400 members of the financial planning and personnel staff will move to property now being developed at Eisenhower Avenue and Telegraph Road near the Beltway in a new project called the Alexandria Technical Center.

Woodies' president, Edwin K. Hoffman, said the move will be made necessary by the closing of Woodies' north store, located one block north of Woodies' downtown store. That block, now being developed by Quadrangle Development Corp., will house offices and a 1,000-room hotel.

In two years, when the second phase of the Quadrangle project begins, Woodies employes will have to be relocated. While 400 will go to Alexandria, 300 will remain downtown, Hoffman said.

When Woodies sold Quadrangle its land -- for $33.1 million -- Quadrangle also agreed to a real estate swap in which Woodies would receive a new office and service building elsewhere in the area.

Although Alexandria officials said Woodies selected Alexandria after some lobbying, Hoffman said the site Woodies chose was one being developed by Quadrangle.

Unlike The Hecht Co., which just moved its headquarters from downtown to Arlington, "there is no way" Woodies will move its corporate headquarters out of the District, Hoffman said.