Close to 500 people attended the 2012 NAIOP bus tour, of which the Loudoun Department of Economic Development was a sponsor. The annual tour, which this year took place outside the beltway, focused on existing and future commercial real estate properties.
The morning began at Lakeview at University Center, a 60-acre mixed-use park in Ashburn. There, builders and commercial real estate professionals mingled and set up booths for a trade show that highlighted Northern Virginia commercial opportunities. Loudoun-based Market Salamander provided breakfast at the event, fueling everyone up for a long and informative day.
After the trade show, participants packed into a caravan of 10 buses, each one led by bus captains who provided detailed information about the sites visited. The first part of the trip focused on Loudoun properties. Bus #9’s captain, Keith Wallace of Merritt Properties, noted, “Loudoun County has really transformed over the past 10 years from a rural destination to a business destination.”
Featured Loudoun projects included Village at Leesburg, which still has retail space available and offers built-in customers, with 90 percent of its residential already leased. The future site of One Loudoun in Sterling was also a stop. This site, which has recently broken ground, will eventually be home to 700,000 square feet of retail and over 3 million square feet of Class A office space.
As the caravan made its way into Fairfax, the differences between the two counties became evident to the passengers– especially when it came to price. Washington Post commercial real estate reporter Jonathan O’Connell tweeted, “Back on the road, passing 1775 Tysons Blvd, Lerners’ spec office building. Rent listed $55 per sq foot, more than twice some loudoun bldgs.”
At the end of the day, the tour went off without a hitch, and many real estate professionals left with a different view of Loudoun. Robyn Bailey, DED’s Manager of Business Infrastructure said of the event, “The NAIOP bus tour proved to be a great opportunity to spotlight the types of commercial product and businesses as well as the space available in Loudoun.”
Forward-thinking development, plenty of available space for future development and low prices. After the NAIOP bus tour, it was easy to see why Loudoun has transformed into a premier business destination.
For a full photo gallery of the day’s events, visit our Facebook page.