Thursday, August 03, 2017

MoCo has the Lockheed HQ, but didn't try to get the Lockheed "factory of the future"

"We don't need the Lockheed headquarters," Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Floreen infamously declared at the Aspen Hill Library in 2010. Such a blase attitude about one of only 3 Fortune 500 headquarters in the County is indicative of why our private sector economy has been moribund for so many years. MoCo intentionally passed on the FBI headquarters; didn't even bother to pursue the idX factory that wound up going to Fredericksburg; and was soundly defeated by Virginia in the contests to woo the headquarters of Volkswagen, Hilton Hotels, Intelsat, Corporate Executive Board, and Lidl, to name just a few. As a result, we've suffered a net loss in jobs over the last decade.

Yesterday, we found out just how blase County officials' attitude toward Lockheed Martin was. While current elected officials inherited the Lockheed headquarters in Bethesda, they apparently have no ongoing dialogue or partnership with the defense and aerospace megafirm. In fact, they've even tried their best to push Lockheed out of the County. As a result, Lockheed is now building a $350 million, 266000 SF "satellite factory of the future" in Waterton Canyon, Colorado, not Montgomery County.

We have many, many vacant properties that could have easily accommodated this factory. Even the recently sold Comsat Building in Clarksburg and former IBM property in Gaithersburg could have been a good fit in terms of size. Montgomery County continues to have the potential aerospace advantages of being near Goddard Flight Center, the Wallops Island launch facility, and numerous airbases as well as the Pentagon - but has yet to take advantage of the advantages!

This is exactly the type of facility I've been arguing we need - aerospace corporate offices, research facilities and high-tech aerospace and defense manufacturing. Why were we not in the running for this factory, or even engaging Lockheed about how we could partner on future ventures? This was clearly in the planning stages early enough that we could have filled the Comsat or IBM site before they were sold. That could have put hundreds of high-wage jobs in the I-270 corridor, and enable Montgomery County residents to drive west or north to work, without leaving the County. Instead, the Comsat site will be residential, and dump hundreds more cars going south on 270 every morning.

Montgomery County is notorious across the country, and across the region, for its anti-business climate fostered by the County Council. In contrast, "State and local officials in Colorado have helped strengthen the aerospace industry and foster an environment that helps aerospace companies thrive and grow," according to a statement from Lockheed Wednesday. What a contrast. What a loss.

It takes a special kind of incompetence to get shut out by a company located in your own jurisdiction. A special kind of ignoramus, to not grab the lowest-hanging economic development fruit in the area you are elected to represent. It's "business"-as-usual for moribund Montgomery County.

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

You were doing so well. 24 entire hours of solid news without the "moribund economy" or "racist Westbard developers" nonsense.

1. "3 Fortune 500 headquarters in the County"
Montgomery County has FOUR F500 companies: MAR, LMT, HST, and DISCA.

2. "MoCo intentionally passed on the FBI headquarters"
Did you even look at the GSA RFP? There are no sites in Montgomery County that met the requirements.

3. "didn't even bother to pursue the idX factory that wound up going to Fredericksburg;"
It doesn't matter who is in charge, unless the economy truly does become moribund there will never be a "factory" built in Montgomery County, ever. Look at the median incomes of the places that factories.

4. "and was soundly defeated by Virginia in the contests to woo the headquarters of Volkswagen, Hilton Hotels, Intelsat, Corporate Executive Board, and Lidl, to name just a few."
Blame the state level corporate taxes and the fact that Dulles was built in Virginia. It has little to do with the county.

5. "as a result, we've suffered a net loss in jobs over the last decade."
Entirely untrue.

There's a lot more wrong with your post, but I'll leave it to others to point out.

Robert Dyer said...

7:54: Come on, we could have accommodated the FBI. Hi-tech manufacturing is quite different from a smoke-belching industrial revolution-era site like you're describing. Deleting the new Potomac River crossing to Dulles has everything to do with the County, as do our high taxes and fees.

We absolutely have a net loss in jobs over the last 10 years. You are flat out lying to say otherwise.

Anonymous said...

"Even the recently sold Comsat Building in Clarksburg and former IBM property in Gaithersburg could have been a good fit in terms of size."

So did the owners/management/marketing firms of those buildings approach Lockheed, if it's such a good fit? For about the gazillionth time, you seem to have a complete lack of understand as to the Council's job.

Anonymous said...

You complain about everything, you complain when there's positive development in the county too, like the Apex Site, and blame Montgomery Council even thought they have no control of that street.

This is why I think you'd make the worst politician of all time, and love that you are positing all these rants. People can just point to them the next time you try to run for county dogcatcher pointing out how unhinged you are.

Anonymous said...

Considering the Air Force Academy is located an HOUR from Waterton Canyon, Colorado and other secret military air craft testing sites in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada area it makes perfect sense why they would build a mega headquarters and facotry there....

Sometimes I can agree with your points but this one I just cannot.

Anonymous said...

This is why I think you'd make the worst politician of all time

I have to respectfully disagree. If the 2020 Presidential election somehow came down to Trump vs. Dyer I would absolutely, positively vote Dyer. (Especially if Tarnation Bob was on the ticket as VP.)

Anonymous said...

You forgot the Nestle headquarters -- Arlington won that one and they'll move in later this year I believe.

A 2nd bridge crossing would definitely help. No way they'd build a factory here though, with so many Councilmembers wanting to raise the minimum wage for $15/hour.

Maloney Concrete said...

The Council's position on a new river crossing is definitely unhinged!

Anonymous said...

Lockheed Martin already has a sprawling campus in Waterton, CO, because that is where their space systems company is based, so obviously, they would construct their new satellite plant there. This is a non-issue.

Anonymous said...

The FBI HQ is a loser. Ever driven by the CIA HQs or the NSA HQs? There is no multiplier because people don't go out for lunch and don't go out after work. There is some housing market benefit, but you don't need to have the FBI HQ in your jurisdiction to get that benefit.

With respect to the corporate HQs, Montgomery is getting crushed by Fairfax. State taxes are one reason. Why can't all businesses get the same deal Marriott got? Dulles is another reason. But with the ICC now open, why aren't the County and State working to improve the service at BWI? It could be a real international airport. Neither the passengers nor the carriers like Dulles, so the opportunity is ripe.

Anonymous said...

Saith Dyer in the article: "MoCo...didn't even bother to pursue the idX factory that wound up going to Fredericksburg."

@ 7:54 PM responded: "It doesn't matter who is in charge, unless the economy truly does become moribund there will never be a 'factory' built in Montgomery County, ever. Look at the median incomes of the places that factories."

Dyer @ 8:01 responded: "Hi-tech manufacturing is quite different from a smoke-belching industrial revolution-era site like you're describing."

Hey, Dyer - is it possible for you to respond to what people actually say, rather than putting words in their mouths and creating ridiculous straw men?

Woodmont said...

You know "Anonymous" can't argue facts when he quickly moves to the ad hominem personal attacks.

Anonymous said...

"No way they'd build a factory here though, with so many Councilmembers wanting to raise the minimum wage for $15/hour."

Yep, all those high-paying jobs we lost out on. LOL

Robert Dyer said...

10:01: I'm in favor of the Carr project at 7272 Wisconsin, so you're wrong about that. You're also as wrong as the Council in believing that building apartments is "economic development." It's just development, and is a net loss in revenue, as proven by our current structural deficit.

Robert Dyer said...

10:52/1:56: Think this through before making a snap judgement. The launch facility for satellites in Denver is located....? That's right, there isn't one.

We have Wallops Island right here. An Air Force base isn't much use in the chain of production and deployment of satellites. You can have Chuck Yeager sit on it, but it won't ever lift off without a rocket (the only way since George War Crimes Bush ended the manned space program. Heckuva job, Brownie!).

This is indeed an issue, and a serious one.

Robert Dyer said...

2:53: I'd take an aerospace corporate headquarters over the FBI any day, but I don't see having the FBI HQ as a loss. We're desperately in need of jobs within Montgomery County to get more cars off of the roads going into Virginia and DC in the morning.

BWI's fatal flaw, unless corrected, is that it doesn't have the runway capacity for the largest Jets. They certainly could expand to add more destinations and frequency, but Dulles is the only game in town right now, and building a road and bridge to it is a lot cheaper than doubling the size of BWI. In fact, it would cost next to nothing if built as a toll facility by a private company.

Our Council isn't smart enough, or knowledgeable enough about the world of international business and infrastructure, to realize these things.

Robert Dyer said...

6:07: The folks who'll be working in the Colorado factory will be getting way more than minimum wage. These are very skilled manufacturing and tech positions.

Anonymous said...

"The former IBM property in Gaithersburg" hasn't been LM property for some time now. It's Leidos offices now.

Anonymous said...

"BWI's fatal flaw, unless corrected, is that it doesn't have the runway capacity for the largest Jets [sic]."

There are only three airline routes that use the A380 to/from Dulles, each only one round trip per day:

-British Airways - London
-Air France - Paris
-Emirates - Dubai

Anonymous said...

"our current structural deficit."

Do you have the slightest idea what you're saying?

Anonymous said...

"We absolutely have a net loss in jobs over the last 10 years. You are flat out lying to say otherwise."

Haha, POS Dyer keeps deleting my comments pointing out that BLS data proves he's full of shit. I'll keep reposting this comment, Robert - you can go fuck yourself, you ignorant alternative facts motherfucker.

Robert Dyer said...

7:22: Yes, I do. MoCo government takes in less in revenue than the cost of its expenditures, and the forecast shows that continuing indefinitely into the future. This is why - duh! - every single year we are in the red during the budget process, and the Council simply raises taxes to cover the deficit.

From the Cambridge dictionary:

Strutural deficit: "the amount by which a government’s spending is more than it receives in taxes in a particular period, whether the economy is performing well or not."

7:19: The A380 isn't the only big jet, and the lack of runway capacity at BWI and National is well known. But that's just the infrastructure issue. The fact is that Dulles is the only airport offering the destinations and frequency of flights to Asia and the Middle East that international business travelers demand.

Only you and the Council seem to have difficulty understanding this.

Robert Dyer said...

9:41: It won't be any more true than when you posted it the first time.

You can use two sets of numbers from BLS: 2014, which shows a net loss of jobs since 2001 in Montgomrey County. Or the newest 2016 numbers you yourself wanted to use just last week, which show a net loss of jobs in MoCo in the last 10 years.

Pick your poison, but you lose either way.

#moribund #LockThemUp

"I love it." - Donald Trump, Jr.

Anonymous said...

"You can use two sets of numbers from BLS: 2014, which shows a net loss of jobs since 2001 in Montgomrey [sic] County. Or the newest 2016 numbers you yourself wanted to use just last week, which show a net loss of jobs in MoCo in the last 10 years."

And yet you neither link nor copy them here. Why not?

Anonymous said...

"The A380 isn't the only big jet"

All of the other "big jets" currently land at BWI.

Donald Trump Jr. (and Sr. too) will be in jail before November 2018.

Robert Dyer said...

9:51: Because we've been over this 1000 times. Does every article on WWII include the surrender agreements signed by the Axis powers?

Meanwhile, you look like a fool, old sport, because you're claiming you have the BLS numbers in front of you. If you know the numbers, why would you need a link?

Robert Dyer said...

9:54: No, they don't. But you can Saul Alinsky the fine points all you want, it still doesn't get you the AC380 at BWI, nor the destinations and frequency of flights that Dulles provides.

What will either Donald be convicted of to be imprisoned? The Deep State hasn't come up with anything yet, and is now trying to troll old business deals. If they're in jail, there will have been a deep state coup, we'll be under martial law, and you'll see an violence in the streets that makes 1968 look like the Million Mom March.

Anonymous said...

My God, Dyer. What drugs are you taking tonight? (Or NOT taking?)

Anonymous said...

"If you know the numbers, why would you need a link?"

Because not every anonymous is the same person - duh. You're talking to at least 3 different people who are pointing out that you're making crap up to fit your narrative rather than citing actual datasets. The only numerical fact you used in your entire post - "3 Fortune 500 headquarters in the County" - isn't even inaccurate.

Anonymous said...

The FBI HQ is a loser because it (1) would occupy a large piece of land near a metro station but pay nothing in property taxes and (2) provide little business for the surrounding area, because people would never leave campus.

A second Potomac River crossing would come at a high environmental cost, even if funded privately. All potential routes go through parkland. Lengthening runways at BWI would be an investment in Maryland. A river crossing, even if it funded by a private owner operator, would be an investment in Virginia. Maryland officials are better off trying to improve the business environment in Maryland.

Robert Dyer said...

3:50: Improving the business environment in Maryland is what building a new bridge to Dulles is all about. Allowing companies to locate in the I-270 corridor, currently riddled with vacancies and office parks being stupidly converted to residential, and be able to zip over a bridge to Dulles is what a new crossing would provide. It would also give existing companies there the same advantage their competitors in Tysons enjoy.

The "parkland" you speak of is a highway facility set aside decades ago expressly for this road to the Potomac crossing.

I personally believe the FBI should stay right where it is in D.C. but the fact is we have too few good-paying jobs in the county, and the FBI could provide those.

Anonymous said...

It "may" have started that way, but now is the much touted greenspace/parkspace, used and beloved by residents, developers and politicians alike. They're not going to ruin that.

Anonymous said...

7:54 AM Dyer that, "Come on, we could have accommodated the FBI.", is utter BS! I have read the bid specs for this agency move, as have the Congressional Reps from MD, and MoCo, and MoCo does not qualify from the get go! The desired site must be within access of a major interstate highway (MoCo NOT), must be a size of 50 acres (MoCo NOT), and must have accessibility by metro (MoCo NOT). So in short, this proposal would never see the light of day in our county. Move on.

Anonymous said...

There is no right-of-way reserved for any road between the south end of Sam Eig Highway and any "second crossing" and there never has been.

Anonymous said...

Lockheed's human and industrial capital to manufacture satellites is already at Littleton. I don't think it would make business sense to relocate that capability to MoCo simply to be closer to launch sites, unless you're tellling me that the logistical benefit would outweigh the costs of relocating thousands of employees to a higher cost of living area with a smaller industrial base.

Robert Dyer said...

9:04:Yes, there is right-of-way reserved for the road - just look for the green strip between Sam Eig (by the new health club development on the right side westbound) and the Potomac River on Google Maps(or any map). There it is.

8:47: The idea that the FBI couldn't modify the terms is what is BS. That's been discussed by others besides me. Leggett admitted he intentionally passed on the FBI solely to help his friend Rushern Baker get it, which should have been grounds for a criminal inquiry.

8:15: That didn't stop the Purple Line, so it won't stop the new highway, either.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, there is right-of-way reserved for the road - just look for the green strip between Sam Eig (by the new health club development on the right side westbound) and the Potomac River on Google Maps(or any map). There it is."

I looked on Google Maps. I didn't see any such "green strip". Perhaps you could create an image from that map, highlight that strip, and post the image here? Or is that above your ability?

Anonymous said...

"Leggett admitted he intentionally passed on the FBI solely to help his friend Rushern Baker get it, which should have been grounds for a criminal inquiry."

What would be the basis for this criminal inquiry? And if you believe that such exists, then why didn't you report it to any law enforcement agency?

Anonymous said...

I checked the launch history of Lockheed Martin's satellites. It seems to be mostly divided from Cape Canaveral followed by Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Some launched from off the coast of British Columbia and even Baikonur in Kazakhstan. I didn't see any that were launched from Wallops Island.

Anonymous said...

Dyer, you're just wrong on BWI. I fly a lot from all 3 airports so I do know what I'm talking about.

BWI and State of MD is doing an excellent job with BWI. It was #3 in the area for passenger numbers a few years ago, and now it's #1. Yes, they don't have gates to accommodate the A380 (the runway itself can handle it actually), but I'm sure they'll build it if carriers decide they need it. Right now, there aren't many A380 operators, and it's not being used for US domestic flights, so the need just isn't there. BWI just started a $60mln expansion of the international terminal (D/E gates) in February, to add more capacity... and it will be ready by summer 2018 already.

What you seem hung up on is how BWI doesn't have that many international flights, which I agree with. It has no direct flights to Asia, and to just a handful of European cities (London, Frankfurt, Reykjavik), then to some Caribbean destinations. However, the vast majority of air travel in the US is domestic, not international. Even Dulles, which has excellent international connections, does only 1/3 of traffic international.

BWI is a great airport, in terms of ease of use, and modernization. The numbers don't lie -- it's grown to #1 in passenger numbers, leaving Reagan and especially Dulles in the dust.

Robert Dyer said...

7:31: You're talking about leisure travelers at BWI. I'm talking about international business travel, the vast majority of which is out of Dulles. For the 1000th time, Dulles has the destinations and frequency of flights international businesspeople need in 2017. BWI does not.

Air India just launched direct flights out of Dulles last month, the latest addition. BWI is a slog to get to compared to Dulles if we had the bridge.

Robert Dyer said...

6:48: Must be something wrong with your monitor. It's appearing on mine, and its labeled "Muddy Branch" for those still using Windows 2000.

7:03: That's mainly because our local leaders are too stupid to take advantage of proximity to Wallops Island, even with a company in our own county. Embarrassing.

6:50: I certainly will pursue it if I run and am elected to the Council. So much to investigate.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for confirming that creating an image from a Google Map, highlighting that "strip", and posting the image here, is that above your ability.

"BWI is a slog to get to compared to Dulles if we had the bridge."

Given that there is no bridge, Dulles is "a slog to get to", not BWI.

"Our local leaders are too stupid to take advantage of proximity to Wallops Island, even with a company in our own county. Embarrassing."

A very small portion of satellite launches take place at Wallops Island.

"I certainly will pursue it if I run and am elected to the Council. So much to investigate."

Why wait? You don't have to be a government official, to report suspicion that a crime has been committed. In the meantime, you've lost two years in the investigation, and witnesses' memories are becoming hazier.

Anonymous said...

I have not flown BWI for business travel in 20 years. It doesn't have the flights I need right now, and I fly too much to put myself through flying Southwest. I'd much prefer better flight options from BWI to a second river crossing, because even once you get to Dulles, the airport is brutal.

Anonymous said...

The proposed route for the Outer Beltway was several miles east of Muddy Branch Park. Muddy Branch Park has many twists and turns, and as such it would be a poor route for a major highway. Also, the parkland is discontinuous, with a gap of several miles approaching the river.

Anonymous said...

"BWI's fatal flaw, unless corrected, is that it doesn't have the runway capacity for the largest Jets."

As usual, you don't know what you are talking about. BWI's longest runway is 10,502 feet long - 702 feet beyond the requirement of 9,800 feet. BWI already handles all jumbo jets except the A380.

The only improvements that would be needed would be double-deck jetways at the terminals, and service vehicles capable of reaching the upper decks.

Anonymous said...

The northern I-270 corridor has never been a desirable area for Fortune 500 headquarters. Three of the four current, and two former (Coventry Health, acquired by Aetna; previous Discovery headquarters), Fortune 500 headquarters are or have been located in Bethesda, and the current Discovery headquarters is in nearby Silver Spring.

The most direct route from Bethesda and Silver Spring to Dulles Airport is via the American Legion Bridge, whether the "Second Crossing" is built, or not.

Iluvmd said...

I have said it before and will continue to say it:

Northern Virginia is running Montgomery County and Prince Georges County politics and the trolls that comment under Anonymous along with the Greater Greater Washington Klan continues to prove my point...

Iluvmd said...

Running = Controling/Dictating(Indorsing)

Iluvmd said...

Endorsing(sp)

Anna Van Horn said...

Hint 10:40, 10:43, 10:52. You are just as anonymous as those you condemn.

Anonymous said...

10:40/43 - You are a slightly crazy person. And you can't spell. And you're not too good at subject-verb agreement either. And when referring to people, you need to use "who" rather than "that".

And you are just as anonymous as all the other anonymous commenters.

Anonymous said...

GMTA ;)

Anonymous said...

"Iluvmd", do you actually have anything to say about the Lockheed factory, Dulles, BWI, the A380 or the Second Crossing?

Anonymous said...

Hehe that's a prettt funny joke. Would be hilarious if someone actually believed all those crazy conspiracy theories.

Robin Ficker said...

Your language is not acceptable political discourse.