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Remember those Northrop guys?

Northrop Grumman Corp., the one that got away, has finally settled on a new place to call home.

The defense giant that had drawn multimillion-dollar dowry offers from Maryland, Virginia and the District, chose in April to focus its search south of the Potomac in the fast-growing areas in Northern Virginia. The company chose a building near Falls Church on Monday, The Washington Post reported.

The Post’s story offers a few more clues as to what Northrop was looking for, and why Maryland didn’t fit the bill. The company’s decision has been influenced all along by the size of the buildings available, their locations and the incentives doled about by different jurisdictions.

According to the Post, the offer from Virginia and Fairfax County is worth up to $16 million. According to information released by the Department of Business and Economic Development, Maryland and Montgomery County officials were ready to pony up $22.5 million. They say that offer was necessary to offset the cheaper real estate available in Virginia. Without the company releasing the price it paid for the Falls Church building, it’s tough to say how far the $22.5 million offer stacks up against a better buy in Virginia with the $16 million thrown in on top.

The building Northrop bought is 333,000 square feet. The final site they were considering in Montgomery County was a 200,000 square foot building on Gaither Road in Rockville. That site was more appealing to others in the area because they would have the ability to expand it, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations.

With the Falls Church building, the Northrop brass gets more room into which they can consolidate their nearby Rosslyn office, adding to the headcount of about 300 initially anticipated to be making the move with the headquarters. The Rosslyn office already houses their East Coast headquarters and government relations division.

Finally, the Falls Church site is simply in the right area. Many economic observers predicted Virginia would win the Northrop HQ because its sites offer quicker drives to the Pentagon than slogging through beltway traffic from Rockville. But I thought this quote in the Post piece captured the location very neatly, and more completely:

“The national capital region is rapidly becoming the center of the entire global defense industry,” said Loren Thompson, a defense industry consultant at the Lexington Institute. “The advantages of proximity are multiple. It’s not just the ease of going to meetings, but you bump into your customer at the supermarket or at the country club.”