Boeing office complex and the Crystal City and Pentagon City skyline (Staff photo by Jay Westcott)

(Updated at 2 p.m.) Aerospace and defense giant Boeing is moving its corporate headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.

The move, which has not been formally announced, “would place the aerospace company’s senior executives closer to key government decision makers in the nation’s capital,” the paper reported.

Boeing had nearly 500 employees at its downtown Chicago headquarters in 2020, Reuters reported last year, noting that amid the pandemic the building has not been well utilized.

Per the October article:

Other top executives, like newly minted CFO Brian West, are also based primarily on the U.S. East Coast and a hush has descended on the exclusive but functional top floor, although the pandemic has also been a major factor, the people said.

“It’s a ghost town,” one of the people added.

The headquarters — a 36-floor, $200 million riverfront skyscraper — sits at the crossroads of a cost-cutting campaign that has seen Boeing shed real estate, including its commercial airplane headquarters in Seattle.

Several people close to the company say cost cuts and a more hands-on corporate culture have raised questions about Boeing’s long-term future in the city, and in turn the broad direction Boeing intends to take as it tries to regain its stride.

Boeing opened its East Coast headquarters in the Crystal City area about eight years ago. The approximately 450,000 square foot office complex is two blocks from Amazon’s under-construction HQ2 and adjacent to Long Bridge Park.

Boeing has its name on the county park’s fields and aquatics center after making a $10 million donation.

Boeing headquarters in Crystal City (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

An Arlington Economic Development spokeswoman declined to comment on today’s news.

“For competitive reasons and to protect confidential company information, we cannot comment on current or potential economic development prospects,” AED’s Kelly Rindfusz told ARLnow.

It’s unclear from early reporting whether the corporate headquarters would utilize the existing Crystal City office space or would take up additional space. An announcement is expected “as soon as next week,” per WSJ.

Should it decide to expand its footprint, the company will have several potential options near its existing six-story headquarters at 929 Long Bridge Drive. That could include acquiring the self-storage facility and fitness center buildings across S. Ball Street, or taking space in the new, nine-story “trophy” office building developer JBG Smith is planning at 101 12th Street S.

Boeing headquarters in Crystal City, with potential expansion options circled (map via Google Maps)

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