This market, which encompasses Northern Virginia, suburban Maryland and the District of Columbia, is the nation’s fifth largest metropolitan area and the second largest office market after New York. The economy of the region is driven mainly by the presence, stability and procurement dollars of the Federal Government. It is home to the United States’ wealthiest counties, highest concentration of scientists and engineers, the second largest concentration of technology firms, and benefits from a very highly educated work force.
Business services and government consulting industries, particularly knowledge-based companies such as information technology and data communications firms, have been the driving engines of recent growth. Fairfax County, Virginia, has become the technology center of the region, and is the beneficiary of more Federal procurement money than any other county in the U.S. Montgomery County, in suburban Maryland, is home to many specialized biotech research companies, reflecting close proximity to the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Major law firms, corporate lobbying offices and non-profit associations are the primary tenant-demand drivers in the District of Columbia.