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StarKist, the Pennsylvania-based tuna company, will soon move their headquarters to Fairfax County.

An announcement made by Governor Ralph Northam disclosed that the tuna fish brand will invest $3.6 million to relocate from Pittsburgh and establish their corporate and administrative headquarters from Pittsburgh to Reston. StarKist plans to occupy 24,000 feet of office space near the Reston Town Center at 1875 Explorer Street.

Virginia won StarKist over to Fairfax County after competing with the state of Maryland for the project which is expected to create 83 jobs according to a press release made by both the governor’s office and the tuna company. Northam touted the Commonwealth as a diverse ecosystem of business representing a broad cross section of industries.

“We would like to thank Governor Northam and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority for their ongoing support throughout this process,” stated StarKist President and CEO Andrew Choe in the press release. “I believe the move to Virginia will provide an outstanding work environment for our employees, as well as an opportunity to expand the StarKist business in the years ahead.”

The StarKist contract is the latest in a line of major corporations that have be attracted to the county by the FCEDA’s promotion of Fairfax County as a business and technology center. Other notable newcomers to put down stakes in the Fairfax area have included global consultancy firm GuideHouse, technology solutions firm Ridgeline, and computer software and online giant Microsoft.

“I am so pleased to thank StarKist for choosing Fairfax County for its new headquarters,” said FCEDA President and CEO Victor Hoskins. “This is a testament to the growing attractiveness of Northern Virginia to a wide variety of industry sectors and companies that know we have the assets and talent base to succeed here.”

StarKist was founded in 1917 in San Pedro, Calif. and was originally known and the French Sardine Company of California. The company began marketing itself as StarKist in 1942 and introduced their globally recognizable company mascot Charlie the Tuna in 1961.

StarKist has passed though the hands of several food conglomerates since 1963 when they were acquired by the H.J. Heinz Company. Heinz then sold the company to Del Monte in 2002 and was then sold in June 2008 to South Korea based Dongwon Industries for more than $300 million.

“I want to thank and congratulate StarKist for choosing to base its operations in Fairfax County,” said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay. “The county has invested heavily to make this a great place to locate a business, to work, and to live, and I am delighted that StarKist will be able to join the Fairfax County business community and take advantage of what we offer.”

Starkist will be assisted in its move to Reston by global real estate firm K&L Gates and Washington D.C. based realty advisors West, Lane, & Schlager.

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