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Boeing to move headquarters to D.C. area from Chicago

The nose of a Boeing Co. 737-9 aircraft during a ecoDemonstrator program tour at Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., on Wednesday, July 28, 2021.Al Drago/Bloomberg

Boeing Co. plans to relocate its headquarters to Arlington, Virginia, from Chicago, a long-anticipated move that would put one of the nation’s largest defense contractors near federal government decision-makers in Washington.

An announcement could come as soon as next week, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing the information. The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Boeing executives said in 2020 that they were open to relocating the world headquarters from the Chicago office tower that has served as the company’s home base for about two decades. Its new building overlooking the Pentagon had been speculated to be the next headquarters, particularly with the Chief Executive Officer Dave Calhoun and several other senior leaders based on the east coast.

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The planemaker, which has been bleeding cash and looking to cut costs, has been shrinking its real estate footprint as more white-collar workers go remote. It recently sold an office park south of Seattle that housed its commercial headquarters.

The potential move to the nation’s capital would also put Boeing closer to defense rivals such as Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp. and General Dynamics Corp. Boeing had been based in Seattle for most of its century-long history before relocating to Chicago a few years after its 1997 merger with McDonnell Douglas.

Boeing shares fell 3.4% to $151.60 at 1 p.m. in New York, in line with the broader market decline. The stock has dropped about 25% this year as the company struggled to clear clear regulatory hurdles to resuming 787 deliveries.

(Updates with additional details throughout)

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