ASHBURN, VA-A Reston wireless engineering services firm has become the first tenant to lease space in the Janelia Farm Technology Park in Ashburn, a site best known for a failed office campus plan. In February, Comsearch will relocate 150 employees from its headquarters to a three-story, 70,000-sf building in the Loudoun County complex at 19700 Janelia Farms Blvd. off Route 7. The lease is for 10 years.

The company wanted bigger space in a new environment, said Betsy Ashton, director of marketing. It’s also willing to give up prestigious exposure on the Dulles Toll Road for shorter commutes for its employees, who generally live west of its current office.

“We really want to reduce the stress on our employees,” she says. It decided the campus environment of the 281-acre site was ideal.

Vondenberg Group, a Dutch company, completed construction this year on three buildings, totaling about 210,000 sf, that it originally started for the Baan software company. Baan backed out of the plans after its business fell into a slump last year. Vonderberg later hired Cushman & Wakefield to market the property, which can accommodate up to 2.5 million sf of office development.

The brokerage handled both sides of the Comsearch lease.

Comsearch is one of several tenants looking for space in northern Virginia based on quality of life issues, says Brian Katz of Cushman & Wakefield. The same issue has attracted financial services and tech firms’ interest in the Janelia Farms site.

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