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Governor Northam Announces 200 New Jobs in Albemarle County

WillowTree, Inc. to invest $12.3 million, expand headquarters

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam today announced that WillowTree, Inc., a developer of mobile applications, is planning to relocate and expand its headquarters in Albemarle County, investing $12.3 million and creating 200 new local jobs. The company is planning to lease and renovate 84,919 square feet in the former Woolen Mills factory at 2100 East Market Street. Albemarle County was selected as the location for the project after a competitive process involving other localities. Construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019.

“As a homegrown Virginia company, WillowTree’s rapid growth is a strong testament to what technology companies can achieve in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam . “Aided by Virginia’s outstanding higher education system and strong tech workforce, this impressive startup has come a long way since its founding in 2008 with three people. We are thrilled WillowTree will remain an integral part of the community, and are confident this innovative company will continue to thrive in its new Albemarle County headquarters.”

To bring the project to Albemarle County, Virginia’s Economic Development Partnership worked with Albemarle County and the Central Virginia Partnership. Governor Northam also approved a $500,000 grant from the Commonwealth Opportunity Fund, and $1.5 million from the Virginia Economic Development incentive Grant. Funding and services to support the expansion will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. The project developer is Woolen Mills LLC, led by Brian Roy of Charlottesville, VA. Albemarle County and the Albemarle County Economic Development Authority are providing tax revenue-based financial support and workforce development funding to match the state incentives. The County is also investing in infrastructure improvements in partnership with the property owner to maximize the public recreation and connectivity elements of the overall site redevelopment effort.

WillowTree Apps is committed to helping clients realize the potential of rapidly-evolving mobile technologies. WillowTree’s clients includes businesses like GE, PepsiCo, The University of Virginia, Regal Cinemas, Wyndham Hotels, BabyCenter and AOL. The planned facility will show that a Virginia technology company can be a global leader. WillowTree is a nationally recognized employer, with such distinctions as 2018 – Fortune Great Place To Work #17 tech company and 2017 Glassdoor Employee Choice Award top-50 Medium Business. WillowTree is majority owned by the management team and employees. There are also minority investors.

"It was very important to me to be able to keep WillowTree in Virginia,” said Tobias Dengel, CEO of WillowTree, Inc. We are tremendously grateful to the Commonwealth of Virginia and Albemarle County for their financial support, and we hope that this partnership is mutually beneficial and long-lasting. The region's dynamic workforce and strong quality of life allow us to attract the best employees and support our mission of creating products people love. We intend to add more than two hundred members to our team over the next two years, and we are delighted to be able to do it here in Albemarle County."

“Willow Tree has been an important corporate citizen in our region for years and its expansion provides further evidence of how the Charlottesville-Albemarle area is becoming a well-known hub for innovation,” said Democratic House Leader David J. Toscano, representing the 57th District. “WillowTree’s decision to participate in the redevelopment and renovation of historic Woolen Mills will provide additional jobs to our citizens and support for our local economy. We are so pleased that they continue to expand their local footprint.”

“We are delighted to welcome WillowTree, a highly-valued world-class regional employer, to Albemarle,” said Chair of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Ann Mallek. “The Woolen Mills is an iconic site where WillowTree can grow their company and realize their vision of a state-of-the-art corporate campus. The significant infrastructure investment and robust job growth provided by WillowTree’s relocation supports the County’s vision for an active redevelopment project. The WillowTree presence at the Woolen Mills connects recreational assets, creates urban vibrancy and helps activate the Rivanna River corridor.”

“Twenty-first century jobs that meet the needs of an increasingly mobile, tech-savvy population and workforce are key to building an economy that grows well into the future,” said Senator Creigh Deeds. “WillowTree Apps Inc. provides companies, their employees, and their customers with innovative solutions for achieving results. I appreciate their foresight and investment in the community, as well as the leadership and commitment of Governor Northam and VEDP to help bring these important jobs to the Charlottesville area.”

WillowTree considered other locations around the country for their headquarters but ultimately decided to stay in this community. The culture, tech ecosystem, University of Virginia and quality of life made this location their first choice. The new Woolen Mills location will allow plenty of space for the growth and flexibility WillowTree requires. The Woolen Mills site once was one of the largest wool mills in the United States, manufacturing uniforms for thousands of soldiers and workers. It will now become the headquarters of one of the largest digital product agencies.

In addition, the project will complete the Rivanna Trail via a county-supported bridge, and will integrate public transportation via a public-private cost sharing between the developer and Albemarle County. The project will focus on biking to work via bike paths, bike storage and showers, and will provide car charging stations for electric vehicles.

To learn more about WillowTree at Woolen Mills, click here for a fact sheet.

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