BoatUS, a subsidiary of Geico, is returning to Springfield, Va., after 40 years.
The advocacy, services and safety group for recreational boaters — and the 17th-largest employer in Alexandria — broke ground Wednesday on a 65,000-square-foot association and corporate headquarters at 5323 Port Royal Road in Springfield.
The new BoatUS/Geico Marine Insurance building will be a block from where BoatUS was based in the early 1970s.
In addition to operations the facility will house customer service and nationwide 24/7 on-water/on-road dispatch operations for recreational boat owners.
Among those at the groundbreaking were BoatUS CEO Kirk La; Geico president and COO Bill Roberts; Fairfax County Braddock District Supervisor John Cook; Fairfax County Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity; Virginia state Sen. Richard Saslaw; staff from BoatUS and Geico Marine Insurance and building owner I-95 Business Parks; and the design, build and engineering team for the new facility.
“Some may say we are going back to our roots because after our founder, Richard Schwartz, started BoatUS in 1966 he located one of the association’s first offices just down the block at 5261 Port Royal Road,” said La in a statement. “However, when our new building opens in October 2018 it will be our first headquarters built for the purpose of serving the more than half a million BoatUS members and Geico Marine Insurance customers and helping us make boating better for the nation’s nearly 12 million registered boat owners.”
“To help us grow for the next 50 years we will need new team members who are looking for opportunity and a solid career path,” La said. “We know our new headquarters will make BoatUS and Geico Marine Insurance a very appealing place to work.”
The new building offers enhancements that seek to appeal to a millennial workforce, including an open design that encourages collaboration, a fitness center with showers and lockers, a full cafeteria, ample parking with electric vehicle-charging stations and better access to highways and public transportation.