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CHARLOTTESVILLE—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that WillowTree, Inc., a mobile applications developer, will invest $12.3 million to relocate and expand its headquarters in Albemarle County. The company will renovate and lease 50,000 square feet in the former Woolen Mills factory. Virginia successfully competed against North Carolina for the project, which will create 200 new jobs.
“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.”
Founded in 2007, WillowTree, Inc. is a computer software company committed to helping clients realize the potential of rapidly evolving mobile technologies, from developing a mobile strategy to launching mobile products. WillowTree’s clients range from medium and large businesses to Fortune 500s, and include Regal Cinemas, Wyndham Hotels, BabyCenter (a Johnson & Johnson company), GE, AOL, PepsiCo, and the University of Virginia.
“WillowTree’s decision to double its workforce and grow in Albemarle County affirms that the region and the Commonwealth are prime locations for entrepreneurs and tech companies,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “In addition to adding 200 high-quality jobs, WillowTree is revitalizing an important historical site in Central Virginia, Woolen Mills, for its unique headquarters operation. Retaining quality companies that provide strong value to both its employees and communities is our goal, and we look forward to a continued corporate partnership with WillowTree.”
“It was very important to me to be able to keep WillowTree in Virginia,” said CEO of WillowTree, Inc. Tobias Dengel. “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 200 members to our team over the next two years, and we are delighted to be able to do it here in Albemarle County.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Albemarle County and the Central Virginia Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $500,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Albemarle County with the project. The Governor also approved $1.5 million in funds from the Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant. WillowTree is also eligible to receive a Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit. Funding and services to support the company’s expansion will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
“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, 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 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. “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 footprint in and with Charlottesville.”
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