ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) – Chocolate maker Nestle is moving its U.S. headquarters from California to Virginia, relocating to a part of the country where the company says it has more customers.

Nestle USA, a subsidiary of Swiss-based Nestle S.A., announced the move Wednesday in the Rosslyn section of Arlington County at an event with Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

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Nestle USA is currently based in Glendale, California. Lisa Gibby, a Nestle representative, said there are about 1,200 employees at the existing headquarters. About 750 jobs are moving to Virginia and the others will head to the company’s divisions in Ohio and Missouri.

Nestle expects to complete the move by the end of 2018.

The Rosslyn headquarters will occupy more than 200,000 square feet of office space in the tallest building in the D.C. region. That building has been vacant since its 2013 opening. The Rosslyn area, just across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital, has suffered from a slowdown in federal job growth. McAuliffe has been working to diversify northern Virginia’s job base and reduce its reliance on federal spending.

“I am particularly proud that this great company will locate in a property that has sat empty as the area and our entire state grappled with defense cuts and sequestration.” McAuliffe said in a statement.

To lure the company, the state approved a $10 million in economic incentives and grants, and Arlington County contributed $6 million.

Nestle USA said 85 percent of its top customers and 75 percent of its factories are in the eastern U.S.

In addition to candy, Nestle USA brands include Purina pet care, Perrier sparkling water, Hot Pockets frozen food and Edy’s ice cream.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.

 

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