Alexandria City Council to Consider Purchasing Mark Center Building to Consolidate Public Health and Human Services

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Alexandria City Council to Consider Purchasing Mark Center Building to Consolidate Public Health and Human Services

­­For Immediate Release: June 25, 2020

On July 7, the Alexandria City Council will consider purchasing a facility at 4850 Mark Center Drive to enable the consolidation of the City of Alexandria’s Department of Community and Human Services, the Alexandria Health Department (a division of the Virginia Department of Health), and the nonprofit community health provider Neighborhood Health. The consolidation will save taxpayers more than $18 million over 15 years and result in long-term City ownership, while significantly improving service delivery for clients and working conditions for staff.

“At this time of severe economic stress, it’s more important than ever for the City to make prudent financial decisions in the near and long terms,” said City Manager Mark Jinks. “The purchase of this facility is an excellent opportunity to reap benefits for clients, staff and taxpayers for many years to come.”

The City previously executed a 15-year lease with purchase option with the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), which currently owns and occupies the building. After a comprehensive evaluation of potential options, the IDA facility represented the newest, least expensive and most flexible choice. Built in 2001, the 10-story facility comprises 270,000 square feet and includes a four-story parking garage. Exercising the purchase option will be less expensive over time than leasing.

The agencies that will move into the new facility currently occupy more than 210,000 square feet across multiple locations in Alexandria, with leases at four facilities expiring in the near future. Current space is often overcrowded and below modern standards for offices and clinics. The two largest facilities are on the east end of Alexandria, while a large proportion of clients now live in West End neighborhoods. The new facility will accommodate all tenant requirements, while providing approximately 30,000 square feet of remaining office space for future growth or flexible use by the City. The location is on current public transit routes and within walking distance of the future West End Transitway, and will improve accessibility to clients and staff. 

Prior to City Council consideration, the $58.7 million purchase will be subject to approval by the Planning Commission on June 25. IDA will remain the largest private employer in Alexandria after relocating to a new headquarters location in Potomac Yard. Agencies are expected to begin occupying the Mark Center facility in 2023, after IDA completes their move and interior renovations in the original facility are completed. 

For inquiries from the news media only, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at or 703.746.3959.

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