FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 29, 2008
Alexandria’s Mark Center Chosen as Location for 6,400 Jobs
The Department of Defense announced today that the City of Alexandria’s Mark Center has been chosen as the future site of the Department of Defense’s Washington Headquarters Services (WHS). The Mark Center site, owned by Duke Realty, was chosen through a regional competition managed by the Department of Defense (DoD). Throughout this decision process, the City has supported both the Mark Center and Victory Center sites as excellent solutions for the WHS relocation. The rigorous review conducted by the Department of the Army determined that both sites offered the security, transit, and accessibility required of the most discerning federal agency. The City looks forward to working cooperatively with DoD in making sure that the proposed WHS facility’s transportation infrastructure and transit services, which will be funded by Duke Realty, can effectively serve the WHS site.
As a result of this decision, 6,400 jobs will relocate from Arlington County to Alexandria as part of the federally mandated Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. Originally slated for relocation to Fort Belvoir, transportation concerns led local, state and federal officials to seek an alternative site. The addition of these 6,400 jobs will nearly offset the 7,200 jobs that will be transferred from Alexandria, also as a result of BRAC decisions, to other military bases across the country.
“DoD’s decision to purchase this site and construct a major office building, within close proximity to Washington D.C. and the Pentagon, affirms Alexandria as one of the top locations in the region,” said Mayor William D. Euille. “Our quality of life is unmatched in the region, and the quality of our neighborhoods, vibrancy of our commercial areas, and low crime rate make the City a great place to live and work. We look forward to welcoming WHS’s employees in 2011, when the new facility is completed.”
“It is satisfying to know that when DoD considered many sites in Northern Virginia to locate the WHS, Alexandria had both of the top two private sector sites as finalists,” said Mayor Euille. “This demonstrates our work in expanding Alexandria’s economic development opportunities and creating a government responsive to those wishing to relocate their offices. While the Victory Center ranked second in this regional competitive process, we remain committed to assisting its owners in finding a major tenant to lease this space and develop the remainder of this site.”
The Washington Headquarters Services, established in 1977 as part of a DoD headquarters streamlining initiative, manages DoD-wide programs and operations for the Pentagon Reservation and DoD leased facilities in the National Capital Region.
In addition to jobs gained, the relocation provides several benefits to the City of Alexandria. These include the probable relocation of federal government contractors to Alexandria to be near the WHS facility; jobs gained during the construction process; and the building and occupancy of 1.8 million square feet of office space at the Mark Center site on the I-395 corridor in Alexandria, which will spur the redevelopment of other sites.
The new WHS headquarters will be a LEEDS Silver-level certified facility, featuring increased transit services and a new transit center for WHS, Mark Center employees, and Alexandria residents to use.