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Alexandria celebrates groundbreaking Monday on new NSF headquarters

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Print this page By Paula C. Squires
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Work is about to begin on a $300 million headquarters relocation building for the National Science Foundation (NSF). The city of Alexandria has set a groundbreaking ceremony for Monday, Jan. 27 at 9 a.m.

That’s when more than 100 federal and local government officials are expected to gather across the street from the Eisenhower Metro Station to celebrate what will be the new home for the NSF: a 667,759-square-foot office with two connecting towers.

“That was one of their requirements, that there be one big connected building. Right now they are located in different buildings,” said Stephanie Landrum, executive vice president and chief operating officer for the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership.

The foundation’s relocation from the Ballston area in Arlington to the Carlyle neighborhood of Alexandria in 2017 will be one of the largest transfers of federal workers in Northern Virginia since the Patent and Trademark Office left Crystal City for Alexandria in 2005. The NSF is one of Arlington’s largest employers. Alexandria officials say 2,400 headquarters employees, contractors and scientists are expected to move to the building.

The federal General Services Administration signed the lease deal back in June, securing a rate that is about 30 percent below average market rates in the Washington, D.C., metro area. The build-to-suit project is expected to bring a savings of nearly $65 million for taxpayers over 15 years. 

The new headquarters will be part of Hoffman Town Center.  It’s expected to spark other development in the area, with developers now adding more than 1.5 million square feet of office space and more than 1,500 residential units. 

Plans by a local developer for a new 250,000-square-foot hotel are moving forward, Landrum said.
“They have 30,000 visitors from out of the area to the foundation every year, which generates 90,000 room nights,” added Val Hawkins, president and CEO of the partnership.   

Balfour Beatty will serve as the project's general contractor.

The partnership is hosting the groundbreaking celebration. It will include the city’s mayor, William D. Euille, and officials from GSA, NSF and the Hoffman family.

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