The General Services Administration is currently evaluating proposals for a new headquarters for the NSF. Submissions were due Jan. 9.
The NSF is currently headquartered in the Ballston neighborhood of Arlington County. The institution is one of the federal government’s primary scientific research organizations and would be a huge economic boon for Alexandria. The NSF has a $7 billion annual budget, 2,400 employees and a contractor tail of another 2,200.
Val Hawkins, president and CEO of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, and Mark Jinks, deputy Alexandria city manager, briefed City Council in December on two Alexandria properties that submitted lease bids—one in Carlyle Plaza and another at the Hoffman Center.
Hawkins did not offer specifics on potential subsidies in the Washington Business Journal report.
“We’ve got a great product, and if they do decide to move we would love to have them,” Hawkins said in the report. “If they did relocate, it would be a significant gain for the city. It’s highly competitive; they’ve been in Arlington for 20 years.”
Jeff Zell, a member of the Carlyle development team competing for the NSF, told the Washington Business Journal that his group’s plan for a 33-story, 333-foot office called Carlyle Plaza Two would meet the institution’s needs and requirements.
The NSF is seeking a 15-year lease on 668,000 square feet of office space within a half-mile of a Metro station.
The Hoffman Center site, located at 2401 Eisenhower Ave. between a movie theater and the Eisenhower Avenue Metro station, and the Carlyle site, located on John Carlyle Street, updated their permits with the city this year. That could potentially give the sites an advantage over other applicants.
“All the basics of the buildings, if not all down to the details, what got approved by council in 2012 will meet the proposal for the NSF without any material changes,” Jinks said in December.
Earlier this month, U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8th) said he was "optimistic" the NSF would stay in Ballston.