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Virginia Tech Picks New Potomac Yard Site For Innovation Campus

A rendering showing the location of the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus

Virginia Tech has selected the site for its new Alexandria campus, changing plans from the property it had initially identified in November. 

The university announced Monday it is partnering with Lionstone Investments and JBG Smith to build the campus on a 15-acre portion of a major mixed-use development planned next to the future Potomac Yard Metro station. 

The full 65-acre project is planned for 7.5M SF on the site of the Potomac Yard Shopping Center, which JBG Smith and Lionstone jointly manage on behalf of a pension fund. The property sits just south of the Four Mile Run stream, which serves as the border between Arlington and Alexandria, and west of the new Metro station that is under construction at Potomac Yard. 

“It is the ideal location to support Virginia Tech’s bold plan to develop new tech talent, disciplines, programs and human-centered research that will shape the economic future of the commonwealth and beyond," Virginia Tech President Tim Sands said in a release. 

Virginia Tech expects to begin teaching graduate students next year in a vacant big-box store in the shopping center, Virginia Tech Innovation Campus Managing Director Brandy Salmon told the Washington Post. When construction of the campus is completed in about 10 years, Virginia Tech plans to enroll 750 master's degree candidates and hundreds of doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows. 

The graduate school campus is ultimately planned to include 1M SF of development, with two academic buildings, incubator space for startups and research and development, convening space for alumni events, offices for industry collaboration, ground-floor retail, a parking garage and public open space. The team plans to hold a series of public meetings to discuss the design of the campus. 

The official site selection comes after Virginia Tech unveiled the plans for the campus in November along with Amazon's selection of JBG Smith's properties in Crystal City and Pentagon City for its second headquarters.

At the time, Virginia Tech had said it planned to build the campus on Stonebridge's Oakville Triangle site. Stonebridge principal Doug Firstenberg declined to comment. 

"We are thrilled to work with Virginia Tech and Lionstone on this momentous project," JBG Smith CEO Matt Kelly said in a release. "While Amazon’s decision to locate its new headquarters at National Landing has been the catalyst for positive change, Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus will be every bit as impactful by cultivating a creative workforce capable of filling all the tech jobs that will be produced throughout the D.C. region in the coming decades."