Virginia Tech announced today that the Virginia Tech Foundation will build a major research center in the Ballston area of Arlington, with planned occupancy by late 2010.

Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger made the announcement, explaining that the highly visible, state-of-the-art facility would further the university’s mission to expand its research portfolio in a region that offers great opportunity for partnerships with corporate research entities and close proximity to government agencies and other public and private-sector organizations.

The seven-floor, 144,000-square-foot building, designed by Cooper Carry to meet the Silver U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED™ Building Rating Systems, will be located on the 800-900 block of North Glebe Road. That portion of the building not occupied by Virginia Tech will be available for commercial lease.

The building is part of a larger JBG Companies’ development project in Ballston. The interior, designed by Gensler, will include computational laboratories, offices, and conference space to accommodate executive programs, training programs, and workshops.

Virginia Tech offers a wide range of graduate programs, workshops, and customized educational programs in the National Capital Region. A number of already established Virginia Tech research centers, located throughout the northern Virginia area, will move to the Ballston facility. The facility will have secure high performance information technology systems that address national security issues.

“This new research center plays a significant role in our continuing efforts to establish a major presence in the region for Virginia Tech,” said Steger. “While a broad range of research programs will be housed in the facility, our primary focus is on technology, particularly computational technologies and network systems.”

Steger also noted that faculty in residence in the National Capital Region will be inextricably linked to faculty expertise in Blacksburg, strengthening Virginia Tech’s research capabilities in the area even further.

Virginia Tech is committed to helping expand research and development throughout the National Capital Region. Earlier this month, Steger said, he and other area university presidents participated in a forum with many local thought leaders and announced the formation of the Chesapeake Crescent Innovation Alliance, a partnership between education, government, businesses, and investors to boost the region’s economic vitality.

“We have committed our universities to using the intellectual capital of the region’s institutions of higher education for business formation. We want to link people with ideas to those with money and know-how to form, incubate, and grow businesses,” said Steger. “For Virginia Tech, this new building is in the perfect location to nurture and grow partnerships like the Chesapeake Crescent Innovation Alliance.”

“We believe a location in Arlington is a tremendous asset for Virginia Tech, and will help drive even greater ingenuity and innovation in their research,” said Arlington Economic Development Director Terry Holzheimer. “The Ballston area of Arlington has the highest concentration of scientific research agencies in the country, anchored by the National Science Foundation and several other top university-related research institutes. Combined with Arlington’s accessibility to the region and its Metro location, the people, organizations, and brain power that are available to Virginia Tech in Arlington are simply unmatched.”

“We greatly appreciate all of the positive support from local legislators and the Arlington community over the past months as we have negotiated with developers to find a suitable property for this research endeavor,” said Jim Bohland, vice president and executive director, Virginia Tech, National Capital Region Operations. “We are confident that this location offers everything we need to expand our research programs. It also represents a strong investment for the university and its future in the National Capital Region.”

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