National Science Foundation Headquarters Moving To Alexandria | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

National Science Foundation Headquarters Moving To Alexandria

Play associated audio
The National Science Foundation's current headquarters at 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Va. The agency is moving to the Carlyle section of Alexandria after the city offered a $23 million tax break.
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation's current headquarters at 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Va. The agency is moving to the Carlyle section of Alexandria after the city offered a $23 million tax break.

 

The National Science Foundation is moving from its Arlington, Va., headquarters to Alexandria, Va., in a multi-million dollar deal that includes a significant tax break. The government agency will relocate from Ballston to the Carlyle neighborhood of Alexandria, near the Eisenhower Metro station. 

Alexandria city leaders landed the prestigious foundation by offering to charge a lower tax rate. The deal is projected to provide a $23 million tax break to the property owner over the 15-year lease. City leaders said the NSF's move will bring $50 million in new tax revenue to the city, even after the incentive. 

But reactions to the agreement have been mixed.

"I'm torn about that whole tax credit thing because it's just pitting jurisdictions against each other, and they are losing money ostensibly to make it up later and that's not always the case," Jordan Engel said. 

Alexandria City Council member Tim Lovain said governments offer incentives all the time, and Alexandria simply offered a better deal than Arlington.

"We've heard from a neighboring jurisdiction a bit of sour grapes in the claim that what the city is doing is extraordinary and unprecedented," Lovain said. 

Alexandria Deputy City Manager Mark Jinks disputes that claim. He said municipalities have given tax incentives to private companies for many years, and the last five years have seen incentives also offered to government agencies.

"Increasingly we are seeing people realize that their office buildings and their development plans aren't going to automatically happen if they just sit and wait for growth of the federal government to arrive," Jinks said. 

The General Service Administration estimates the agency's move to Alexandria will save federal taxpayers $65 million over the initial lease period. The new building will also use considerably less energy and water than typical office buildings.

But that isn't enough of an incentive for Dale Bell, who has worked at the NSF for more than three years.

"I'm personally disappointed because I live in Maryland so it's going to add at least another 30 minutes on my trip, which is unfortunate," Bell said.

WAMU 88.5

Hundreds Brave Frigid Temperatures To Celebrate Kite Festival

There was plenty of wind to lift kites of all shapes and sizes at the National Blossom Kite Festival Sunday; at least for those who could brave the cold.

NPR

Cheez Whiz Helped Spread Processed Foods. Will It Be Squeezed Out?

Turns out, the history of Kraft's dull-orange cheese spread says a lot about the processed food industry — and where it might be headed as Kraft and Heinz merge.
NPR

Indiana Governor: Lawmakers To 'Clarify' Anti-Gay Law

Mike Pence, who signed the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act last week, says he didn't anticipate the level of hostility the law has engendered.
NPR

App That Aims To Make Books 'Squeaky Clean' Draws Ire From Edited Writers

Clean Reader — an app designed to find, block and replace profanity in books — has drawn considerable criticism from authors. This week, makers of the app announced they would no longer sell e-books.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.