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Base Realignment and Closure Commission
In May 2005, the federally mandated Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) presented its report to the Department of Defense (DoD) on recommendations for the placement, realignment and consolidation of military installations and the location of DoD personnel. The commission approved a major expansion of Fort Belvoir in southern Fairfax County, including new agency headquarters and new personnel on the post.
Northern Virginia's proximity to Washington, D.C., and the Pentagon, as well as the the availability of commercial office space, has made the area an attractive location for DoD agencies and public sector contractors.
Overall, Fairfax County saw a net new job gain as an estimated 14,000 civilian and military workers moved to Fort Belvoir by September 15, 2011, as mandated by Congress. More than 30,000 civilian and military personnel work at the post, making it one of the largest employers in Fairfax County.
To prepare for the influx of workers, the U.S. government spent an estimated $4 billion to build new space and redevelop existing buildings on the 7,700-acre Main Post and on the non-contiguous, 800-acre Fort Belvoir North Area in Springfield (formerly known as the Engineer Proving Ground). The new construction, which includes 20 separate projects totaling nearly 6.2 million square feet of building space, includes a 120-bed, state-of-the-art hospital on-post that replaces the previous community hospital. Adjacent to Fairfax County, approximately 6,400 Washington Headquarters Services personnel will be relocated to a new office building at the Mark Center in the City of Alexandria.
Among the entities that will move to the Fort Belvoir property in Fairfax County:
- National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
- Army and DoD organizations from leased space throughout the Washington region
- Medical care functions formerly located at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
- Missile Defense Agency
- Selected Defense Intelligence Agency activities
- Inventory Control Point functions from military bases in Pennsylvania and Ohio
The area surrounding Fort Belvoir also is expected to see an influx of new jobs as private-sector contractors move to the area to be in close proximity to their government clients.
The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) on November 10, 2010 presented “BRAC Update: Office Development Opportunities” to let commercial developers and property owners know about potential office construction possibilities in southeastern Fairfax County. Here are the presentations from the FCEDA, the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning and Fort Belvoir.