Plan for new Virginia Tech campus in Alexandria to jump-start Potomac Yard development

Virginia Tech announced Monday that Potomac Yard will be the location for the Innovation Campus it plans to build in Alexandria, Virginia, as part of the deal bringing an Amazon headquarters expansion to Arlington.

The current retail and entertainment configuration currently at Potomac Yard was never a long-term plan.

“The community’s vision was for that site to be built out over the next 15 years in multiple phases,” said Alexandria Economic Development Partnership President and CEO Stephanie Landrum. “What Virginia Tech has done has created a catalyst for all of that development to happen in one phase immediately.”

The Innovation Campus will be built next to the future Potomac Yard Metro Station, a site that gives it more room for expansion than the industrial park location announced last November about a half mile away along U.S. Route 1.

The mixed-use development will include active, public open space, along with apartments, condominiums and possibly some town houses. Housing will be built over ground floor and second floor retail and entertainment, such as theaters, bars and restaurants. 

Landrum expects it will take two to three years to develop the 65-acre mixed-use district that will complement the school’s 1 million-square-foot graduate campus.

When the Innovation Campus is complete in about 10 years, it will host 750 master’s degree students, and hundreds of doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows.

The first Innovation Campus class will enroll in 2020 using current retail space adjacent to where new facilities will be built.

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