The National Science Foundation is “kind of a big deal,” as the anchorman Ron Burgundy once said. It finances vital and innovative science by Americans around the world, and it employs 2,100 people in the Ballston area of Arlington.
But they’ve gotten heat from Congress for renting pricey office space, and are looking to move to something a little bigger and a little cheaper, according to Arlnow.com. And that’s all Alexandria needed to hear. They swiped the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office away from Arlington a few years back, and those guys proceeded to build a small city in the Carlisle area off Duke Street.
“We’re going to pursue them and we’re going to pursue them aggressively,” Alexandria Vice Mayor Kerry Donley said of the NSF, to the Alexandria Times. The NSF wants to decide where to go by the end of the year,
Arlington Economic Development isn’t going down without a fight. They’ve got Sens. Jim Webb and Mark Warner, and Rep. Jim Moran signing a letter to the GSA, the federal government’s landlord, that says Arlington is “the ideal location for NSF Headquarters,” Arlnow.com reports.
For a very technical breakdown of the commercial leasing aspects of the issue, check out this Washington Business Journal story.