Thursday, January 12, 2012

Founders Square DARPA Building Complete, Residential Tower Next

The first stage of Ballston mixed-use mega-project Founders Square, a 13-story 350,000- square-foot office building at 675 North Randolph, is now complete, with the first (and only) tenant, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), now taking possession of the property. Developer The Shooshan Company now has a clear runway to break ground on the next phase of the five-building, 1.2 million-square-foot complex, the 17-story, 257-unit residential building at 4000 Wilson Boulevard.

“We’re in the very final stages of completion of 675 North Randolph, the new DARPA headquarters,” said Kevin Shooshan, Director of Leasing at the Shooshan Company. “It’s basically complete. [DARPA] is in the process of accepting the building, and transferring over floor by floor, a process which will go on the next few months, probably into the second quarter of 2012.”

DARPA, a secretive federal intelligence and research agency that, according to some reports, invented everything from the internet to GPS, was formerly headquartered down the road on Fairfax Drive in Virginia Square, and almost left the state on the recommendation of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission in 2005. But state representatives and two consecutive governors used a $10 million grant to convince the federal agency to stay in the area, pointing to the 800 jobs (including contractors) provided and $33 million dollars in city and state taxes paid by the agency each year. DARPA is paying $14.7 million a year on their lease.

The new DARPA headquarters, which is certified LEED Gold, is also the first office building in the area to meet the Department of Defense’s Level IV security standards, and will incorporate a secure parking facility and an 82-foot secured perimeter, and is a surrounded by a sizeable lawn that segregates it from the other buildings in Founders Square.

Now, says Shooshan, the focus moves to the residential building at 4000 Wilson Blvd. “Two hundred fifty seven units, seventeen stories, with construction set to begin in the first quarter of next year, and finishing in the first quarter of 2013,” says Shooshan. “The site plan has been approved for over a year now. Permits are lined up and we're going to pull them in a matter of weeks."

The 1.2 million square foot Founders Square project, designed by RTKL Associates, is also slated to include a 183-room Marriott Residence Inn at 650 North Quincy, and a 420,000-square-foot office building at 4040 Wilson Blvd.

Arlington, Virginia real estate development news


Anonymous said...

Another defense agency porking up VA? Who would have thunk it! Where's McDonnell? Shouldn't he be in front of the building waving his "I'm so effin awesome!" flag?

BillEd on Jan 12, 2012, 2:40:00 PM said...

Let’s see - DARPA (who brought us email, the Internet and a few other minor inventions) has made sure their newest agency building is located on the Metro line, whereas the Army’s newest building in Alexandria is creating traffic jams up and down that stretch of I-95, being nowhere near a Metro stop. Goes to show some people don’t get it.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, this clearly demonstrates that DoD, DHS, FBI, and all the others can actually play nice with the region they call home, and with the Metrorail system that the feds spent so lavishly on (once upon a time). Doing so would result in less traffic and happier (less stressed, better fed) employees.

These agencies' other recent relocation decisions, though, indicate that their decision makers just don't get it.

Anonymous said...

The Marriott Residence Inn is already under construction. Donohoe is the general contractor and they broke ground about 2 months ago.

Anonymous said...

The Residential project will break ground THIS year (they expect March). The article incorrectly says next year.

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