Virginia Tech is building a new innovation campus in the Potomac Yard neighborhood of city of Alexandria, the university announced Monday.
The campus will house both academic classrooms and offices for industry collaboration. It will include incubator space for new startups and their research and development, as well as space for alumni events.
This announcement is part of Virginia’s tech-talent pipeline designed to funnel graduates into the future Amazon headquarters in Arlington County, which was approved by the General Assembly late last year as part of a deal that brought the headquarters to the area.
The campus will be located right next to the future Potomac Yard Metro Station, which will be placed along the yellow and blue metrorail lines. It will be inside the new “national landing” planning district, which encompasses parts of Alexandria and Arlington. The district was designated for the Amazon headquarters and the deal’s associated projects.
The campus will be developed with ground-floor retail and public open space.
“We’re extremely pleased to have this opportunity, in partnership with Lionstone, to establish the Innovation Campus in the heart of the National Landing technology district,” President Tim Sands said in a statement. “It is the ideal location to support Virginia Tech’s bold plan to develop new tech talent, disciplines, programs, and human-centered research that will shape the economic future of the commonwealth and beyond.”
Although the university does not expect to complete construction for 10 years, the campus will first be used in the Fall of 2020. During this semester, master’s students will use space next to where the buildings will be located. After construction is finished, the campus will hold 750 master’s students and hundreds of doctoral and postdoc fellows.
“Alexandria’s future has never been brighter,” Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson said. “We are excited to deepen our partnership with Virginia Tech to bring to life a vibrant mixed-use district envisioned by our community through our local planning processes. The Innovation Campus will fuel Alexandria’s economic growth goals by attracting industry partners and driving business start-ups, and will complement the many tech-focused agencies and companies that already call our city and Northern Virginia home.”
Virginia will also be providing $375 million to George Mason University’s Arlington campus over the next 20 years to fund master’s programs in computer science and related fields as part of the tech-talent pipeline. The commonwealth is also investing $50 million in K-12 tech education and tech-related internship programs.
Virginia placed seventh in a recent WalletHub study ranking the country's the most innovative states, which included Washington, D.C. Virginia tied with Washington D.C. for highest projected STEM-job demand by 2020.