Your Views: High tech coming to Potomac Yard

Your Views: High tech coming to Potomac Yard

To the editor:

In the very near future, it is likely that what we know now as Potomac Yards will also be known as Alexandria’s high tech area. Behind that thought is the construction that is taking place or will be taking place along Potomac Avenue as discussed below. 

The Institute for Defense Analysis, known as IDA and now located on Mark Center Drive, will be moving its offices to the large facility under construction on Glebe Road just east of the Giant supermarket. It appears that a large parking garage is also part of the construction. Making transportation easier will be the nearby Metro station also under construction. It will be a welcome option for IDA employees and visitors alike. 

While IDA’s offices will have a new address, its mission will remain the same. It is to address challenging national security and technology policy issues with objective analysis leveraging the best research and development expertise available. IDA accomplishes this mission through its management of three federally funded research and development centers. 

Soon to be demolished will be the familiar Regal movie theater along the east side of Potomac Avenue. It will make room for IDA’s new neighbor, Virginia Tech, and its Innovation Campus. This new campus in Alexandria will complement VT’s main campus in Blacksburg where more than 30,000 graduate and undergraduate students attend classes and conduct research, making it Virginia’s second largest public university.

On a national scale, VT is well regarded. Its engineering program is highly ranked while its research program is well-funded with more than $500 million in its portfolio. The results of the research program are published in the open literature for all to see and leverage. 

Thus, together with IDA, VT’s Innovation Campus will constitute the core of Alexandria’s high tech world and in the coming years more than likely will also find itself interacting with Arlington’s Amazon facility.  

-Dick Chait,