Press Club

BRAC Delays Could Keep Thousands of Jobs in Arlington

So much for deadlines.

Sept. 15, 2011 was supposed to be the date by which some 5 million square feet of military-occupied office space in Arlington — 17 percent of the county’s office inventory — would be moved out as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure Act.

Now, it appears that most of that leased space will still be in use by the military through 2012 and beyond.

A new report by commercial real estate firm Cassidy Turley that examined lease renewals suggests that BRAC relocations are years behind schedule. According to the firm, “[BRAC-related] leases totaling 2.3 million square feet have been extended through 2013 or later.”

And yesterday Rep. Jim Moran threw another wrench in the stalled relocation process. Per a provision Moran inserted into a Defense Department funding bill, the DoD’s Inspector General will be investigating the planned BRAC relocation of 6,400 jobs — many from Arlington — to the Mark Center project in Alexandria.

Moran has been working “to suspend or delay the move into the Mark Center site until the necessary transportation improvements to prevent a traffic nightmare on I-395 are implemented,” according to a statement announcing the investigation.

Such a delay could ease some of the economic pain the county will experience as a result of BRAC job losses.

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