When Amazon announced it would bring its HQ2 campus to Northern Virginia, Virginia Tech also announced it would invest $1 billion to build an “innovation campus” in Alexandria.
Stephanie Landrum, president and CEO of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, says Virginia Tech’s announcement took a back seat as it coincided with Amazon’s. “As a stand alone project, Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus would be huge news. The more we start to talk to the community about it, and people start to understand the breadth and depth of what this project is, people are going to be more and more excited about it as a huge component of the HQ2 National Landing.”
Landrum says the city had reached out to every university in the Commonwealth to discuss similar satellite campuses, and Virginia Tech said it had already been considering it for years.
The south portion of Amazon’s future campus, known as National Landing, will be home to Virginia Tech’s mixed-use space. Oakville Triangle, near Potomac Yard off of Richmond Highway, has been designated for a mixed-use development for about three years.
“Honestly, I’m not sure that we ever aspired to something this large and fantastic,” said Landrum. “In many ways this has been a real blessing for us to be able to land, what we think, will be the preeminent Innovation Campus on the East Coast.”
Thursday night the City of Alexandria hosted one of its virtual meetings featuring community stakeholders, like Landrum, to field questions about where the campus will be and what it will look like.
The region has expressed concerns over Amazon’s future move, and the city is reassuring its residents the process will be long and open to public comment. “Alexandria has a very long tradition of engaging with the community on land-use and development projects and that will be the next phase for Virginia Tech,” said Landrum.