There’s a tug of war over the National Science Foundation between Arlington and other, neighboring localities such as Alexandria, .
Tina Leone, the former head of the and now the head of the Ballston Business Improvement District, says the NSF should stay in Ballston, where the government agency has helped develop the area into a “center for innovation.”
But Arlington risks losing the agency to places like Alexandria, which is also walkable and Metro accessible, due to the high cost of Arlington rent.
The NSF and its 1,500 employees occupy most of two buildings in the 4200 block of Wilson Boulevard, and its lease expires next year.
The average cost per square foot of office space in Ballston is about $44. In Alexandria, it’s about $30. Alexandria successfully lured the from Arlington's Crystal City to Alexandria's Carlyle district around 2003.
Last year, Alexandria Vice Mayor Kerry Donley “aggressively.”
However, Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), is drafting a letter to the General Services Administration advocating NSF stay in Arlington.
Leone, when she was head of the Alexandria chamber, wrote a letter urging the NSF move to Alexandria.