New 1 $billion, tech-focused VT campus cited as attraction for Amazon HQ

(Virginia Tech)

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WSET) -- Virginia Tech announced Tuesday that it is committing to building a technology-focused campus in Alexandria, which is cited a a key reason for Amazon choosing Northern Virginia as a new headquarter site.

Cyril Clarke, Virginia Tech Interim Executive Vice President and Provost said this will be a hub for tech-talent, giving students the opportunity to work with not only Amazon, but other businesses in the DC Metro Area.

Clarke said he thinks this is a huge step forward for Virginia Tech, and also the entire Commonwealth.

I think it brings us to a new understanding - that as we move forward in terms of really driving and expanding the economic impact and activity in our state - to accomplish that, one important element needs to be in place," Clarke said. "Great universities that convene talent and produce talent is necessary to building these corporate empires."

The 1-million square-foot campus, which a $1 billion project, will be located in National Landing, a newly branded neighborhood that encompasses parts of Pentagon City and Crystal City in Arlington and Potomac Yard in Alexandria.

Arlington County and the City of Alexandria partnered to present Amazon a 150-acre site in Crystal City. Virginia Tech’s new campus will be located less than two miles away on U.S. Route 1 in Alexandria.

The new Amazon headquarters is expected to bring in 25,000 high-paying jobs over 12 years.

RELATED | Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

“The Innovation Campus will transform Virginia’s high-tech economy while also providing a pipeline of talent to industry all over Virginia, including Amazon. Once fully launched, it will benefit educational institutions and regions across the commonwealth," said U.S. Senator Mark Warner.

More than 200 localities across the country competed to win Amazon’s HQ2 and its estimated 50,000 jobs, Northern Virginia and Long Island City in New York.

“This is a big win for Virginia—I’m proud Amazon recognizes the tremendous assets the Commonwealth has to offer and plans to deepen its roots here,” said Governor Ralph Northam.

The first 100 master’s degree students at the campus will enroll in temporary space in 2019, with the campus hosting a total of 500 master’s degree students within five years and, at scale, enrolling 750 master’s degree candidates. In addition, the campus would train hundreds of doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows.

The university and the state of Virginia both committed to provide $250 million to fund the project.

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