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press release

Hundreds of Northern Virginia Residents Demand a GAO investigation…

…into the BRAC move to the Mark Center area.

Alexandria, Virginia – June 29, 2010 — Citing questions regarding how Duke Realty came to provide an “unsolicited bid” to the Army for a BRAC move as well as environmental concerns, nearby impacted residents are asking Congress for a full General Accounting Office investigation.

BRAC 133 is part of a decision by Congress to relocate personnel to facilities that are designed to increase protection in a post 9/11 environment. In the 2008 Defense Authorization Bill , Congress agreed to allow the Department of the Army to review alternative locations (near but outside of Ft. Belvoir). The legislation identified a government owned warehouse location adjacent to Metro and VRE. Following the adoption of that legislation, the Department of the Army received an unsolicited bid to instead develop land located at the intersection of I395 and Seminary Road, which has no Metro or VRE access, is not in the vicinity of Ft. Belvoir, is in a primarily residential area, and is located near hospitals, elementary schools and elderly assisted living communities.

Residents want a full GAO investigation to determine what influenced the decision to move to this area and how an unsolicited bid came to the Department of the Army. In addition, the residents want to know why the Department of the Army ignored the proximity to a nature preserve and question their suggestion that this residential area is equal to the alternate location.

The chosen location sits within ½ mile of a medical office building that serves over 1,000 patient visits daily, a mile from one middle school, two elementary schools, a fire house with an ambulance station, and Inova Alexandria Hospital, is less than a mile from Northern Virginia Community College and directly across from a large apartment complex and elderly assisted living communities and has no Metro access. This section of Seminary Road acts as the link for ambulances that serve Inova Alexandria Hospital. In an April 5, 2010 letter to the City of Alexandria, VDOT stated that even with the traffic improvements proposed by the property developers, the project will have a debilitating effect on the region.

Site Creates Terrorist, Traffic and Environmental nightmare for residents
At a time when Government failure to provide proper BP oversight has resulted in the largest environmental disaster our country has ever witnessed, it is again creating a security and transportation nightmare that could be avoided, had this unsolicited bid not been ushered through without adequate review. The Department of the Army has admitted that this building does pose a terrorist threat that cannot be “mitigated.” In fact, in an August 12, 2009 letter to Senators Warner and Webb, the Army states: “Vehicles can still try to infiltrate the site or detonate a device just outside the secure perimeter regardless of whether the RIF (Remote Inspection Facility) is on-site or not. It is virtually impossible to reduce all risk associated with possible aggressor attacks.

The residents of the area state in the petition that “this new building is a travesty. It represents government and congressional decision making at its absolute worst, and we believe it represents a political rather than logistical decision. The initial failure to exercise proper oversight and leadership is now being compounded by the failure of our elected representatives at all levels of government to come to grips with the fiasco that they have caused. ”

“We are astonished that given the security, environmental impact and potential threat to the surrounding area that construction of this building is proceeding with seemingly little Congressional intervention. We urge immediate action., ” the residents noted.

The petition has been delivered to Congress today and the attached signatures represent residents, doctors, patients and businesses in the area directly impacted by the building.

For further information regarding this issue, including comments on the traffic management plan, letters to Congress, Defense Authorization language, and a suit filed but sealed by the Department of the Army please contact us.

Additional information can be found at:

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