Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) is service-wide restructuring of bases and personnel in the US military.  BRAC mandated at that about 20,000 jobs move to Fort Belvoir. As Belvoir adjusted to this influx, Army officials sought nearby facilities that would satisfy BRAC mandates, but would relieve pressure from the crowded gates of Belvoir.

As a result, last month, US Army officials announced the movement of 6,400 jobs to Alexandria. There was some opposition from state and Fairfax County officials, but ultimately the decision was made to pass-over an alternate site in Springfield and head for Mark Center in Alexandria. This move is still ahead of the 2001 deadline required by BRAC.

Mark Center is a yet to be built office complex near Seminary Road at the I-395 interchange. According to some news sources, the Army construction project at the Mark Center could cost up to $1 billion. Ground-breaking on this new project will begin in January.

This is of course good news for home sellers and owners in Alexandria and Fairfax County as an influx of service members will help steady housing prices. Fairfax County and Prince William County and Commonwealth officials argued that the site at Mark Center is not well served by the Virginia Railway Express and as a result the new site will contribute to congestion on local roads.

No doubt 6400 additional commuters will place additional burdens on local roadways. But many of these service members and support staff will opt to live in Fairfax County and Alexandria rather than in outlying areas such as Prince William and Stafford Counties.

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