In May 2005, the Department of Defense issued recommendations to the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission to close and/or realign DoD agencies and installations throughout the country. Approved in November 2005, the BRAC law requires that over 4 million square feet of leased office space in Arlington be vacated. As a result, Arlington stands to lose approximately 17,000 jobs, making the County’s loss the largest in the United States. The indirect impact (contractors and non-government companies that work with directly affected agencies) is unknown, but will be substantial. This impact will be spread out over several years and will persist well beyond the September 15, 2011 BRAC deadline.
Following recommendations by DoD, Arlington formulated a response which emphasized the potential compromises to mission effectiveness, and underestimation of costs by DoD to move agencies. Arlington successfully retained the DoD’s Extramural Research Agencies in Arlington, including the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the Army Research Office (ARO) and the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA).
Now, Arlington has begun addressing the impacts of BRAC including changes to the leased office space market and jobs in Arlington. The County Board appointed a BRAC Transition Task Force to map a way ahead in managing the effects of BRAC 2005, including 34 strategic recommendations covering areas of impact such as infrastructure, planning and development, business and workforce, and business and tenant incentives.
Video: BRAC's Impact on Arlington