Metro plans to purchase sites for two new offices in Maryland and Virginia, which officials said will save the transit agency an estimated $130 million over 20 years.
The Prince George’s County site in Maryland would be near the New Carrollton Metro station and the D.C. region’s largest transportation hub that includes Amtrak and MARC train services, Greyhound and other bus services and the future Purple Line light rail.
Metro’s office in Alexandria, Virginia, would sit near the Eisenhower Avenue Metro station and the Hoffman Town Center currently under redevelopment.
“Metro’s office consolidation plan is a smart investment in our future that will improve conditions for our workforce while benefiting the region,” Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said in a statement Thursday, April 25. “Our three new office sites in D.C., New Carrollton and Alexandria will save Metro — and taxpayers — significant money in the long term, while spurring additional private development and job creation in the surrounding communities.”
Metro already reached a deal last year to move from its current space at the Jackson Graham Building in northwest D.C. into a new headquarters in southwest D.C. next to its L’Enfant Plaza station.
The Graham building, which has been Metro’s headquarters since 1974, would be vacated by December 2022 and leased for mixed-use development across from Capital One Arena.
Agency officials and government leaders have sought to utilize property near Metrorail stations for transit-oriented development.
Officials highlight the New Carrollton location as a prime example with $1 billion in development with the state Department of Housing and Urban Development, an education technology company 2U and luxury apartments called The Remy developed by Berman Enterprises.
The site also received a visit from Gov. Larry Hogan and County Executive Angela Alsobrooks to celebrate the April 4 grand opening of Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States, which expects to bring 850 jobs to the region.
“New Carrollton has unmatched transportation options bringing customers, clients and residents from around the region to Prince George’s County,” Alsobrooks said in a statement. “[Metro’s] decision to place its Maryland headquarters in New Carrollton is the spark that will make that location a dynamic 24-hour community.”
Hours before the announcement of the new offices, Metro’s board of directors approved to offer free parking at Franconia-Springfield, Huntington and Van Dorn Street in Northern Virginia for commuters this summer affected by platform construction work. Metro estimates a $2 million loss in parking revenue.
Those stations and three others in Virginia on the Blue and Yellow lines south of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport will be closed from May 25 to Sept. 8.
Metro and Northern Virginia jurisdictions will offer Metrobus, the Virginia Railway Express, bus shuttles and other transportation options during the closure.
D.C. Councilman Jack Evans, who chairs the agency’s board of directors, said such closures are unavoidable, similar to Metro’s SafeTrack project, which shut down numerous stations for weeks at a time as the entire system was overhauled.
“We need to repair these stations, we need to repair the tracks,” Evans said. “The only way to do it is to close them down for the summer. Our sympathies are with everyone. Could communication be better? It can always be better. So we will strive … to make sure our riders, the elected officials and the jurisdictions are aware of what our plans are and hopefully we can get through this.”