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National Industries for the Blind to Construct New Headquarters Facility

Decision to construct building incorporating universal design sets the stage for future growth of organization

March 11, 2015, ALEXANDRIA, VA — National Industries for the Blind (NIB), the nation’s largest employment resource for people who are blind, announced it has entered into a contract to purchase a parcel of land at The Exchange at Potomac Yard in Alexandria, Virginia, where it will construct a new corporate headquarters. Expected to open in late 2017, the building will serve as a space for NIB to more fully serve its mission to create meaningful employment opportunities for people who are blind.

Working closely with its Board of Directors, NIB management concluded, after extensive research and collaboration with consultants, that construction of a new headquarters building is a sound investment for the organization’s financial future. It was determined that owning a new, LEED-certified headquarters would be substantially more economically favorable than continuing to lease inefficient office space. The building will incorporate universal design principles so that all individuals can take full advantage of the space.

“This decision marks a turning point in our organization and demonstrates confidence in our continued growth,” said NIB President and CEO Kevin A. Lynch. “We will be better positioned to enhance our workforce capabilities, provide our associated agencies with a home base in the Washington, D.C., area and train employees with the best resources available.”

Incorporating universal design principles, the new 70,000 square foot headquarters—with the capacity to expand in the future to 100,000 square feet—will provide the space for NIB to continue to help its employees develop careers through challenging, knowledge-based positions in high-energy, quality work environments. The building will include an expanded training facility with a computer lab, a showroom to feature products manufactured by NIB associated nonprofit agencies and a conference center for networking and special events that can also be shared with other like-minded organizations and nonprofits.

The rapidly developing Potomac Yard area will provide a variety of resources for employees and visitors, including greater access to a variety of lodging and dining options that will make hosting training and networking events more convenient. The building will be located directly across the street from the proposed Potomac Yard Metro Station, scheduled to open in 2018. MetroWay rapid transit bus service will be just feet from the entrance of the building for easy access.

The Exchange at Potomac Yard is an approximately two million square foot town center development that includes The Alric, a 323-unit residential apartment building that delivered last year and is currently leasing apartments, and Notch 8, a 253-unit residential building which includes the retail anchor for the town center, a new 65,000 square foot Giant grocery store, to be delivered later this year.

NIB is working with a number of partners in construction of the new headquarters, including MRP Realty and The JBG Companies, who are co-developing The Exchange at Potomac Yard.

“MRP Realty and The JBG Companies are very excited that NIB has selected The Exchange at Potomac Yard as its new headquarters facility location, and we are working together with NIB to make their facility a reality,” said Frederick Rothmeijer, founding principal at MRP Realty, and Andy VanHorn, a principal at The JBG Companies.

NIB is also working with commercial real estate firm JLL, real estate consulting firm Clear Real Estate Services, law firms Arent Fox and McGuire Woods LLP, architectural firm Davis Carter Scott LTD, civil engineering firm Walter Phillips Inc., and financial consulting from BB&T Capital Markets.

NIB is committed to investing in the future of its associated nonprofit agencies and their employees. With nearly 70 percent of people who are blind not working, NIB is dedicated to creating, sustaining and improving employment for people who are blind.

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About National Industries for the Blind
For more than 76 years, National Industries for the Blind (NIB) has been focused on enhancing the opportunities for economic and personal independence of people who are blind, primarily through creating, sustaining and improving employment. NIB and its network of 94 associated nonprofit agencies nationwide serve as the largest employer for people who are blind by the sale of SKILCRAFT® and other products and services through the AbilityOne® Program, established by the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act. For more information about NIB, visit www.NIB.org.

Contact:
Laura Reimers
Vice President, Communications
703-310-0453
lreimers@nib.org