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Vision for the Future
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Vision for the Future

National Industries for the Blind breaks ground in Potomac Yard.

An artist’s rendering shows the proposed Potomac Yard headquarters for the National Industries for the Blind. The seven-story building, will be approximately 100,000 square feet with retail space on the ground floor.

An artist’s rendering shows the proposed Potomac Yard headquarters for the National Industries for the Blind. The seven-story building, will be approximately 100,000 square feet with retail space on the ground floor.

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Alexandria Deputy Sheriff Todd Stubblefield, right, with Keith Tyson of Blind Industries and Services of Maryland, who sang the National Anthem.

“This new building will ensure that we can continue to perform our mission well into the future.” — NIB president and CEO Kevin Lynch

The Alexandria-based National Industries for the Blind held a groundbreaking ceremony Oct. 28 to formally begin construction on a new 100,000-square foot headquarters building at The Exchange at Potomac Yard.

“This is an exciting day for us,” said NIB president and CEO Kevin Lynch. “This new building will ensure that we can continue to perform our mission well into the future.”

Founded 78 years ago, NIB is a nonprofit organization and the nation’s largest employment resource for people who are blind. Currently located at Braddock Metro, the company has been in Alexandria since 1994.

“The mission of NIB cannot be overstated,” said Mayor Allison Silberberg. “With the unemployment rate of working age blind Americans at 70 percent, this is a noble mission and it is an honor to have you here in the City of Alexandria.”

The new headquarters building will stand seven stories tall with NIB occupying 53,000 square feet of office space. An additional 40,000 square feet of office space will be available and 7,000 square feet of retail space will be located on the ground floor.

Expected to open in mid-2018, the building will incorporate universal design elements and provide an expanded training facility utilizing advanced accessibility technologies.

“This is a historic milestone for NIB, our employees and the associated nonprofit agencies we support,” Lynch said. “Our investment and commitment to creating new employment opportunities for people who are blind is truly coming to fruition with the start of construction.”

The NIB building will be located directly across from the Potomac Yard Metro Station, scheduled to open in 2020, and next door to the future site of the Institute for Defense Analyses.

Partnering with NIB in the construction of the new headquarters are MRP Realty and The JBG Companies, who are co-developing The Exchange at Potomac Yard. The Exchange at Potomac Yard is an approximately two million square foot development that includes more than 500 units of residential apartments and a 65,000-square foot Giant grocery store.

“Today represents the culmination of many years of planning,” said NIB board chair Jeanne Morin. “But now we are positioned for many years of success. For NIB, the best is yet to come.”

For more information, visit NIB.org.