Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Lockheed Martin broke ground this week on a new building in Chantilly in its latest effort to win more Defense Department information-technology contracts.

The 145,000-square-foot Stonegate II building is being built under a $35 million contract that developer Opus East says includes significant security measures.

Each of the six floors can be segregated according to Defense Department security clearances.

About 600 employees from Lockheed Martin’s Integrated Systems and Solutions sector are scheduled to work at Stonegate II.

“The building’s really a custom-tailored building for Lockheed Martin,” said Matthew F. Holbrook, Opus East’s director of real estate.

Opus East will own the building but lease it back to Bethesda’s Lockheed Martin.

Stonegate II is the second installment in a three-building complex Lockheed Martin plans to build on its Westfields corporate campus in Chantilly. It is being built adjacent to the nearly identical Stonegate I building. Stonegate III will take at least a year to obtain site planning approval and building permits from Fairfax County before construction can begin, the developers said.

Approval of site planning for Stonegate II took an astonishingly fast 50 days, underscoring the importance county officials place on the project. Similar projects can take nine months.

“We expedited those things for them,” said Gerald L. Gordon, president of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. He described the economic benefit the county could derive from the project as “pretty large.”

The Lockheed Martin employees are supposed to develop “some of the most complex systems this country is building now,” said Bill Graham, the company’s vice president of systems integration.

The communications systems, computer simulation and modeling work reflect computer-age warfare and the need for “very quick turnover of information,” Mr. Graham said. “That’s what we’re all about.”

The Stonegate II building continues Lockheed Martin’s effort to stay close to its customers and business partners, namely the Pentagon and contractors such as Northrop Grumman, which has a building only a few blocks away.

Lockheed Martin employs about 15,700 workers in the Washington area.

In other news …

• The Arlington County School Board has awarded the contract to build a new 350,000-square-foot, $85 million Washington-Lee High School in Arlington to Gaithersburg-based Hess Construction Co. The contract calls for the phased demolition of the existing 225,000-square-foot high school on the same 19.5-acre site at 1300 N. Quincy St.

Classes in the 1,600-student high school will be moved to the new building while work on the gymnasium, pool, theater and athletic fields continue. Construction is set to begin this spring and be completed in late 2007 or early 2008.

• George Washington University and the D.C. Public Schools have filed an application for a planned unit development with the D.C. Zoning Commission, proposing an expansion and upgrade to the School Without Walls public high school at 2130 G St. NW and a new undergraduate residence hall for the university. The residence hall is slated to cost $75 million and be completed by fall 2009. No cost estimate was announced on the School Without Walls expansion.

Property Lines runs on Thursdays. Call Tom Ramstack at 202/636-3180 or e-mail

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