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  • APTA Breaks Ground on New Headquarters: APTA Centennial Center

    APTA Breaks Ground on New Headquarters

    Let the construction begin: current and former APTA leaders gathered in Alexandria, Virginia, to celebrate the groundbreaking of APTA Centennial Center, a 7-story, 115,000-square-foot building that will be the association's headquarters beginning in 2021.

    The building will support APTA's workforce of the future and better serve the evolving needs of the association's members. But APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, noted that it's also a testament to APTA's proud history.

    "Today marks a culmination of decades of vision, dedication, and leadership," Dunn said at the groundbreaking ceremony. "Today is possible due to the legacy of past leaders in the American Physical Therapy Association. It is a legacy of stewardship and of investing in the next generation."

    The investment is more than symbolic. An exploratory work group of APTA members discovered that the cost of adequately renovating APTA's existing headquarters—the association's national home since 1983—would be similarly expensive with only a marginal increase in asset value for the association. By selling the current buildings, which are likely to be redeveloped into more valuable mixed-use properties, APTA was able to capitalize on the opportunity provided by constructing a new headquarters that is more consistent with the association's values and business needs.

    APTA Centennial Center will be many things that APTA's current headquarters are not. For one, APTA staff will be able to occupy a single building, spread out primarily across 2.5 of APTA Centennial Center's 7 floors, rather than divided across multiple smaller buildings, as currently. The new building also will be much more accessible to those who use public transportation, with a new Metrorail station being constructed just across the street (APTA's current headquarters are 1 mile from the nearest Metrorail station). But perhaps most exciting, APTA Centennial Center will better promote movement and health in its physical presentation and its connectivity to paths that promote active transportation and exercise.

    APTA Board of Directors at Groundbreaking
    APTA Board of Directors at the groundbreaking ceremony for APTA's new headquarters.

    The association anticipates that APTA Centennial Center will be a LEED-certified "Silver" facility that meets environmental sustainability standards, and that it will also receive the highest certification from FitWel, a program that recognizes the ways a building encourages fitness, social equity, more healthful food options, and other factors that contribute to a healthier workplace.

    "Our new headquarters will serve as a continual reminder of APTA's dedication to health, wellness, and rehabilitation, community-building and collaboration, and social and environmental responsibility," Dunn said. "It will be a place where staff, members, and visitors can feel empowered to work toward shared goals in a setting that exemplifies our shared values."

    Association and community members who visit APTA Centennial Center will find more space for them, from a ground floor that is likely to include temporary exhibits to a top floor that significantly expands APTA's conference and meeting space, including a partial roof terrace. (Two-and-a-half floors of APTA Centennial Center will be tenant space.)

    Also encouraging for the long-term value of the association's new property is its burgeoning location. APTA Centennial Center is part of a National Landing region that will include Amazon's new Virginia headquarters, plus a $1 billion Virginia Tech Innovation Campus that will be just down the street. Nearly completed and beginning to be occupied is a new headquarters for the National Industries for the Blind, which will sit next to APTA Centennial Center.

    "This building is an investment in our future and in the Alexandria community that APTA has called home for 36 years," said APTA Chief Executive Officer Justin Moore, PT, DPT. "It's also a commitment to best serve the physical therapy profession, and to empower our members to pursue APTA's vision of transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience."

    Sharon Dunn APTA President
    APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, called the building an investment in APTA's future.

    APTA anticipates occupying the building in January 2021, as the association begins its centennial year.

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    • Nice

      Posted by Dinesh on 1/23/2019 5:06 AM

    • Where is this located from the current headquarters location?

      Posted by Kay Scanlon -> ?JPZE on 1/23/2019 4:21 PM

    • I'm sorry but I don't see the value in paying high dues so that the APTA can have a wonderful new building to do it's job. Plenty of PT practitioners don't have a beautiful place to work out of because it's usually not affordable based on reimbursements. APTA wanted a doctorate level profession but no one makes any more than before, other than the PT schools. DPT's have equal to or more education than PA's but make 1/2 to 1/3 of what they do. I don't see how a new building is of value to anyone that doesn't work directly under roof. How about you spend the money in sending more people to Washington to lobby for the profession...you know, like Chiropractors do!

      Posted by Kim on 1/23/2019 4:25 PM

    • As a member of the APTA Board in 1983 when we moved from Washington, DC to Alexandria, this great step in our profession’s growth is exciting and further establishes our rightful place as a leader in the health care system.

      Posted by J. Carolyn Hultgren on 1/23/2019 4:31 PM

    • Congratulations!

      Posted by Tammy L Phillips, PTA on 1/24/2019 5:40 AM

    • @Kay: The APTA Centennial Center will still be in Alexandria, Virginia, but about 2 miles north of APTA's current location--closer to National Airport and adjacent to a planned Potomac Yard DC Metro station.

      Posted by APTA Staff on 1/24/2019 5:53 AM

    • Two glaring omissions in this article...please share with us hard working APTA members the total cost of this building. And how will it be paid?

      Posted by Thomas Houghtalen, DPT on 1/24/2019 7:28 AM

    • APTA Centennial Center is on my "bucket list".Celebrating my 55th year as life member of the APTA I am so very proud of our organization---CONGRATULATIONS!

      Posted by Ralph F. Lucarelli,MS,PT,Ed. on 1/24/2019 7:59 AM

    • Your kidding us right? A bloated bureaucracy patting itself on the back and rewarding itself with a brand new building the size of a small rural hospital.. Beautifully furnished and appointed I suppose. Piano and fountain in the lobby? GET OVER YOURSELVES APTA BOARD...you are funded by membership dues. You exist to serve your members and by extension the public we the members serve. Period. Members want the money spent on your new "ivory tower of excess" spent in 100s of other areas. Reimbursement, branding, advocacy, member support, member benefits and discounts etc to name but a few. Here is an idea.. why don't APTA use the buying power of 100,000+ members to negotiate a decent professional group health insurance plan. THAT would be a member benefit worth my dues...not the new building. Looking forward to reviewing the financial report to see the enormous amount of money wasted on this building in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the country. FYI Board...many companies are moving their offices OUT of Alexandria towards Chantilly etc BECAUSE of the enormous cost of being in Alexandria. STOP SPENDING MEMBERS MONEY ON YOUR LUXURIOUS NEEDS

      Posted by Christopher Showalter -> >IX_<K on 1/24/2019 9:06 AM

    • I agree with Kim's frustration with the prior post about how dues are being spent. Is PT reimbursement increasing? Are PT salaries increasing? Is our footprint in the healthcare world increasing? Are we as a profession increasing being used as a primary point of contact due to the APTA's efforts? The answer is NO. So if this building will accomplish a YES to those questions then I am all for it. If not, which I believe it will not accomplish that, then it is a complete waste of money and a slap in the face to anyone who has ever paid dues.

      Posted by Jonathon on 1/24/2019 10:55 AM

    • Not very excited to see my membership fees going towards this. I don’t see how it helps me or my profession that people on Virginia have better access to work from public transportation. I have had 2 colleagues decide not to renew memberships this year and I will follow. The APTA is demonstrating just how out of touch they are with the reality of how we clinicians are actually practicing.

      Posted by Steve on 1/24/2019 1:31 PM

    • I understand why some of my fellow members are concerned about the cost, but the bottom line seems pretty clear to me if you understand real estate: If APTA's existing buildings are worth more SOLD to become mixed use, that means selling and building is a MUCH better use of membership dues than staying and renovating. Pretty simple. I'm sure in 1983 members had the same complaints.

      Posted by Matt C on 1/25/2019 11:09 AM

    • Just the maintenance and overhead boggles the mind. That's not where we want our money spent.

      Posted by Tom Cooney DPT on 1/27/2019 9:05 AM

    • I agree with the above complaints. What will this new building do to change the fact that our dues support an inept, self-serving bureaucracy. I already stopped PAC contributions because those people have not the skill nor desire to effect real change. They think that if they really accomplished anything, members would stop paying dues and their cushy jobs would be gone. It's official, I just eliminated the APTA dues paid benefit for all 7 therapists.

      Posted by Sean Hayes -> =NX`?M on 1/31/2019 1:53 PM

    • FYI: The BoD and staff spent two years trying to decide to “list it or love it”. In the end, 1111 N Fairfax repairs and renovations would cost more than a new building. Selection of the location was part BOD genius and part luck. We bought land in the last undeveloped area of Alexandria. Last summer Amazon announced building their headquarters on the Same undeveloped property. Now restaurants and hotels are planning to completely use the rest of the property. If it’s any comfort, I complained about a grandiose building at 111 N Fairfax in 1973. I’m thankful for our brilliant, forward thinking BoD and staff who make wise, frugal and prudent decisions! I can’t wait to visit the centennial building!

      Posted by Linda Eargle on 2/1/2019 8:19 PM

    • 55 years,life member APTA,congrats to all who have pushed our profession to achieve such a wonderful goal.My bucket list includes visiting our new home.

      Posted by Ralph F. Lucarelli,PT,MS. on 6/1/2019 7:06 PM

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