FBI Headquarters Decision Near as Virginia, Maryland Amp Up Appeals
The FBI is close to picking a new headquarters.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation currently calls the increasingly decrepit J. Edgar Hoover Building at 935 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., home. A new home would not only house the employees who work in the Hoover building, but would also allow the FBI to consolidate other offices.
Talks about finding a new home stretch through four presidential administrations now, all the way back to 2004. The Obama administration proposed three options, but the Trump administration halted those.
The Biden administration’s 2023 budget request released in January included an FBI headquarters for more than 7,500 workers.
This month, both Virginia and Maryland lawmakers made pitches for the project, with a Virginia legislative commission approving incentives worth approximately $10 million for the project, and Maryland offering $200 million in incentives.
The three finalists for the new home are the 58-acre Franconia Warehouse Complex in Springfield, Va., which the federal General Services Administration owns; a 61-acre site in Greenbelt, Md., near the Greenbelt Metro station controlled by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority; and an 80-acre site owned by Lerner Enterprises at the former Landover Mall in Landover, Md.
Among the factors GSA will consider when selecting a new location are proximity to the FBI Academy at Quantico, transportation access, cost, site flexibility, equity and various construction concerns.
“The new FBI headquarters belongs here, because we have a rock-solid case for why Springfield across each and every one of the criterion,” Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin said at a press conference on Wednesday, pointing out that companies such as Amazon, Boeing and Raytheon Technologies have all recently selected the state for new headquarters. “Springfield is simply better situated, and that is how the decision should be made.”
The GSA, which runs leasing and building operations for the federal government, will meet with representatives from both states in late February and early March so they can give final pitches based on the criteria.
“GSA and FBI are committed to deliberate and thoughtful engagement with our partners in Congress on this project,” a GSA spokesperson said in a statement. “We look forward to receiving feedback from stakeholders and are also committed to a fair and transparent process that results in selecting a site that best meets the needs of the FBI and the American people over the long term.”
As the search winds down, the GSA is also looking to keep a presence in the District, and has recently submitted a prospectus to Congress seeking permission to lease 214,000 square feet at Douglas Development’s 1025 F Street NW for the next two decades.
The FBI currently pays $9.2 million a year to lease 200,432 square feet in the same building under a 10-year lease that expires Nov. 24, 2025.
The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works must approve the prospectus before it can move forward. A decision is expected in the next month.
Keith Loria can be reached at Kloria@commercialobserver.com.