FBI Chooses Maryland Site for New HQ Over Virginia

GSA selected Greenbelt, Md., after multi-year process


Following an extensive years-long decision-making process, the General Services Administration (GSA) has chosen Greenbelt, Md., as the new headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). 

The FBI will relocate from their current headquarters at the J. Edgar Hoover building in Washington, D.C. where they’ve been located since 1975. The new site will also consolidate 11,000 workers from more than a dozen locations around the D.C. region.

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 “GSA looks forward to building the FBI a state-of-the-art headquarters campus in Greenbelt to advance their critical mission for years to come,” Robin Carnahan, GSA’s administrator, said in a prepared statement.

The search for a new FBI headquarters began under the Bush administration and continued under President Barack Obama, while the aging J. Edgar Hoover building continued to deteriorate. President Donald Trump nearly canceled the search, and congressional urging put it back on course in 2022. 

In September of that year, the GSA narrowed the choices from 30 potential sites to three—a 62-acre site adjacent to the Greenbelt Metro station and the former Landover Mall, both in Prince George’s County, and the 58-acre GSA-owned Franconia Warehouse Complex in Springfield, Va.

It was determined on Wednesday that the Greenbelt site met the FBI’s criteria for selecting the site. Among the factors that weighed into the decision were Greenbelt offered the lowest cost to taxpayers, offered the most certainty for on-time project delivery, and had the most convenient access to current FBI employees, according to GSA. It also would be close to the Metro, which also weighed in on the decision.

Additionally, the site also provided the most potential for the advancement of sustainability and equity.

Earlier this year, a Maryland delegation of 12 lawmakers called on President Biden to weigh in on where to put the new FBI headquarters, championing the Maryland site as an “opportunity to right the wrongs of decades of systemic racism and discrimination by our nation’s [marquee] law enforcement agency.”

The 62-acre Greenbelt site will not only include the FBI headquarters, but would be a mixed-use development that would also include apartments, a hotel and retail offerings.

A developer has not been named, and it’s believed that it will take years to complete as funding must still be approved by congress.

Not surprisingly, Virginia lawmakers did not take kindly to the news.

“We’re deeply disappointed that despite the clear case that Virginia is the best home for the FBI, the Administration went a different direction,” Senator Mark Warner and Tim Kaine said in a joint statement Wednesday night. “We spent years appropriately criticizing the last Administration for politicizing the new FBI headquarters, only for a new Administration to come in and allow politics to taint the selection process.” 

Keith Loria can be reached at Kloria@commercialobserver.com.