GSA announces three potential sites for FBI headquarters
By By John Fritze
The Baltimore Sun|
Jul 29, 2014 | 1:42 PM
WASHINGTON — The General Services Administration is considering three sites — including two in Maryland — as viable options for a new headquarters building for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to a long awaited short list of potential properties released Tuesday.
The two Maryland sites include one in Greenbelt, which local and state officials have supported, as well as the former Landover Mall, both in Prince George's County. The GSA is also considering a property in Springfield that Virginia officials have backed.
No sites were included from Washington.
"Both Greenbelt Station and Landover Mall are outstanding options," Gov. Martin O'Malley said in a statement. "Establishing the FBI headquarters at either site would provide phenomenal strategic advantages for the Bureau, catalyze sustainable development and bring more jobs and vitality to Prince George's County and Maryland."
Congressional delegations in both states have aggressively lobbied for the development — and its roughly 11,000 jobs. The FBI headquarters would rival the size of the largest federal agencies in Maryland, including the Social Security Administration in Woodlawn and the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda.
The agency is currently housed in the crumbling J. Edgar Hoover Building in downtown Washington.
"Greenbelt Station represents an unprecedented opportunity to successfully integrate transit oriented development while providing flexibility to develop a consolidated FBI Headquarters that meets all of the government's needs, without compromise," said Garth Beall, manager of Renard Development, the developer leading the Greenbelt effort.
Alan H. Gottlieb, chief operating officer of Lerner Enterprises, which owns the Landover Mall site, declined an interview request but said in a statement he was pleased the site made the short list.
Prince George's County officials have estimated the project would pump $180 million in annual tax revenue into the state and independent economists have said that, over time, a growing share of the agency's employees would settle in the region.
The GSA will now conduct environmental reviews on each of the sites, which includes opportunities for public comment. A GSA spokeswoman said the timline for such review varies. During the review, the GSA will also release the first of a two-phase request for proposals seeking developers.
In a joint statement, members of the state's congressional delegation applauded the inclusion of two Maryalnd sites.
"Every day, the men and women of the FBI fight to keep 300 million Americans safe from crime, organized crime, cyberattacks and terrorism," according to the joint statement. "But they are operating out of a headquarters that is in disrepair. They need a new, modern headquarters to suit the FBI's modern mission."
Rep. Gerry Connolly, a Democrat who represents Northern Virginia, noted the Springfield site's nexus to the Central Intelligence Agency's headquarters, an FBI training facility and other intelligence-related buildings in his state.