After years of debate about where, if at all, to relocate the FBI from downtown Washington, D.C. location, the agency’s newest headquarters will be located in Greenbelt, Maryland. office, as reported on Wednesday by The Washington Post. Greenbelt, next to Washington, D.C. Boundary, the chosen location after a rigorous year-long site selection process that included three finalists—Landover, Maryland, and Springfield, Virginia—was the eventual winner.
According to the Post, the new headquarters would serve as the focal point of a sizable 61-acre multi-use development project next to the Greenbelt Metro station. This complex will also include a hotel, retail establishments, and residences. The agency has often lamented that the J is too small. On Pennsylvania Avenue, close to the National Mall, is the Edgar Hoover Building. After the agency establishes the new headquarters, a process that may take years, it is uncertain what will happen to the renowned brutalist tower.
Politicians in the DMV region have focused on site selection because of the anticipated large economic boost from the headquarters. Politicians in Maryland stated early in the year that the agency’s location criteria were “not fair,” noting their desire to be close to its Quantico, Virginia, base. However, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) insisted on dropping that choice; therefore, it was subsequently abandoned. Later on in the process, cost-saving adjustments increased Maryland’s appeal.
In 2018, the agency was instructed to remain downtown by the former president of the United States, who was also engaged in the process. But remaining in D.C. would also mean exporting FBI positions to new locations around the nation as well as out of the district. Democrats said that Trump didn’t want the J, accusing him of self-dealing. The Edgar Hoover property was renovated a block away into a hotel that might match the one he owned at the time.
Trump did wish to retain the FBI located in downtown, according to an October Justice Department watchdog report, but he did not unduly influence the agency’s decision-making. Although some FBI leadership has expressed a desire to remain in Washington, D.C., others have subsequently said that the J. The Edgar Hoover building would have to change.
The headquarters proposal has drawn criticism from other conservatives as well; last summer, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was one of them. “This idea that we’re going to build a new big Pentagon and put all the FBI mainly in one place, I don’t think, is a good structure,” McCarthy stated in July. McCarthy stated that he would rather disperse the FBI over several sites.
“They’re asking for billions, and I just don’t think that’s the best use or the best structure,” he stated. According to the Post, the General Services Administration (GSA) and the FBI, together with the White House, authorized the panel that chose the Greenbelt project.
Pressuring Biden to pick Maryland as new FBI headquarters
Leaders in Maryland are putting further pressure on President Biden to choose Prince George’s County as the FBI’s new headquarters location, claiming that the search parameters have been changed to favor Virginia.
During a news conference on Wednesday, Maryland Representative Steny Hoyer (D) referred to the selection process as “unfair” because to the significant weight placed on the site’s proximity to the FBI Academy in Quantico. Senators, members of Congress, state representatives, and the governor of Maryland, Wes Moore (D), all agreed with Hoyer that Maryland ought to be chosen as the new location for the structure.
Moore stated on Wednesday, “All we’re asking for is a fair and transparent process and one where a thumb is not put on the scale to unfairly disadvantage a community that has already been disadvantaged historically.” “And we are confident that Maryland will win in a fair process.”
Additionally, Moore urged the Biden administration to construct the FBI headquarters in Maryland in an opinion piece published in the Washington Post on Wednesday. In the article, he made the argument that relocating the corporate headquarters to Maryland would improve the lot of Black people living in the state and reduce the income disparity between races.
Congress instructed the General Services Administration (GSA) in 2022 to pick one of the three locations from the 2016 selection process—Greenbelt, Maryland, Landover, Maryland, or Springfield, Virginia—for a new FBI complex “as expeditiously as possible.” Leaders in Maryland have united since then, and on Wednesday they presented their case to the GSA as to why Prince George’s County ought to be selected as the next location.
In September, the FBI published five sets of criteria for choosing a new site for the agency’s headquarters. These included the site’s ability to support the agency’s mission, such as its proximity to the Justice Department and the FBI Academy in Quantico, transportation access, flexibility in site development, promotion of equity and sustainable siting, and overall cost.
The Maryland leaders said that although each category had a varied weight, they should all be weighed equally.
According to a group of Maryland state officials, both Maryland locations satisfy all five requirements, provided that the weighting assigned to the proximity to Quantico criterion be lessened.
Van Hollen declared, “There is no dispute when it comes to cost.” “The Springfield site is significantly more expensive in Virginia than it is in Maryland.”