WASHINGTON (AP/WJZ) — The headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a storied building named after the agency’s first director, would be relocated out of the nation’s capital and into the suburbs under a federal government proposal released Tuesday.
The General Services Administration, which oversees federal office space, named two sites in suburban Maryland and one in northern Virginia as the three finalists for the new FBI headquarters.
The GSA had been looking to move the FBI to a new location, setting off jockeying from officials in Washington, Maryland and Virginia to win the location.
The three sites on the shortlist are the Greenbelt Metro station in Maryland; on the site of a former mall in Landover, Maryland; or at a warehouse complex in Franconia, Virginia.
“Both Greenbelt Station and Landover Mall are outstanding options,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley 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. Thanks to the dedication of our Congressional delegation, local leadership and private sector partners, Maryland has two of the strongest proposals our state has ever seen.”
“Today’s important announcement highlights the great assets that Maryland and Prince George’s County’s can provide to the FBI: world-class universities, a highly trained workforce, a well-developed transit system, proximity to other key federal facilities, and strong partnerships between federal, state, and local government and community leader,” said Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in a release. “Together, we remain committed to bringing the FBI headquarters to Prince George’s County because it will help grow our local economy and create job opportunities for Marylanders.”
The J. Edgar Hoover Building, a hulking Brutalist structure that began housing workers in 1974 on prime Pennsylvania Avenue real estate, is known by many Americans for its appearances in news broadcasts and movies. Millions have visited for tours, which are now discontinued.
But the FBI has long complained that the building is obsolete, inefficient and no longer meets the needs of an agency that has grown dramatically in the last 40 years. Those findings were confirmed by a 2011 Government Accountability Office report that agreed the building didn’t meet the agency’s long-term security needs.
The GSA will now start to assess the environmental impact of building on the three sites, take comments from the public and solicit bids from potential developers.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)