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FBI HQ to Move “Expeditiously,” With Occupancy Planned for 2036

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Posted on: May 1, 2024

By ANNA BEDFORD-DILLOW, Greenbelt News Review

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) “intends to expeditiously move forward” with the new FBI Headquarters in Greenbelt, states a new report. It will utilize the GSA’s existing balance of approximately $845 million and submit further requests in future fiscal years “for construction and fit out activities.” Despite the Inspector General’s ongoing probe, President Biden’s budget included $3.5 billion in funding for the project (see the March 21 issue), which will help the project press ahead.

As required within 180 days of selecting a site, the GSA has submitted a report on the new FBI Headquarters to the Appropriations Committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. According to that report, the site will comprise approximately 2.1 million rentable square feet (excluding parking) to bring together employees from the current headquarters at the J. Edgar Hoover Building in D.C. (a building the report describes as “failing” and “obsolete”) and an estimated eight other leased locations across the National Capital Region on the 61-acre site in Greenbelt. The new headquarters is planned to accommodate a minimum of 7,500 personnel.

Timeline

It will be more than a decade before those personnel occupy the headquarters, however. The timeline for the project anticipates a design phase to occur from 2026 to 2028 and construction to take place from 2029 to 2035. Occupancy is slated for 2036. (For comparison, construction began on the J. Edgar Hoover Building in March 1965 and it was occupied in 1974.)

The report states that the headquarters will follow laws and regulations related to sustainable design and “ensure that the building systems are operated and maintained efficiently over the long term, protecting the government’s investment.”

To date, appropriations for the project have totaled $850 million.

Rationale for Greenbelt

In summarizing the location, the GSA states in its report, “GSA determined Greenbelt to be the best option for the FBI and the United States government because the site is the lowest cost to taxpayers, provides the greatest transportation access to FBI employees and visitors, and gives the government the most certainty on project delivery schedule. The Greenbelt site also provides the highest potential to advance sustainability and equity. The land, located at the Greenbelt Metrorail Station, in Prince George’s County, Maryland, is owned by the State of Maryland and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).”

Site Selection History and Controversy

The GSA selected the Greenbelt site on September 30, 2023, says the report. It was announced November 9, 2023, after a search that spanned 14 years (see the November 16, 2023, News Review). On November 30, 2023, the Office of the Inspector General of the GSA initiated an “evaluation” to assess the process and procedure for the site selection, after Virginia lawmakers and FBI Director Christopher Wray, all of whom preferred a Springfield, Va., location, cried foul because the GSA ignored a panel’s recommendations (see the December 7, 2023, News Review). However, panel recommendations were disregarded earlier in the search, too, as one had ruled Springfield out from the finalists.


This article first appeared in the Greenbelt News Review and is reprinted with permission.

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