By Mitchell Hang

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has considered moving its headquarters to a new building in a nearby city for several years, and recently updated criteria have slimmed down the list of possibilities for a new location.

The J. Edgar Hoover Building in downtown Washington, D.C. has served as the headquarters for the FBI since 1975. In recent years, the building has suffered issues with limited space and structural defects. Plans to move the FBI to another building were proposed during the Obama administration, with the proposal being revived after President Joe Biden took office.

Officials have long considered Greenbelt, Maryland to be a potential location for the next site of the FBI, with Landover, Maryland and Springfield, Virginia being two other contenders. Their prospective locations are, respectively, near the Greenbelt Metrorail Station, the site of the former Landover Mall, and the current site of the General Services Administration Franconia Warehouse Complex.

Earlier this month, the General Services Administration (GSA) released its updated criteria for selecting the new site of the FBI offices, showing greater importance given to both the cost and sustainability of the location and a lesser importance given to both transportation access and the site’s proximity to the bureau’s training academy in Quantico, Virginia. The importance of site development flexibility remained unchanged.

“While there is much more work to do, I’m pleased to be moving toward closure in a more fair way,” Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said in a public statement. “Securing the FBI headquarters is a generational opportunity for Prince Georgians and all Marylanders, and I will continue to fight fiercely to bring this home.”

If the move to Greenbelt goes through, then the residents in nearby College Park could be faced with a number of new developments, such as restaurants and retail spaces, being built in the northern part of the city, thereby leading to more job opportunities.

In early 2021, local resident Larry Provost said the move would potentially be “a win-win for both the FBI and the area” as the city already offers affordable housing, plenty of parking spots and public transportation via the Metro.

The new office would house anywhere between 7,500 to 11,000 employees. The GSA is expected to make an official selection in the next few months.