A possible Springfield location for the FBI’s new headquarters facility is still in the running.
The General Services Administration (GSA) announced its short list of possible sites for the new headquarters, which is now located in downtown Washington, D.C., in the aging J. Edgar Hoover Building. The new headquarters will also allow the agency to consolidate several office locations around the region.
The Springfield location, near the intersection of Interstate 95 and Franconia Road, is owned by the GSA and contains warehouse buildings.
There is also a large, privately owned piece of land adjacent to the warehouse property that could be part of a land swap deal. Last year, the GSA solicited proposals from private developers that were willing to build the new headquarters building in exchange for the Hoover Building property.
With either option, the site offers access to Metro, Virginia Railway Express and bus service, as well as quick access to Interstates 95, 395 and 495.
“All the sites named today have advantages, but we believe the Springfield site best meets the criteria laid out for the FBI,” said Gerald Gordon, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. “Our main hope is that the FBI has a location that best allows the bureau and its employees to fulfill their important mission in the most productive and efficient manner possible.”
The Springfield site is competing against a site at the Greenbelt Metro Station and one at the former Landover Mall property, both in Prince George’s County, Md.
Supervisor Jeff McKay (D-Lee), a longtime advocate for replacing the warehouses with office buildings, said the short-listed teams were not really a surprise. Although there were a number of other sites in the running, those were always at the top, he said.
“They’re the only ones that make logical sense,” he said. “It will be great that we can focus now on what the different characteristics are of each of these sites.”
With only one possible site in Virginia, McKay and Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Sharon Bulova (D-At large) said that local, state and congressional officials here can continue their united effort to lure the property, and the accompanying jobs, to Springfield.
“The project would help spur redevelopment in that area and because it is federally owned, this site is a lower cost option for the FBI. Virginia is unified behind this site and we feel it is the best of the three,” Bulova said.
Next, the GSA will proceed with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews on each of the three sites. The review process includes opportunities for public comment.
During the review period, GSA also will initiate the first part of a two-phase request for proposal seeking qualified developers for the project. The second phase includes the solicitation of development proposals from the developers identified in the first phase.
The process is expected to conclude in 2015.