(The Center Square) — The federal government has finally selected Greenbelt, Maryland, as the location for its new FBI headquarters, concluding a search process that began more than 10 years ago.
Congress authorized the General Services Administration to start looking for a new site for the FBI headquarters in 2012 after a decade of complaints about the security, technological capabilities, “deteriorating infrastructure,” and other issues with the current facility in Washington, D.C. The GSA narrowed its search to Greenbelt and Landover, Maryland, and Springfield, Virginia, in 2014, and state lawmakers and officials from both states have actively pursued the selection of their state throughout.
The sites were evaluated on serving the FBI’s mission, transportation, adaptability, equity and cost.
“GSA determined Greenbelt to be the best option for the FBI and the United States government because the site was the lowest cost to taxpayers, provided the greatest transportation access to FBI employees and visitors, and gave the government the most certainty on project delivery schedule. It also provided the highest potential to advance sustainability and equity,” the agency said in a statement.
Virginia Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner weren’t pleased. They, along with Gov. Glenn Youngkin and the state legislature, have all been involved in attempting to persuade the GSA of the superiority of the Springfield site. They released a joint statement on Wednesday.
“We’re deeply disappointed that, despite the clear case that Virginia is the best home for the FBI, the Administration went a different direction,” the statement said.
They went on to express frustration over the selection criteria being changed “at the 11th hour” due to political pressures, referring to the changes the agency made in July, elevating equity and cost in the decision and reducing the influence of the FBI’s mission and transportation after receiving complaints from Maryland.
Maryland officials and lawmakers are, of course, thrilled with the agency’s choice. They released a statement, along with Gov. Wes Moore, on Thursday.
“We agree with the GSA’s determination that based on merit the Greenbelt site is best suited to serve the present and future FBI…. Our decades-long , bipartisan effort to bring the Maryland sites’ many merits to the GSA’s attention was never about politics. It was always about making the case for what is best for the FBI, our region, and the country,” they said in their press release.
“Team Maryland,” as they call themselves, had said in the past that building in Maryland instead of Virginia would save the government $1 billion.
It’s been reported that the new facility will house 7,500 employees.