Springfield will not become the future home of the new FBI headquarters. The FBI will move from DC to Greenbelt, the General Services Administration said Wednesday, ending a location search that has gone on for more than a decade, pitting Virginia against Maryland.
Since 2014, Springfield has been in the final three selection sites, along with Greenbelt and Landover, both in Maryland’s Prince George’s County.
“GSA looks forward to building the FBI a state-of-the-art headquarters campus in Greenbelt to advance their critical mission for years to come,” GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan said in a statement Wednesday, according to The Washington Post, the first to report on the selection.
The multibillion-dollar, state-of-the-art complex would be built on 61 acres outside the Greenbelt Metro station.
The FBI, which determined back in 2005 that it would need a new headquarters building, has always said its requirements included proximity to the FBI Academy in Quantico and to the Justice Department in DC. The GSA also added site development flexibility, sustainability and equity, access to transportation, and cost to the criteria, but then changed the weighting of those categories in July.
Under the new weighting, GSA reduced the FBI’s requirements to 25 percent from 35 percent, reduced transportation access to 20 percent from 25 percent, increased sustainability and equity to 20 percent from 15 percent, and increased cost to 20 percent from 10 percent, according to Maryland Matters.
According to the GSA, Greenbelt was selected because it was the least expensive and provided the greatest transportation access. The GSA also said Greenbelt “gave the government the most certainty on project delivery schedule. It also provided the highest potential to advance sustainability and equity.”
Virginia leaders had aggressively pushed for the Springfield site because it would put the new headquarters closer to the FBI’s Quantico training site and would have promoted equity with the Springfield area’s diverse populations.
Virginia Leaders Disappointed
Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine issued this joint statement, expressing diappointment:
“We’re deeply disappointed that despite the clear case that Virginia is the best home for the FBI, the Administration went a different direction. It’s especially disappointing that the FBI’s initial criteria for this decision – developed independently by the GSA and affirmed by Congress just last year – were changed at the 11th hour by the Administration following political pressure. We spent years appropriately criticizing the last Administration for politicizing the new FBI headquarters – only for a new Administration to come in and allow politics to taint the selection process. We know from our experience recruiting Hilton, Capital One, Northrop Grumman, Amazon, and many other companies to Virginia that our Commonwealth is the best state for business, and we’ll continue to focus on promoting economic growth and supporting law enforcement in the Commonwealth.”
Rep. Gerry Connolly also said the federal agency caved to political pressure. “While Virginia’s loss is also the FBI’s, GSA’s reputation for objective procurement free from politics has taken a mortal hit today from which it will struggle to recover for years into the future,” he said.
Feature image, stock.adobe.com
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