New FBI Headquarters to be Located in Greenbelt, Maryland
The General Services Administration (GSA) has selected Greenbelt, Maryland as the location for the new FBI headquarters. The decision was made based on the site’s low cost, accessibility, potential for sustainability and equity, and project delivery certainty. However, the decision has sparked criticism from Virginia officials, who are disappointed that their state was not chosen and contend that the selection process was politicized.
FBI Headquarters Confirmed for Greenbelt, Maryland
The General Services Administration (GSA) has confirmed that the new FBI headquarters will be located in Greenbelt, Maryland. The selection puts an end to speculations and years of back-and-forth between Maryland and Virginia, who both lobbied for the chance.
Virginia officials voiced their disappointment after The Washington Post first reported the news. According to a GSA spokesperson, Greenbelt was chosen because it provided the lowest cost to taxpayers, the best access to transportation for FBI employees and visitors, and certainty on project delivery schedule. It also demonstrated the greatest potential for sustainability and equity.
FBI Headquarters Selection: Virginia’s Response
Virginia senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, criticized the decision, condemning the GSA for succumbing to political pressure and altering the site selection criteria at the 11th hour. The decision, according to them, was tainted by politics.
Virginia had touted Springfield for its proximity to the FBI Academy in Quantico. The GSA, however, released a scoring system that prioritized cost and social equity over closeness to the FBI Academy, prompting accusations of political interference from lawmakers.
Maryland Officials Celebrate New FBI Headquarters
Despite the criticism, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks defended the decision, thanking the GSA for being “so thoughtful in this decision”. Alsobrooks also pointed out that the Greenbelt site was between $300-500 million cheaper than the Virginia site as it was “shovel ready”, while the Virginia location would require demolishing or relocating buildings.
Maryland officials heralded the decision as a “historic moment”, stating that the FBI headquarters in Greenbelt would have a bigger economic impact and support the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to equity. House Speaker Adrienne Jones agreed, adding that Maryland’s “commitment to the FBI has been unwavering” in a social media post.
Plans to relocate the FBI headquarters have been in motion for over a decade. The move was paused during the Trump administration but resumed when President Joe Biden took office.
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