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FBI Planning Massive New Headquarters

The agency has outgrown its 41-year-old facility in downtown Washington, D.C.

By University Alliance on May 04, 2015
FBI to Swap J. Edgar Hoover Building for New HQ

A developer is being sought to build a new Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters in exchange for rights to demolish and redevelop the law enforcement agency’s outdated J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building in downtown Washington, D.C.

The new headquarters will be home to approximately 11,000 FBI personnel, nearly half of whom currently work at 20 leased locations around the greater Washington area. Selection of the winning developer isn’t expected until mid-2016 and it could be 2022 before the new HQ is completed, according to the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).

Price tag? It’s currently estimated at $2 billion.

Three suburban sites in Maryland and Virginia are being considered for the new headquarters, which would be up to 2.1 million square feet:

  • A 58-acre tract in Fairfax County, Virginia, that is within a mile of a Metro subway station and a ramp of Interstate 495, better known as the Capital Beltway. The property is owned by the GSA.
  • A 62-acre site in Prince George’s County, Maryland, that’s adjacent to a Metro station and inside the Beltway.
  • An 80-acre former mall site in Prince George’s County, Maryland, that’s about 2 miles from a Metro station and inside the Beltway.

The GSA has said an additional 3,000 to 5,000 federal workers who support the FBI’s operations may eventually be relocated to the selected site.

In return for constructing a new headquarters, the developer will receive rights to the Hoover Building, which opened in 1974 after numerous delays at a cost of $126.1 million. The agency has outgrown that facility.

“Fragmentation resulting from FBI HQ’s multiple locations diverts time and resources from investigations, hampers coordination and collaboration, and decreases flexibility,” according to the GSA.

The 2.4 million-square-foot Hoover Building sits on almost 7 acres along Pennsylvania Avenue, just three blocks from The White House. It is zoned for residential, retail and office uses. Just a block away, developer Donald Trump has begun the $200 million transformation of The Old Post Office building into a luxury hotel set to open in 2016.

Trump’s planned hotel and other nearby construction projects are part of a renaissance of downtown D.C. from a crime-plagued, government and tourist town to a hip hub for young tech entrepreneurs and other creative types who want to live in the urban core. Forbes recently ranked D.C. as “America’s Coolest City.”

Developers had until Feb. 10, 2015, to submit bids for the FBI project; the GSA is set to announce the bidders in May 2015 and award the contract a year later. Bid requirements call for developers to have access to at least $1 billion in liquid assets.

Category: 2015 Headlines