By Scott Baltic, Contributing Editor
In July 2014, the site selection options for the new $2.5 billion, 2.1 million-square-foot building were narrowed down to locations in Greenbelt, Md.; Landover, Md. (the largest of the three); and Springfield, Va. (currently the site of General Services Administration–owned warehouse).
In the latest play, the University of Maryland has put its thumb on the scale in favor of a Maryland site. Its National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism has proposed the creation of the Maryland Academy for Innovation and National Security. The academy would combine resources from the university’s College Park and Baltimore campuses to partner with the FBI on research and on offering “world class educational opportunities for FBI personnel during their tenure at FBI headquarters and beyond,” according to the university.
In January, the GSA issued Phase II of its Request for Proposals for the FBI headquarters consolidation project. (The GSA did not respond to Commercial Property Executive’s request for information.)
The successful bidder will not only build the new headquarters, but will take title to the FBI’s current headquarters, the J. Edgar Hoover Federal Building, on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. The Brutalist-style building has 1.77 million rentable square feet in, as a GSA document describes it, “a prime location for office, retail, and residential uses.”
Given the issues with the Hoover Building’s deferred maintenance and deteriorating concrete that were documented for some years before the decision was made to have the FBI bail out for a new headquarters, it seems likely that whoever the new owner is, they will demolish much or all of the hulking structure.
Finally, when the new location opens, it will be deja vu all over again for the FBI. When the Hoover Building opened in June 1974, the agency had headquarters employees scattered across nine buildings. And it took till June 1977 for the last of the FBI’s employees to finally relocate into the Hoover Building.