With Sears on its way out from Landover, where it is all that remains of Landover Mall, Lerner Enterprises is throwing its hat in the ring as a candidate to build a new headquarters for the FBI.
Lerner, the development firm of Washington Nationals owner Theodore N. Lerner, submitted the 88-acre Landover site to the General Services Administration for consideration as a future headquarters for the FBI.
“With Sears closed the confusion that existed as to the availability of the entire site should be eliminated. We would hope to attract a major user or users to the site possibly the FBI. In that regard we have submitted the site to the GSA,” said Alan H. Gottlieb, chief operating officer of Lerner Enterprises, in an e-mail.
Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) has already backed Greenbelt as a site for the FBI, where the county has proposed a site owned by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, but the Lerners proposal along with another from the owners of Westphalia mean at least three Prince George’s sites are in the mix for the FBI, and there are likely others.
The deadline for proposing a site for the FBI was Dec. 17 and the GSA has not disclosed what responses it received and does not plan to. Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe (D), both Virginia senators and other officials from the commonwealth have backed a Springfield site owned by Boston Properties for the FBI.
Because the GSA has proposed trading away the Hoover Building to pay for a new FBI headquarters, landing the FBI could give Lerner a leg up on acquiring the old headquarters downtown. He would appear to have the deep pockets and expertise to handle such a project; Forbes put his net worth at $4 billion last year and Lerner has developed more than 20 million square feet office and retail space plus more than 22,000 homes and 7,000 apartments.
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