The Washington Post

Virginia officials make their case for the FBI

Virginia officials met at the urging of Rep. Jim Moran (D) last week to strategize about how best to persuade the Federal Bureau of Investigation to relocate its headquarters to the state. The group also want to show that members are — at least at this point — wholly united in making sure the FBI moves to the commonwealth no matter the location.

On hand were Democratic Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner along with four House representatives: Moran, Gerry Connolly (D), Frank Wolf (R) and Rob Wittman (R).

County-level officials also joined, among them Sharon Bulova, chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Scott K. York, chair of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisor and Maureen S. Caddigan, a member of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.

“Our singular focus, as a bipartisan delegation, is bringing the FBI to Virginia,” Moran said. “The commonwealth offers numerous benefits to FBI employees. A majority of FBI personnel reside in Virginia.”

He added that the FBI already has a number of facilities in Northern Virginia, at Quantico and elsewhere.

“This is one more example you don’t see a lot of these days where a delegation checks their Democratic and Republican hats at the door and we are all working together to put Virginia first,” Senator Warner said.

Regional leaders, smart growth groups and some pundits have called for the federal government to relocate more jobs to Prince George’s County, which has the most Metro stations but by far the region’s fewest federal office jobs.

Given that political pressure, the Virginia leaders repeated how eager they were for a fair and transparent decision-making process by the General Services Administration, which is managing the FBI’s search for a new consolidated headquarters. “We feel very confident that as long as this decision is made on the merits, that Virginia will be successful,” Warner said.

Responses to an initial search for private partners that the GSA are due March 4, but a number of steps must be taken for the agency to actually move. The Senate passed a resolution in 2011 providing for a site of up to 55 acres within two miles of a Metro station and 2.5 miles of the Beltway, but the House has never taken corresponding action.

Also, given the private developers will be the ones actually sending proposals to the GSA, there is nothing preventing companies from proposing ideas for the FBI even they do not have the blessing of members of Congress (although that could hurt the approvals and funding down the road).

Nonetheless, the discussion about where the best sites for the FBI to relocate are underway and officials from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership briefed meeting attendees on what it considered the most attractive sites.

Here, see the sites they presented.

GSA warehouse in Springfield (Fairfax County)

57 acres, 14 miles from the Hoover Building

Fort Belvoir North area (Fairfax County)

225 acres, 16 miles from Hoover Building

CIT headquarters in Herndon (Fairfax County)

37 acres, 27 miles from Hoover Building

Dulles Airport sites (Loudoun County)

Hundreds of acres, 25 miles from Hoover Building

Quantico (Stafford County)

Nearly 300 acres, 42 miles from Hoover building

Potomac Shores property in Dumfries (Prince William County)

650 acres, 27 miles from Hoover Building

Follow Jonathan O’Connell on Twitter: @oconnellpostbiz

Jonathan O'Connell has covered land use and development in the Washington area for more than five years.



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