The Washington Post

Loudoun proposes eight properties for new FBI headquarters

Loudoun County has submitted eight properties for consideration by the General Services Administration as potential sites for a new FBI headquarters, Loudoun officials announced Wednesday.

The GSA proposed in December to move the FBI out of its current headquarters — the J. Edgar Hoover Building on Pennsylvania Avenue in the District — and build a consolidated campus in the Washington region. In a solicitation to real estate developers, the GSA asked that all responses be submitted by Monday.

Since the GSA’s Request for Information was issued late last year, Loudoun economic development officials have worked to pitch Loudoun as the best new home for the FBI. Other jurisdictions, including Fairfax and Prince William counties, and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland, are also vying to be home to the next headquarters, even as the District aims to keep the FBI in the city.

The eight sites submitted by Loudoun’s Department of Economic Development are along or near the future path of Metrorail’s Silver Line, in an area that reaches west from Dulles airport to the final Loudoun Metro station in Ashburn, county officials said.

“Loudoun offers not one or two, but at least eight qualified sites for an FBI headquarters,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott K. York (R-At Large) said in a statement.

The proposed sites, he said, “offer the lowest cost per square foot, and the highest flexibility, of any sites under consideration for the new FBI headquarters.”

Loudoun is the only county along the 23-mile Silver Line route with undeveloped greenfield sites, the statement said. The new FBI headquarters will require at least 40 to 55 acres for a 2.1 million-square-foot facility housing 11,000 employees, officials said.

Loudoun has more than 1,400 acres available near the Metrorail route, the statement said.

Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles), chairman of the board’s Economic Development Committee, said in the county’s statement that Loudoun offered opportunities that “simply aren’t possible by retrofitting an existing facility or by building in a more constrained location.”

Loudoun business development officer Jim Herbert said the FBI headquarters must be viable beyond the next 30 to 40 years, an objective that would be easier to achieve with a build-to-suit property.

Herbert said Loudoun’s technology corridor, which is home to the largest number of data centers on the East Coast and handles up to 70 percent of the world’s Internet traffic, requires “the utmost in facility security,” he said.

“The fact that the data center industry is thriving in Loudoun points to the fact that we know how to do security,” Herbert said. “It’s another compelling reason why the FBI should locate here.”

Caitlin Gibson is a feature writer at The Washington Post.

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