The FBI’s long-awaited new headquarters will be built in Prince George’s County, a massive win for Maryland officials who have pursued the project for years while competing against a bid from Virginia.
The site adjacent to the Greenbelt Metro Station was selected because it was the lowest cost to taxpayers, offered access to mass transit and can promote equity, according to the U.S. General Services Administration, which will oversee the project.
“GSA looks forward to building the FBI a state-of-the-art headquarters campus in Greenbelt to advance their critical mission for years to come,” Robin Carnahan, administrator of the GSA, said in a statement Wednesday night.
Maryland officials — led by longtime U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer — have contended that Greenbelt represents better value for taxpayers and would serve as an economic boost in a majority-Black county that’s close to the nation’s capital, but has relatively few federal agency offices.
Hoyer’s office issued a statement on behalf of the congressman and a bevy of fellow Democratic politicians, including senators, members of Congress, Gov. Wes Moore and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks.
The statement touted the benefits of the Greenbelt site and noted the yearslong, bipartisan effort to land the project in Maryland.
“Considering cost to the taxpayer, equity, construction timeline, transportation access, and the FBI’s mission requirements, we have long believed that Greenbelt is the best site for this crucial facility,” the statement said. “We are pleased that the GSA arrived at the same conclusion.”
The federal government has considered building a new headquarters to replace the FBI’s aging J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington, D.C., for more than a decade. The GSA eventually narrowed the options to three locations: Springfield, Virginia; Landover, Maryland; and the winning proposal in Greenbelt.
The Maryland officials’ statement called the decision “a historic moment” for the FBI, noting that the Hoover building is in such disrepair that it’s surrounded by nets to protect pedestrians from falling debris.
“Today’s decision by the General Services Administration (GSA) will ensure we fulfill the FBI’s dire, longstanding need for a new consolidated headquarters that meets the modern-day demands on the Bureau’s work to protect Americans and our nation,” the statement said.
The headquarters is expected to house 11,000 workers. The site in Greenbelt spans 62 acres immediately adjacent to the Metro station, on land owned by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
A timeline for the project wasn’t immediately clear.
Competition between Maryland and Virginia for the FBI project has been fierce. While Maryland politicians were crowing about their victory on Wednesday, Virginia officials were not pleased.
U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine issued a joint statement saying they were disappointed with the decision. “We’re deeply disappointed that despite the clear case that Virginia is the best home for the FBI, the Administration went in a different direction,” the statement from the Democratic senators read.
The office of Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
Officials representing both states made their final pitches to the GSA earlier this year.
Over the summer, a report circulated that appeared to show that the FBI itself preferred the Virginia site, on the grounds that it was closer to the FBI training academy in Quantico, Virginia. Maryland officials downplayed the significance of the report, saying it was outdated and didn’t address the factors being evaluated.
“The thing that I would ask and remind them, though, is this: If you look on the basis of the principles that they laid out for how this decision was going to be made — transportation assets, cost, speed of delivery, equity — Maryland wins on every single one of those indicators, every single one,” Moore told The Baltimore Banner in June.
Hoyer said in a statement at the time that the report “simply repackages the same numbers without directly answering our delegation’s questions about them.”
This article has been updated.