The FBI has outgrown the J. Edgar Hoover Building, which sits on a city block on Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. in downtown Washington. Renovation of the crumbling concrete edifice is more costly than its worth, officials decided. While it’s in prime location across the street from the Justice Department’s Robert F. Kennedy Building, the FBI is looking to build a regular campus, making Maryland and Virginia more attractive to the bureau.
Today, the General Services Administration posted a notice soliciting information and proposals from real estate developers interested in offering a new headquarters for the FBI. In the notice, GSA Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini proposed trading the J. Edgar Hoover Building site for the construction of a new FBI HQ in the region.
Tangherlini told the Washington Post that the notice is an effort to test the waters. “What we want to do is ask the marketplace — what do you think?” he said.
The J. Edgar Hoover F.B.I. Building was named in 1972, through a law signed by President Richard Nixon two days after the legendary FBI director’s death, according to the FBI. Construction began in 1967. At the time the FBI was scattered in different locations around Washington, with Bureau leadership in offices at Justice Department headquarters. FBI employees began moving into the building in 1974.
The new headquarters would be an economic boon to wherever it lands.
The building must be within two miles of a Metro station, 2.5 miles from the Beltway and contain at least 55 acres, the report states. Fairfax County in Virginia and Prince George’s County in Maryland are candidates for the facility.
Virginia may have a leg up, considering that the FBI has a campus in Quanitico, Va., and a large number of FBI employees already live in the area, Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) told the Examiner.
“As the FBI begins its relocation process, they should consider all of the benefits Northern Virginia offers,” Moran said.
But Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) isn’t going down without a fight.
“Not only does a significant portion of the federal workforce live in Maryland, but there is land available for development close to Metro stations, making it a competitive location for the FBI headquarters,” Hoyer told the Examiner.