G-Men headed for Springfield? Possibly.
After being sidelined during the Trump administration, the plan to build a new FBI headquarters in the Washington, D.C., suburbs appears to be back on track.
Earlier this year, U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both Democrats, and their Maryland counterparts wrote to President Joe Biden to request that the federal government choose one of three recommended locations — a site in Springfield and two in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The FBI is currently housed at the aging J. Edgar Hoover Building in the District.
“It’s no secret that the current building housing our FBI headquarters is crumbling and in a state of disrepair,” Warner said in an email. “I believe that building a new consolidated headquarters in the national capital region is not only a cost-effective decision, it’s also a strategic necessity, as the men and women of the FBI need a headquarters that best allows them to meet their critical law enforcement and national security missions.”
In an April 30 letter to the president, Warner, Kaine and Maryland Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen noted that the General Services Administration was supposed to submit a new plan for the FBI headquarters to Congress by March 27. However, the senators pointed out, “a plan has not been submitted.”
Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Warner continues to be a cheerleader for Virginia’s contender for the project, the GSA Franconia Warehouse Complex, located near the intersection of Interstate 95 and Franconia Road. He calls the site “the best option to build a secure and state-of-the-art facility that meets the needs of the FBI and its workforce.”
Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity, who represents Springfield, points out that many FBI employees already live in the area and that the site, which provides numerous options for public transportation, is also only about a 30-minute drive from the agency’s training academy in Quantico. Last year, the FBI decided to send 1,500 of its Washington-region employees to Huntsville, Alabama, with more potentially headed there in future years.
Nevertheless, the agency will still have a significant presence in the D.C. metro area, and Herrity hopes the government will soon make a decision based solely on what each site has to offer. “It’s a shame that this becomes a political decision,” he says. “This should be about the FBI and the FBI’s needs.”