Poll: Nation thinks NoVa should get FBI HQ
Nearly two-thirds of surveyed voters think a new FBI headquarters to replace the agency’s crumbling Washington, D.C., home should be built in Virginia.
That’s according to a national survey released in late April by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. More than a decade in the works, the move is being handled by the U.S. General Services Administration, and it has said a decision could come in months. That’s led to volleys between Virginia and Maryland over which state can best meet the needs of the project, which is expected to bring thousands of jobs and a corresponding economic boost.
Maryland leaders contend that the headquarters should move to one of two locations in majority-Black Prince George’s County — the former Landover Mall site, or land near the Greenbelt Metro Station owned by the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority. Along with cost savings, U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland, has cited the potential to boost an underserved community while offering a chance to reverse “Hoover-era” racism.
Virginia’s leaders, including U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, have rallied around 58 acres in Fairfax County’s Springfield area already owned by the GSA. That location, a quarter mile from the Franconia-Springfield Metro station off Loisdale Road, would save money and is close to national security and intelligence assets such as the FBI Academy at Quantico, they say. They have also cited the region’s diversity and underserved communities.
Criteria set by the GSA for its decision weighs the FBI’s mission at 35%; transportation access at 25%; site development flexibility and advancing equity at 15% each; and cost at 10%.
In a statement to Virginia Business, Warner says the GSA’s criteria makes clear that “Virginia is the ideal location for the new FBI headquarters. With its proximity to FBI Quantico and other key intelligence sites, it’s the optimal location to support the FBI mission.”
The chamber’s survey of 1,000 voters found 65% of respondents favor the commonwealth. Virginia was also the site preferred among Black and Hispanic voters at 58% and 62%, respectively. Meanwhile, 7 out of 10 Black and Hispanic respondents viewed all three sites equally in advancing equity and providing economic opportunity to underserved communities.
Barry DuVal, president and CEO of the Virginia chamber, says the survey demonstrates “public opinion regarding the process is consistent with the priorities that the FBI has set forth.”