By Tashi McQueen,
AFRO Political Writer,
After nearly 10 years of back and forth about where the new FBI headquarters would be located, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) chose Greenbelt, Md., on Nov. 8. The other two options were Landover, Md. and Springfield, Va.
“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,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan in a statement. “Thank you to everyone at GSA, DOJ, FBI, Congress, and others who helped reach this important milestone after a comprehensive, multi-year effort.”
GSA said in a press release that the Greenbelt location was chosen because it offered the lowest cost for taxpayers, greatest transportation options for employees and visitors and best opportunity to increase equity and sustainability.
According to Matthew Verghese, Gov. Wes Moore’s senior advisor, this was a top federal priority for Maryland’s top executive.
“This is a historic moment for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and our nation. 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,” said the self-proclaimed Team Maryland, which includes Gov. Moore, U.S. Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks in a statement.
The statement continued, “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. We are pleased that the GSA arrived at the same conclusion. Team Maryland has worked tirelessly to deliver this result together. Our close cooperation will continue as we break ground on this new headquarters and tackle other pressing issues facing Marylanders.”
Rep. Glenn Ivey (D-Md.) of District 4, which includes Greenbelt, shared his appreciation of GSA’s decision.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Ivey told the AFRO. “It should be really good from an economic development standpoint. People in the building trades are going to be excited about the opportunities that will come from building the FBI headquarters here in Prince George’s County. There may be other people in the Maryland area who can now get a chance to work there because it’s more accessible to them.”
The Congressional Black Caucus spoke in favor of GSA’s choice.
“The Congressional Black Caucus applauds the GSA and the entire Biden-Harris Administration for its decision to select Greenbelt, Maryland as the site for the new FBI headquarters,” said Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Steven Horsford (D-Nev.) and members of the Congressional Black Caucus in a statement. “We also applaud the Administration for its commitment to keeping equity, accessibility, and cost to the taxpayers at the center of its decision-making process. The new headquarters will benefit local Black-owned small businesses and bring quality public-sector jobs to Black communities throughout Prince George’s County.”
Rep. David Trone (D-Md.) said the win was one for all of Maryland.
“This is a win for our entire state — delivering countless new jobs, millions in economic stimulus, and yet another reason for all of us to be proud to call Maryland home,” said Trone, a candidate for U.S. Senate, in a statement. “While we celebrate this milestone, our work is just beginning. I’ll continue to fight as an appropriator in Washington to deliver the federal dollars necessary to make this project a success. And as a steadfast supporter of organized labor, I’ll do what’s necessary to help secure PLAs to make sure the FBI Headquarters is built by the hands of union professionals. Congratulations, Maryland!”
Virginia legislators also commented on the news.
“We’re deeply disappointed that despite the clear case that Virginia is the best home for the FBI, the Administration went a different direction,” said U.S. Sens Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine, both Democrats. “We know from our experience recruiting Hilton, Capital One, Northrop Grumman, Amazon, and many other companies to Virginia that our Commonwealth is the best state for business, and we’ll continue to focus on promoting economic growth and supporting law enforcement in the Commonwealth.”