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Maryland And Virginia Tee Up To Fight For New FBI Headquarters

The FBI will soon be moving out of its agency building on Pennsylvania to either Maryland or Virginia.
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The FBI will soon be moving out of its agency building on Pennsylvania to either Maryland or Virginia.

The list of potential sites for the new FBI headquarters is narrowing down, and the fight for the thousands of jobs it brings with has local lawmakers jockeying to land the new facility.

While people continue to flood into the District, the FBI is looking to move to the suburbs. The General Services Administration has narrowed its choices for the relocation to Springfield, Virginia; and Greenbelt or Landover in Maryland.

With Virginia suburbs having seen a dramatic economic boon in recent decades, Maryland Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski says it wouldn’t be just to deny either Southern Maryland site the opportunity. “We think that this is about time. For too long, too long Prince George’s County has been redlined, sidelined, overlooked and undervalued. No more!"" she says.

Maryland Democratic Senator Ben Cardin says that the pair of Maryland sites best fit what GSA is looking for in a new headquarters for the law enforcement agency, which currently operates out of an aging building on Pennsylvania Avenue in D.C. “Also in that resolution that was passed we wanted Metro convenience. We have that in our Maryland, Prince George’s County sites," he says.

But for Virginia Democratic Congressman Gerry Connolly, Maryland's transportation options pale in comparison to what the commonwealth has to offer.

"So the Springfield site is not only an ideal site from a multimodal transportation point of view — served as it is by Metro, VRE and a whole nexus of highways — but it is also this synergy that can be achieved by connecting with the existing footprint and, frankly, kind of closing the full picture. Maryland can’t begin to compete with that. Maryland has none of that. None of that!” he proclaims.

Jim Moran, another Virginia Democrat, says that Maryland could well suffer from having had two sites selected as finalists. “I think that they are two legitimate sites and I think it will be fierce competition," he says.

Where the FBI will next call home is a debate sure to continue between developers, entrepreneurs and officials at every level of government until nearly the end of 2015, when the GSA is expected to make a final decision.

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