Northern Virginia’s congressional delegation and state leaders are uniting in an effort to convince federal officials to locate the new FBI headquarters in Springfield.
Speaking at a press conference near the proposed site Tuesday morning, U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-Dist. 8) said the Springfield site represents an “ideal location” for the facility, a point echoed by Virginia’s other representatives and senators.
The Springfield site presents two different options for the General Services Administration, which is planning the new headquarters location. There is an existing GSA-owned property that is now home to warehouses for storage.
There is also a large, privately owned piece of land adjacent to the warehouse property that could be part of a land swap deal. Earlier this year, the GSA solicited proposals from private developers that would build the new headquarters building and swap the land for the property where the aging J. Edgar Hoover Building now sits in downtown Washington, D.C.
With either option, the site offers access to Metro, Virginia Railway Express and bus service, as well as quick access to Interstates 95, 395 and 495.
In addition to making travel easier for commuters, Sen. Mark Warner (D) said, the site shortens the travel distance to the major FBI facility in Quantico, Va., offering cost savings for the agency.
It is also in close proximity to the National Counterterrorism Center and the CIA, which are already located in Northern Virginia, Warner said.
Another benefit is that it already has secure communications lines in the ground, Warner said, which he listed as a $75 million investment.
The congressional delegation said they are proud the collaborative process that they went through to evaluate potential sites in Virginia and then come together behind one proposal, eschewing parochial or partisan concerns.
“It wasn’t necessarily easy because there were competing sites in different locations,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D) said. “We have our differences on issues … but it is characteristic of us that we all find a way to come together on things like this.”
A federally owned property near the Greenbelt Metro Station in Maryland is considered the top competitor to the Springfield site.
The officials passed on the opportunity to critique the Maryland proposal.
“Our intent is not to undermine Maryland’s efforts,” Moran said. “We’re just here to present what we have to offer.”
The GSA’s deadline for proposals for the headquarters sites was Dec. 17 and the agency expects to select a site by March.