Just over a year ago, the General Services Administration (GSA) asked for ideas on where to relocate the FBI headquarters, currently housed in downtown D.C. in the outdated Hoover Building.
This presented a major opportunity for Virginia. For the past year, our congressional delegation, local and state officials, the McDonnell administration, and Governor-elect McAuliffe, have been working to winnow down the options in our region, to find the best place that meets the FBI’s needs and requirements and that works for the Commonwealth’s best interests. Throughout this process, everyone put aside parochial concerns and personal preferences, focusing solely on determining which location would be most competitive in meeting the FBI requirements for a consolidated headquarters with Metro access. Following this thorough process, we announced last week that a location adjacent to the GSA Warehouse in Springfield is the ideal spot.
The GSA warehouse in Springfield sits at a major transportation hub for our region. Over $1 billion has been invested in the road and public transit networks in and around the this site, including extensive improvements to I-395, HOV and HOT lane expansions on I-95 and I-495, the completion of the Fairfax County Parkway, and the widening of numerous local roads. It is located next to the Franconia-Springfield Metro station and Virginia Railway Express (VRE) rail line, and served by an efficient bus system. These factors are advantageous in getting the FBI’s employees to and from work, and mean that we can handle the influx of employees and economic development this relocation will bring.
The Springfield site is also in close proximity to mission critical FBI facilities, already located in Virginia. These include the FBI’s training center and laboratory in Quantico, the Northern Virginia Resident Agency in nearby Prince William County, and the FBI’s new records facility, which is being located in Frederick County. This location further offers proximity to the National Counterterrorism Center and the CIA, offering a nexus of national security operations, facilitating improved collaboration.
The Springfield site is also a very attractive destination for FBI personnel. As you know, Northern Virginia is home to some of the best schools in the country, has low taxes, and consistently ranks as one of the best places to live, work, and raise a family in the country.
In summation, Springfield is the best option for the FBI, its mission, and its people. No other site can compete with Northern Virginia’s transit and commuter infrastructure, our proximity to other mission critical FBI facilities, and the benefits for FBI employees and their families. As this selection process plays out, I will keep you posted on our efforts. GSA won’t make a final determination until summer of 2015, but the first round of site selection, which will narrow the entrants, is coming in March, 2014.