New FBI Headquarters Approved by Congress
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved the construction of the FBI’s new headquarters Wednesday.
While many challenges lay ahead, including GSA finalizing the building’s location, the ball has finally starting rolling on this $834 million undertaking.
“This will greatly improve the FBI’s security posture and its operations, and save money. But because of the size and complexity of the project, it will important to ensure there is strong congressional oversight to keep the project on time and on budget,” committee chairman Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa said.
According to GSA’s proposal, the new campus would consolidate FBI office space from more than a dozen different buildings into a single building. This combined campus would also cut the agency’s real estate footprint from 3 million feet to 2.1 million feet, reports Federal News Radio.
Funding for the new space would be derived from GSA and the FBI via two different sources: appropriations and the exchange of the FBI’s current headquarters, the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building in downtown Washington, D.C.
In President Obama’s 2017 budget proposal for the project, he requested $1.4 billion for the FBI and GSA to split. They also procured an additional $390 million for the project under the fiscal 2016 omnibus bill.
Ranking member Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) expressed concern over GSA selling the old FBI headquarters in while also building the new campus.
“I am concerned that they’ve come up with this bizarre construct where they’re going to try to get someone to bid on buying the old FBI headquarters and building the new one. I think pairing the two is stupid, it’s certainly going to limit the number of people who are interested in constructing and bidding on the new FBI headquarters. I’m concerned that we won’t get full value for the downtown property, and I assume this is being done by GSA because they don’t want to ask for an appropriation for the entire new project, so they’re just going to muddy up the water here and mush the two together,” DeFazio said.
Originally, GSA planned to announce the site of the new headquarters in December, but delayed the announcement until March 2017, but declared three locations as finalists for the new space: the Greenbelt Maryland Metro Station; Landover, Maryland, and Springfield, Virginia.
The headquarters would also contain space available to lease for Customs and Border Protection, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Archives and Records Administration and the National Institutes of Health. The resolution predicts nearly $60 million overall in reduced lease costs.
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