WASHINGTON — The competition for the location of the new FBI headquarters has been fierce and now a decision by Virginia’s governor has surprised some of the communities competing for the site.
Gov. Bob McDonnell endorsed the Springfield, Va. warehouse site, which is already on federal land near Metro and Interstate 95, in a letter he wrote to FBI Director Robert Mueller and Acting General Services Administrator Dan Tangherlini.
Both Virginia and Maryland, as well as D.C., would welcome the new headquarters and the thousands of jobs and economic spike they would bring.
Northern Virginia communities had been united in their quest to get it. But the governor’s decision to endorse the Springfield location caught Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart off-guard.
Prince William County, which already houses FBI facilities in Quantico, is one of several communities competing for the headquarters.
“Having the FBI headquarters on 95 or 395 is just going to add to the woes of I-95 commuters,” he says.
Stewart blames the U.S. Senate for mandating the new headquarters be near a Metro station, which the Springfield site is. The other northern Virginia sites are not.
McDonnell’s letter cites transportation options as one of the reasons why the Springfield site should be chosen.
Stewart complains that the mandate by the U.S. Senate that the new headquarters be near mass transit has handcuffed many of the other site options.
Maryland has been competing for the new headquarters as well and has been promoting promoting a site in Prince George’s County, also near Metro.
There’s no indication when a decision might be made by the GSA and the FBI. A bill authorizing the GSA to review proposals for the new headquarters has been held up in the House of Representatives.