Virginia lawmakers are making a push to move the FBI headquarters to the commonwealth, relocating 11,000 employees.
U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, three congressmen from northern Virginia, and the chairs of four area county boards of supervisors gathered in Arlington Thursday with a very clear goal.
"Our singular focus as a bipartisan delegation is bringing the FBI to Virginia," said Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va.
The FBI's move out of the District's Hoover building has been in the works for a while. The current facilities are too small and falling apart.
“They need 55 acres, 2.1 million square feet," Moran said.
And it must be accessible.
"There's no question GSA would like it to be as close to public transit as possible and not too far outside of the Beltway," Moran said.
While stopping short of endorsing one specific location, the delegation coordinated by Moran conceded Springfield proves to be strong candidate.
"The GSA warehouse site at the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station is obviously an excellent site,” Moran said. “It’s Fairfax County's preferred site."
"It's already owned by the federal government, and it's immediately adjacent to a Metro station,” Fairfax County Supervisor Jeff McKay said. “If we're going to prevent a Mark Center from happening again, the first question is how close are you to mass transit and how easy is it going to be for your workforce to get to their office?"
The Mark Center incident still looms. It’s a federal government outpost along Seminary Road blamed for worsening congestion along 395. An FBI headquarters in Springfield won't hurt commuters, McKay said.
"We can handle a wide swath of the region in terms of transportation if we only put this site next to a Metro and next to a commuter rail station," he said.
Officials in Stafford, Loudoun and Prince William counties are going after the FBI, too, as are D.C. and Maryland.
“A number of federal employees live in Prince George’s County,” Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker said Thursday. “We know they made a point of saying how many folks live in Virginia. But the number of people that live in Prince George’s County, the fact that we have Metro sites here that you can do transit-oriented development, which is what the GSA said it’s looking for, we’re going to have a very competitive package.”
Baker also said there are several options for a location in Prince George's County.