D.C. would support the FBI moving headquarters from downtown to Prince George’s County if the county would allow the Washington Redskins to move back to D.C., officials have privately said.
The FBI headquarters downtown has a hyper-security focus that creates a dead space along Pennsylvania Avenue just blocks from the U.S. Capitol. With the FBI looking to move to a bigger and better space, business leaders say there's new hope the dead block can be rebuilt with businesses, condos, retail and nightlife.
“This would be a very big shot in the arm to downtown Washington to better utilize that space and, God help us, not that building,” Greater Washington Board of Trade President Jim Dinegar said.
“It is the ugliest building in the city and it could be in the country,” D.C. Council Finance and Revenue Chairman Jack Evans said.
But a regional battle has broken out among D.C., Virginia and Maryland over which jurisdiction will land the new FBI offices. The Redskins development is a new wrinkle.
News4 has learned that D.C. officials have proposed a unique deal to Prince George’s County, support an FBI move to Maryland if the Redskins are allowed to break their lease.
Evans wouldn't discuss those private talks but acknowledged the city's interest.
“Certainly the idea of a switch for the FBI moving to Prince George's County and the Redskins moving back to the city in a brand new stadium at RFK would be something I would certainly be interested in,” he said.
In a written response to News4, Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker rebuffed the idea:
The Baker administration is not entertaining any discussions around moving the Washington Redskins back to Washington, D.C.
The FBI, with its large workforce and space needs, is a prime target for all three jurisdictions.
Earlier this week, Virginia's Democratic and Republican congressional leaders wrote a letter to federal officials saying northern Virginia should get the prize.
“We have a lot of federal agencies already here in northern Virginia, including, of course, the Pentagon, the largest federal agency,” Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va. 11th District) said. “Right down the road is the Quantico training center for the FBI.”
The federal government is in the early stages of deciding where the FBI should go.