Maryland Gets Early Start on Competition for FBI Headquarters

Monday, 19 Dec 2011 11:04 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Maryland officials are pushing behind the scenes to move the FBI’s Washington, D.C., headquarters to the state, an effort aimed at landing an estimated $1.2 billion project that would add nearly 12,000 jobs to the state’s economic base.

Virginia is also in the hunt, according to a report Monday in the Baltimore Sun, and District of Columbia officials are hoping to retain the headquarters that was built downtown on Pennsylvania Avenue 37 years ago. But the newspaper said Maryland Democratic Sen. Ben. Cardin has been working on an early “covert” effort to give the state the edge in the relocation process, which is expected to begin next year.

The Sun reported that Cardin “steered a resolution through the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee this month” setting the parameters for the location of the new headquarters.

“I’m very bullish on this being located in Maryland,” Cardin told the Sun. “Maryland is well-situated.”

The FBI has been plagued with problems in recent years at the DC headquarters. The basement floods and parts of the outer cement façade have crumbled and cover the ground, posing a threat to pedestrians. The Sun cited a recent study recommending that immediate repairs be made, costing more than $80 million.

In addition, the Sun noted, FBI officials have complained that bureau operations are spread out in 22 different annex locations across Washington.

Maryland officials have a site picked out, according to the Sun; a 2.1- million-square-foot complex in suburban Prince George’s County just outside the District.

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