Prince George’s vs. Loudon/Fairfax: Battle for FBI (Demo)

 From what I hear, chunks of the FBI’s headquarters building are falling to the ground.  The Hoover Building was erected in 1974, and has seen it’s bets days come and go.  Now the fight is on between Loudon and Prince George’s County to woo a new $1.2 billion facility.  Baker told WTOP, “We think that Prince George’s County makes all the sense. We have three sites that are great,” says Baker. “A lot of folks who work for federal agencies live in Prince George’s County.”    Specifically, Baker proposed Greenbelt, Largo and Branch Avenue as locations for the headquarters within PGCo.  Greenbelt’s Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) is the site with the most potential, according to Baker but Greenbelt Councilman Rodney Roberts is

Councilman R. Roberts
Councilman R. Roberts

adamantly against it. Roberts told the council in May, flat out, ” “We don’t want the FBI at BARC.”  At this same meeting of the council, Roberts kinda Kirked-out and had to be reigned in by the City Manager Mike McLaughlin because the information he was discussing was emailed to him as confidential.  Roberts voiced major opposition to BARC losing more acreage; down from 14k acres to currently 6k, and the FBI would require at least 50 acres of the remaining 6, 000. 
There are concerns that the FBI will do what the Census Bureau has done at the Suitland Metro Station: build a fortress.  Suitland’s surrounding area is so walkable and ripe for restaurants and retail that it’s just a shame nothing has been done.  But the Census Bureau campus is restricted, sprawling and self-contained, housing a gym, daycare, eateries.  There’s no reason to venture outside.  The FBI will have to consider major security measures no matter where it relocates but the headquarters has been able to maintain a secure building in the midst of Washington, DC, so Prince George’s County should be easy. 
Proper planning will be key.  Input from the county and city of Greenbelt have to be considered from the start, not as an afterthought.  Certainly I think the benefits of bringing those 11,000 employees and their spending power to the county outweigh the sacrifices. There is potential for great gain from a federal facility moving to the county but if it’s just going to hole itself up behind walls, it’s of no use to any of us.
Loudon and Fairfax Counties don’t need this like we do so we have to push harder, plan better, and make it happen.     

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