Metro deal gives Prince George's confidence in luring federal agency

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Local,Business,Maryland,Ben Giles
A historic development deal between Metro and the federal government's leasing arm has Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker confident the county will finally be able to lure a federal headquarters complex -- perhaps the coveted FBI relocation.
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  • The transit agency reached an agreement with the General Services Administration that would make it easier to move a federal agency to one of four Metro stations primed for transit-oriented development. Stations must have 500,000 square feet available nearby that isn't already committed to other developments.

    Among the four stations meeting the criteria, two are in Prince George's County -- Branch Avenue and Naylor Road -- along with the Anacostia station in the District and Huntington in Fairfax County, according to Aubrey Thagard, a member of Baker's economic development team.

    "We've got some of the most undeveloped Metro stations in the region, stations that, one, have the land capacity they're looking for, and two, give the ability to get right on the Green Line and Orange Line and connect with other agencies," Baker told WTOP.

    As for where the FBI should relocate, he said "they should stop looking. They should only look in Prince George's."

    Prince George's is already home to the Census Bureau and the Internal Revenue Service.

    The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has approved a plan for the GSA to look for a new 2.1 million-square-foot home for the FBI. The measure still must be introduced in the House and pass the full Congress before taking effect.

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  • Reports show the FBI no longer fits inside its 40-year-old office, the J. Edgar Hoover Building, in the District. The building must be demolished or renovated, or a new office space must be found.

    The terms of the agreement with Metro would remove some of the hoops GSA officials must jump through as the agency searches for developers and land for the federal government, Thagard said.

    "It puts them in a much stronger position to dictate exactly what their expectations are in terms of development," he said.

    None of the Metro stations that fit the agreement is in Montgomery County, one of Prince George's strongest competitors, which recently kept the Department of Health and Human Services with a bid that drew strong objections from several potential sites in Prince George's. However, Loudoun County has emerged as a potential suitor for the FBI thanks to the construction of the Silver Line, which will provide the county with ample real estate for development around new Metro stations.

    bgiles@washingtonexaminer.com

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