McDonnell backs Fairfax site for FBI HQ

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Local,Virginia,Kate Jacobson,Fairfax County

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is backing the Springfield location for the new headquarters for the FBI building.

McDonnell supported the site, which would be located at a federally-owned warehouse in Fairfax County, over 10 other proposed locations in Virginia for the new facility.

The FBI is looking to move out of its current headquarters in the J. Edgar Hoover Building along Pennsylvania Avenue in the District.

McDonnell wrote to Robert Mueller, director of the FBI, and Dan Tangherlini, the acting administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration, saying the warehouse in Springfield was the best choice. He said moving the headquarters to Fairfax County and refurbishing the federally-owned warehouse would save the agency millions. The building also already passes certain security clearance standards, which would make for a cheaper and faster move, he argued.

McDonnell is the first governor to back a particular site for the new headquarters. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has not publicly stated whether he supports any of the Maryland candidates, which include a site in Greenbelt.

Fairfax Supervisor Jeff McKay, D-Lee, thanked McDonnell for his endorsement of the property, and said the county's Board of Supervisors will continue petitioning for the headquarters bid.

The FBI said it received more than 20 bids from around the area vying for the headquarters. Most surrounding counties had at least one site proposed, except for Montgomery County, which didn't put in a bid after learning there was no property suitable under stipulations for the site.

A Senate committee has requested that the site should be no more than two miles from a Metro station, 2.5 miles from the Capital Beltway and between 40 and 55 acres. The Hoover Building is falling apart and unable to support the total number of FBI personnel. The FBI wants to consolidate all of its 12,000 D.C. area employees and its operations under one roof.

kjacobson@washingtonexaminer.com

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Kate Jacobson

Montgomery County reporter
The Washington Examiner