Loudoun Pursues FBI Headquarters Project - Leesburg Today Online—Daily News Coverage of Loudoun County, Leesburg, Ashburn: News

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Loudoun Pursues FBI Headquarters Project

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Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013 9:30 am | Updated: 12:47 pm, Tue Nov 26, 2013.

With the Federal Bureau of Investigation's search for a new headquarters location representing one of the region's biggest economic development prospects, Loudoun government leaders are gearing up to put the county at the top of the list for consideration.

Since the Request for Information was issued by the General Services Administration in December, the county’s economic development team has been working quietly with GSA to sell Loudoun as the best location for the FBI and a number of developers have been putting together their own proposals.

But supervisors this week said they want to see the effort taken a step further. The board’s Economic Development Committee, which includes five supervisors, suggested Economic Development Director Tom Flynn and Jim Herbert, who is representing Loudoun in the negotiations, put together a county government proposal to present to the FBI.

The proposal, supervisors said, should not advocate a specific property or properties that could accommodate the agency, which needs up to 2.1 million square feet of office space to house around 11,000 employees, but should clearly explain why Loudoun is the best option for the future of the FBI.

“The developers will put in a response that is germane to their property, but someone has to go in and preach the Loudoun story,” Supervisor Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn) said. The county presentation would point out “all the discriminators that brings Loudoun to the table,” he said.

Among those, he said, were Metro’s extension, the access to fiber and technology and the access to its workforce. “I knocked on doors during the campaign. I have a lot of FBI employees living in the Ashburn districts. A lot,” Buona said.

To help Loudoun’s chances at landing the new FBI headquarters, the Department of Economic Development has reached out to 21 large landowners to gauge their interest in submitting a proposal. Herbert told supervisors he believed “a number” of Loudoun developers would be making submissions to GSA, but said details about who applies and their proposals would be “fairly closely held.”

Representatives of some of the properties showing interest in making FBI bids attended Wednesday's committee meeting. The list of likely options includes the Antigone and Dulles West properties near the future Rt. 606 Metro station on the northern edge of Dulles Airport; Moorefield Station around the Rt. 772 station; One Loudoun and Lexington 7, both along Rt. 7 in Ashburn; Kincora near the Rt. 7/Rt. 28 interchange; Oak Lawn near Leesburg; Arcola along Rt. 50; property owned by MWAA; and property owned by the United States Postal Service along Rt. 606.

That last option might be a perfect fit for the project, Herbert said, specifically because of a key aspect to the proposal—that the FBI would like to do a “land swap” with the existing J. Edgar Hoover FBI Headquarters in DC.

“With that as a possible play, it could be the best way for the government to get involved,” he said. “It could be a GSA to Post Office deal.”

That also could eliminate one concern raised by supervisors: whether the project would benefit Loudoun because the FBI property would be tax exempt. Herbert noted the post office property is tax exempt already, so the county would not be losing value from the county’s tax rolls.

Supervisors noted the “real advantage” to Loudoun would be the commercial uses that would locate around the FBI facility—ranging from employee services to other support agencies. “I think this brings in a massive cottage industry,” Buona said. “We have to look at the value of what is coming in behind.”

The inclusion of the J. Edgar Hoover Building adds a new twist to the RFI, and also highlights a big gap to the proposal: the lack of federal funding.

“There is no federal allocation at this point,” Flynn told supervisors. “To issue a [Request for Proposals] there is going to have to be some appropriation made for that to be taken seriously.”

Herbert said the FBI is “insisting” that the existing FBI building “will be equal in value to what they are purchasing and penciling their name. If it were simply a matter of having the federal government go buy land, they could put it where they felt the greatest economic development could be achieved. They are going to be making a business money decision.”

But even with the question marks, supervisors agreed that the potential for bringing the FBI to Loudoun was “too big to ignore.” To go along with the county and developer proposals, the board also likely will consider adopting a resolution of support for the FBI’s location in Loudoun and sending letters to the appropriate organizations and representatives.

All submissions for interest are due to the GSA by March 4.

Welcome to the discussion.

9 comments:

  • norges55 posted at 4:20 pm on Mon, Feb 4, 2013.

    norges55 Posts: 1042

    I sent them Barbara but they got confused when i told them it was the pain in the buttocks person and they went to Scott York's place.

     
  • norges55 posted at 7:49 am on Fri, Feb 1, 2013.

    norges55 Posts: 1042

    It's so quiet on the Eugene Delgaudio front that it is spooky.

     
  • Barbara Munsey posted at 7:43 am on Fri, Feb 1, 2013.

    Barbara Munsey Posts: 597

    "The best reason for moving FBI headquarters to Loudoun is that it will be so easy for agents to conduct repeated investigations of corruption by Loudoun County's Board of Supervisors"

    I've been waiting for that chestnut to pop, but I expected someone from realloudoun to get here before #6 to say it--:) I think this would be wonderful for the county, and not just because I am tired of waiting for the FBI to come and arrest me already. Local Dems have been telling me "any minute now!" since about 2005. St-i-i-i-llll waiting.

     
  • polkey posted at 7:28 am on Fri, Feb 1, 2013.

    polkey Posts: 29

    The best reason for moving FBI headquarters to Loudoun is that it will be so easy for agents to conduct repeated investigations of corruption by Loudoun County's Board of Supervisors.

     
  • Frank Reynolds posted at 6:00 pm on Thu, Jan 31, 2013.

    Frank Reynolds Posts: 628

    Probably Norges. A co-worker of mine was mentioning today how there is a public hearing coming up on reducing Fairfax Connector routes to coincide with the train opening around Reston. Those bus folks aren't happy. I still don't see how they can think anyone who works at the Pentagon or the Pentagon City area will be well served by the Silver Line. Bus is far superior if you have to switch lines to get to your final destination.

    And the FBI won't be coming out here. Think about where their workforce lives now due to their current location? Being located in DC means they probably have people who live in Fredericksburg, Southern MD, up near Baltimore, and then of course out our way. If they did entertain Loudoun, it would have to be smack dab on top of that Metro station. The DC residents might not even have cars.

     
  • norges55 posted at 3:20 pm on Thu, Jan 31, 2013.

    norges55 Posts: 1042

    Do we lose some metrobus service when rail opens up?

     
  • mas954 posted at 12:16 pm on Thu, Jan 31, 2013.

    mas954 Posts: 352

    How is the metro extension a benefit? It's YEARS away from delivery. Loudoun couldn't even make a decision on WHETHER to extend metro until the last minute last year. The stops in Reston are practically ready & screaming for a train to roll in. Loudoun, on the other hand, hasn't done a single thing to prepare for metro. How about putting a shovel in the ground and start to build the system before you prematurely run off at the mouth? Moreover, metro will be MILES from Route 7 and it's office buildings and Loudoun doesn't have a public transportation system to move people to/from the proposed stops.

     
  • baboholly posted at 11:58 am on Thu, Jan 31, 2013.

    baboholly Posts: 34

    Mr. Buona, May I please ask that you define the word "alot". Out of 11,000 employees how many actually live in loudoun county other than saying "alot" Please also explain to the lowly public what type of tax breaks are you going to offer them just like we gave to HHMC. Since it ismy tax doller being spent, perhaps you could clearly define the actually doller benefit over my anticipated lifetime ? Will they pay for the schools that will need to be built since I am sure the schools will say "We need more and bigger to accomodate the FBI employees" Will they pay for the additional parks they want ? Will they pay for the artificial turf fields they will want for the kids? Will they pay to have the infastructure of Loudoun County come up to par with a competitor ? Will the FBI employees even pay a personal property tax bill and buy a decal or are they "special" Please put it on paper and let the foolish taxpayers decide what is best rather than your buddies on the the GRC

     
  • DanielD posted at 11:40 am on Thu, Jan 31, 2013.

    DanielD Posts: 21

    If they choose the Post Office site, wouldn't the PO have to find another local location? That would seem to eliminate the benefit of having them locate to a currently tax-exempt parcel.