FBI Closes In
We know what you're thinking: We planted yesterday's news about the FBI shortlist, since we're holding our annual Future of Prince George's County event next month. We swear we didn't. Now that DC is out the mix, politicos in both Maryland and Virginia are ramping up their fightin' words to prove which side is best.
We were on hand at the US Capitol after the announcement and found Rep. Steny Hoyer proclaiming that choosing either of the Prince George's sites (the old Landover Mall or a lot at the Greenbelt Metro) would create more balance among GSA agency locations, since other counties already have a bigger federal presence. Sen. Barbara Mikulski said either site will let GSA house "a fully consolidated FBI, not a small, dainty FBI." Also on hand: Prince George's council chairman Mel Franklin, county executive Rushern Baker, Rep. Donna Edwards, and Sen. Ben Cardin, who says the huge number of federal workers living in MD (40%) is another advantage.
Almost lost in the shuffle is the fate of the FBI's current HQ at the brooding Hoover Building downtown, which GSA would swap to the owner of the winning site. (The Lerners and the Tower Companies control the Landover site, WMATA owns the Greenbelt site in connection with Renard Development, and GSA/Boston Properties control the Springfield property.) Rumor has it multiple developers are angling to align themselves with the sites, with eyes on redeveloping the ultra-well-located but obsolete Hoover Building. The Virginia delegation fired off a statement of its own yesterday, saying the Springfield site is tops since many FBI personnel live in the Commonwealth, and emphasized its proximity to other defense agencies and the FBI's facility in Quantico.
Nabbing the FBI would be an historic coup for Prince George's, and it's why, among other major projects (the oncoming MGM resort casino, for one), we're holding our annual Bisnow Prince George's County Summit & Schmooze on August 29 at National Harbor (pictured).
And look who we found after the Maryland press conference: former DC deputy mayor Victor Hoskins, five weeks into his new job with PG County, here with PG economic development official David Iannucci. Victor's fresh off a recent European vacation, and tells us the bustling Boqueria Market in Barcelona is a concept he'd love to bring to Prince George's. (Milt Peterson has told us that National Harbor is inspired by Las Ramblas in Barcelona, so great minds think alike.)