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FBI To Relaunch Search for New Headquarters in D.C. Suburbs

The FBI's current HQ, the J. Edgar Hoover Building on Pennsylvania Avenue.

The FBI's search for a headquarters outside of D.C. is back on.

President Joe Biden's administration made it clear that the federal government would be consolidating the FBI's headquarters outside of D.C. in the General Services Administration's fiscal year 2023 budget request.

The move will consolidate the federal agency's footprint in the D.C. area to accommodate 7,500 personnel, down from the 11,000 employees the GSA first proposed in a plan released in 2016.

The GSA said it is actively seeking a new site, and "will also begin initial steps to acquire, if necessary, the site for the new suburban headquarters location." 

"The J. Edgar Hoover building can no longer support the long-term mission of the FBI," the GSA's Federal Buildings Fund prospectus reads. "The Administration has begun a multi-year process of constructing a modern, secure suburban facility from which the FBI can continue its mission to protect the American people."

The move has been in limbo for years. During then-President Barack Obama's administration, the GSA had narrowed down potential locations to Greenbelt, Landover and Springfield.

But in July 2017, then-President Donald Trump's administration canceled the search. Instead, Trump proposed tearing down the current building and constructing a new headquarters in its place, a plan Congress eventually shot down. 

Lawmakers began lobbying for the relocation as soon as Biden entered office. In the fiscal year 2022 omnibus spending bill, Maryland Democrats inserted language requiring the Biden administration to consider one of the three previously selected locations, the Washington Business Journal reported

In a joint statement released Monday, several top Maryland elected officials — Reps. Steny Hoyer and Anthony Brown, Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, Gov. Larry Hogan and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks  — applauded Biden for restarting the move.

"We look forward to working with President Biden and his Administration to continue advancing this project, and are confident the Maryland sites in Greenbelt and Landover are the best locations for a consolidated FBI headquarters location," they said in a statement.

The move will also open prime real estate on Pennsylvania Avenue. Earlier this year, the National Capitol Planning Commission unveiled plans to reimagine the corridor, with pedestrians, retail and events in mind.