For over a decade, political leaders in Maryland and Virginia have been working to find a new FBI headquarters. The J. Edgar Hoover Building, which has housed the agency’s headquarters since 1975, has become functionally obsolete and has security vulnerabilities that a newer facility would rectify. Federal officials last November selected a site in Greenbelt, Maryland, located in suburban Prince George’s County and adjacent to an existing Metro station. This decision is a major win for Maryland Gov. Wes Moore and Maryland Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, but especially for Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer, the dean of the Maryland congressional delegation and a longtime champion of the project.
Prince George’s County, a majority-Black county near Washington, DC, has one of the most affluent Black populations in the country but has not enjoyed a similar level of economic development compared to Northern Virginia localities like Fairfax County. Maryland won a tentative victory in the race for a new FBI headquarters, a potential economic boon for a majority-Black county near DC.
The new building will consolidate and hold roughly 11,000 employees under one roof, solidifying Maryland as the cyber capital of the country. Virginia leaders have criticized the selection, and now the General Service Administration will conduct an evaluation of the process. In a November letter, a majority of Virginia’s congressional delegation asked that the decision to move the headquarters to the 61-acre Greenbelt site be reversed, and current FBI director Christopher Wray expressed concerns about the selection process.