The current FBI headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

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Nearly a year after releasing a plan to move the Federal Bureau of Investigations from the J. Edgar Hoover Building, the General Services Administration today formally kicked off the process to find a new site for the FBI’s headquarters.

The GSA, which serves as the landlord for federal government properties, issued a solicitation today for landowners with sites that might be suitable for a new headquarters in a swap for the obsolete Hoover Building. According to GSA spokesman Dan Cruz, the GSA will consider sites in D.C.; Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland; and Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties and the cities and towns of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Herndon, Vienna, and Manassas in Virginia. Sites must be within two miles of a Metro station and either inside or within 2.5 miles of the Capital Beltway.

Sites should accommodate up to 2.1 million rentable square feet of office and related space, which the GSA anticipates will require about 50 acres. They must also be able to meet the federal government’s top-level security requirements.

The GSA will accept site proposals until Dec. 17. It expects to whittle those proposals down to a shortlist in March, to issue a solicitation for development proposals in April, and to award the project to a developer by summer 2015.

Update: As a smart commenter points out, Loudoun County is well more than 2.5 miles outside the Beltway, as are Prince William County, Herndon, Fairfax, and Manassas. That would imply that these jurisdictions are out of contention.

“These counties are identified in the solicitation because they are part of GSA’s National Capital Region; however, all sites must comply with the transportation criteria presented in the advertisement,” Cruz clarifies in an email. “The delineated area requires sites be within 2 miles of a Metrorail station, and either inside the Capital Beltway or within 2.5 miles of a Capital Beltway interchange.”

This post has been updated to include additional information about the schedule for the FBI headquarters.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery