The office of Mayor Vince Gray just made official what we all suspected: Yesterday, his administration submitted a proposal to the General Services Administration to relocate the FBI to Poplar Point.
“In Poplar Point, the District of Columbia offers a prime real-estate location that presents the GSA with an opportunity to recommit to the District—-our nation’s capital,” Gray says in a press release. “Here, the federal government has the opportunity build a new facility tailored to the needs of the FBI on an accessible parcel with ample space to meet the federal agency’s square footage, parking, security and sustainability requirements.”
In its submission to GSA, the administration writes, “As GSA considers the options available to it, the District proposes that GSA and FBI consider Poplar Point as a location for the new FBI Headquarters. Located minutes away from the heart of Downtown DC, Poplar Point presents GSA and FBI an opportunity for a new, secure facility that would remain connected to the heart of the national capital.”
The proposal emphasizes that an FBI headquarters at Poplar Point would help spur the development of areas east of the Anacostia River. It includes a map that shows neighborhood development outside the security perimeter of the FBI (see below).
But for all the promotion of the site, it’s not clear that the administration is fully committed to retaining the FBI. Last week, Gray told me of all the advantages that would come with letting the FBI depart to one of the suburban jurisdictions that have expressed interest.
The proposal includes just 10 acres for the FBI headquarters, far under the 55-acre cap imposed by GSA. Though the proposal claims the FBI could occupy its desired 2.1 million square feet if the buildings rose to 11 stories, it’d be a tight squeeze—-perhaps another indication that the city isn’t going all out to keep the FBI in town.