The FBI’s current headquarters just isn’t cutting it. The J. Edgar Hoover Building, a 1974 Brutalist monolith on Pennsylvania Avenue, lacks modern security measures, and only about half of the FBI’s Washington staff can fit into the building, leaving thousands to work out of nearly two-dozen rented spaces throughout the city at a cost of over $150 million a year.
Back in 2013, plans began to foment for a new HQ and the Senate’s infrastructure committee has already approved spending $759 million on the project. Now, after several months of delay, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has resolved to approve another $834 million for the new building, as long as their demands are met by the General Services Administration (GSA)—the agency responsible for managing government property.
The demands seem fairly reasonable: The GSA can’t spend more than $2.11 billion in federal money, the structure is limited to 2.1 million square feet, and all Washington-based FBI personnel will have to work from the new building in order to eliminate renting extra offices. It also requires the GSA to take a number of financial factors into account when selecting the building site—which could be in Maryland or Virginia.
The GSA is gearing up to issue a request for proposals for design-build construction firms in January. Let’s hope the new building gets a moat.