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Council Pursuing FBI Headquarters to Relocate to Alexandria

Victory Center on Eisenhower Avenue considered an "emerging possibility."

Could the FBI move its headquarters to Alexandria?

On Tuesday during a City Council meeting, Mayor Bill Euille asked city staff what could be done to put Alexandria in contention to land the agency.

The General Services Administration announced last week that it is reviewing sites for a new FBI headquarters. U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8th) and several other local lawmakers then sent a letter to the GSA administrator urging him to consider Northern Virginia.

Euille said Tuesday that Moran mentioned the vacant Victory Center on Eisenhower Avenue as a possible location for the FBI at a meeting of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties in Tysons Corner.

“Where are we and what can we do to be in line to be considered to be one of the viable site locations?” Euille asked Deputy City Manager Mark Jinks and Alexandria Economic Development Partnership President and CEO Val Hawkins.

The FBI is seeking 50 acres and 2 million square feet of office space. The Victory Center sits on a 16-acre plot near Van Dorn Metro station and has the potential for 1.6 million square feet of space, though more space could be pursued through a development special use permit that would have to go through Alexandria’s approval process.

Many of the FBI’s requirements are based on anti-terrorism setback regulations. Jinks said those requirements might be changing, with more of an emphasis on reduced square footage per employee and transit orientation.

“To have the Victory Center basically enter the competition, those specifications are going to have to change," he said. "And as we have seen both the FBI and the National Science Foundation and other proposals when they issue a prospectus, it’s kind of like a rolling set of changes up to the point it’s due.”

Jinks called the Victory Center “an emerging possibility,” adding that it is not known if the owner, Jones Lang LaSallle, would submit a bid to attract the FBI.

Euille said Moran also mentioned the GSA warehouse in Springfield and the former Exxon-Mobil campus in Merrifield as potential locations. Several other Northern Virginia jurisdictions and Prince George’s County, Md., have also expressed interest.

Councilman David Speck said competition would be fierce.

Nevertheless, Vice Mayor Kerry Donley said the FBI is an opportunity worth pursuing. 

“We really need to be specific about what we want, where we want it and how we want to present it,” Donley said. “As we are watching this thing unfold, that’s when a coordinated response and a coordinated effort by the city [is needed]. … Let’s not just have a discussion. Let’s assign tasks, let’s be specific and let’s try to pursue this with vigor.”

Autoexec.bat December 13, 2012 at 07:02 PM
I'm not asking for any more jobs. The DC area is awash in jobs for the educated. What we need are halfway decent schools for the already high property taxes we pay. As was already pointed out, bringing the FBI into Alexandria will not generate any additional property tax revenue so I am not seeing the huge benefit.
Yong December 13, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Everyone makes a good point. My main frustration is the Mayor and Jinks would consider adding more density to our city that is already at max when it comes to traffic, they seem to be out of touch. Get in your car during rush hour and tell me if you think is a good idea. To create a high density environment without proper transportation is irresponsible. If the mayor and the council continues to pursue, you and I should express our frustration at the next election. However I agree the best choice for the FBI HQ would be in Springfield or Quantico. The anti-terrorism setback regulation were created for the safety of the employees and that should never be compromised.
Pat Malone December 14, 2012 at 01:44 PM
The Victory Center (http://www.thevictorycenter.com) will probably be an albatross, or white elephant, that will remain empty for many years to come. The FBI won't even consider the Victory Center for a long list of reasons, the lack of perimeter security, being the biggest reason, plus, it's much too small for their needs. What ever site that is eventually selected for the FBI, it will be safe, secure and a much bigger footprint than the Victory Center, or even the current J. Edgar Hoover Building in D.C. Quantico, or Fort Belvoir, would be exceedingly better alternatives, and something much worthy of conversation, instead of jokingly bringing up the Victory Center in Alexandria as a potential site for the FBI's new headquarters. But speaking of security, we all remember what happened to the FBI Headquarters in the 1999 movie, 'Arlington Road', right?: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJOTrLdxCPE
Kim Moore December 15, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Wow. Moving NSF or the FBI to Eisenhour Ave. would make my commute to DC even easier. This is something that I would like to see assessed. The Eisenhower Metro Station, in my opinion, is underused.
Michael Josef Basl December 23, 2012 at 10:30 PM
http://www.michaeljosefbasl.blogspot.com

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