Fairfax County is preparing for a lobbying assault on Congress to try and secure Springfield as the site of the new FBI headquarters building.
Congress could take up legislation determining the new location sometime next year, according to the county’s federal representatives. The biggest competition would likely come from Maryland, as elected officials there try and lure the facility to a location near one of the Metro stations in Prince Georges County.
The proposed Springfield location, near the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station, is federally owned property that now houses warehouse space.
County officials have been trying for years to get the federal government to construct office space there instead but were unsuccessful in doing so during the recent Department of Defense base realignment process.
The description of the type of site Congress is looking for “fits the GSA warehouse site to a T,” said Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield).
There is plenty of space to meet modern security requirements, the area is redeveloping and it is close to Metro, VRE and one of the largest bus hubs in the county, as well as being near multiple major highways.
Maryland has engaged some high-powered lobbyists to try and secure the facility, according to Supervisor Jeff McKay (D-Lee), chairman of the board’s Legislative Committee.
Fairfax is now working on a strategy to engage the local business community, as well as the county’s own lobbying team, in an effort to counter Maryland’s hard sell.
“We will do our own full court press from a lobbying standpoint as to why this site is so superior,” he said.
The board is also actively discouraging the federal agency from taking up residence in one of the county’s existing office campuses, such as the former Exxon-Mobil headquarters, because that would take a valuable property off the county tax rolls.
In the case of Exxon-Mobil, the county would lose an estimated $2.5 million in tax revenue, McKay said, whereas the warehouse site is already federally owned and the county collects no taxes on it.