- The General Services Administration has canceled its plans to build a new $2 billion Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters, according to The Washington Post.
- The agency wanted to give the existing FBI office property to a developer in exchange for a new building, but that plan was stalled after an audit by the GSA's inspector general called into question the viability of such swaps.
- The project had also been on the receiving end of harsh scrutiny from lawmakers who put special conditions on a possible $834 million in funding for a new building. In addition, May's stopgap Congressional spending bill lowered the maximum federal contribution for the project to $523 million, putting the entire project in limbo.
The GSA announced in March that it was delaying site selection for the new building until it received a firm financing commitment from Congress, a hope that was delivered a serious blow with the May bill. This came after the agency had already issued requests for proposals for design-build construction managers with experience working in the DC metro area.
The GSA narrowed down potential sites for the new headquarters to three locations in Maryland and Virginia. Despite the GSA's claims that the selection process was nonpartisan, both states were trying to seal a deal before the November elections resulted in a different political landscape.
The IG report that put into question the GSA's practice of swapping land killed the Department of Labor's plans for a new building as well. The GSA canceled the in-progress environmental reviews for three potential sites for a new DOL headquarters but said it would continue its attempts at getting the agency's employees into a more up-to-date space. The GSA said the DOL's current home, the Frances Perkins Building, needs extensive and expensive upgrades.
Even though there were four developers in competition for the DOL project, one of the contenders, Redbrick Partners, emerged as the favorite after the company filed plans at the end of last year for an HOK-designed mixed-use complex that met the GSA's specifications for a new building — at least 1 million square feet of office space — plus more than 45,000 square feet of retail and 700 new residences.