The General Services Administration again appears to be mulling the development of a civilian cybersecurity campus (CCC) in the Washington, DC, metro area, according to the Washington Business Journal.
This isn’t its first run at creating such a space. Similar plans were put on hold last year when the GSA stopped seeking funding for the project in the 2017 federal budget. A CCC project has been discussed since 2014.
The disclosure was included in a recent federal notice requesting a four-year extension on a Department of Homeland Security lease in Northern Virginia to coincide with the expiration of another DHS lease. That could result in the two office spaces combining into one — the CCC.
The idea for the CCC has been on the table for a while, but nailing down the timing — and the funding — has been a continual challenge.
It’s not the only GSA project to face such resistance. Earlier this month, the agency canceled plans for a new Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters building. The GSA had intended to use a land swap to exchange the existing headquarters for a new campus in the suburbs, with remaining costs at a taxpayer-financed $2 billion. However, questions around the feasibility of land swaps in general, as well as a reduction in the expected federal contribution, stalled the project.
Those same feasibility questions caused the Labor Department to put on hold its plan to use a swap to find a new headquarters. The DOL says it will look into other ways to find the 1 million square feet of updated space it needs.
Elsewhere in The District, however, building is booming. Commercial construction in DC increased 69% from 2015 to 2016, rebounding from a drop-off in 2015, according to a Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments report. DC gained 12 million square feet of new commercial space across 160 new buildings last year. Meanwhile, The District’s Maryland suburbs saw even greater growth — posting a 157% (4.4 million square feet) increase in commercial space during the same period.
That has companies betting on growth in the region. Marriott International, for one, recently finalized plans to build a new headquarters in its hometown, the DC suburb of Bethesda, MD, and JBG has revived its plans to build a 17-story, mixed-use tower in that city.
Developers of the Purple Line rail project, planned for The District’s Maryland suburbs, say the area is primed for growth, though declining ridership in the DC Metrorail system suggests they may have overshot on their ridership projections.