- The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is expected to approve $834 million for a new $2 billion FBI headquarters as long as the General Services Administration (GSA) agrees to a series of conditions, including a cost cap, according to the Washington Business Journal.
- The committee has delayed the GSA request for several months, primarily because of cost-related concerns, even though the corresponding Senate committee approved $759 million for the project.
- House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said the committee resolution requirements address cost as well as the effect on transportation and other factors to be considered during site selection.
Hoyer also said the cost involved with an FBI relocation to Virginia should make the two competing Maryland sites more attractive to the GSA. Additional committee concerns include whether to do a swap with the existing FBI building or to sell it outright, as well as whether the GSA is qualified to oversee construction of the new headquarters.
The committee resolution:
- Caps federal investment at $2.11 billion
- Limits the new building’s size to 2.1 million square feet to ensure the project stays within the realm of GSA projections
- Mandates that the GSA consider all costs in the site selection process, including those for relocation, site prep and purchase
- Requires full FBI consolidation into the new location, avoiding the cost of leasing multiple offices in the DC area
- Forces the GSA to consider impact on transportation
- Requires the GSA to submit a detailed project report to the House and Senate
- Gives the GSA two years to award the project or else the deal expires
Earlier this month, the GSA said it would issue a request for proposals in January for qualified firms interested in building the new FBI building. The agency previously said that if Congress approved the funding request, it would announce the winner and the site choice in March. The GSA also said potential bidders must be established in the Washington area and have security clearance.
According to the agency’s pre-solicitation notice, the winning construction manager will work under a design-build contract and will supervise design and construction, as well as coordinate all other financial and administrative aspects of the project.
The GSA has also put out feelers in the DC area for sites that would be appropriate for a new Department of Labor headquarters. Although the process is still in its infancy, four of the area’s biggest developers are already clamoring to present attractive options to the GSA.