Marylanders will have to wait a little longer to find out if the state will be chosen as the next headquarters site for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The FBI and the U.S. General Services Administration disclosed this week that they will wait until early next year to reveal whether the FBI headquarters – and 11,000 consolidated employees – will be moving from the District of Columbia to Maryland or Virginia.
The federal government previously had indicated it would announce a decision by the end of 2016, before a new president takes office.
The FBI is one of the largest organizations currently considering a move to Maryland. The headquarters is expected to cost more than $2 billion, and June 22 was the deadline for bids from competing developers. Three sites are under consideration, including properties in Greenbelt and Landover, Md., and a third site in Springfield, Va.
“Due to a strong and overwhelmingly positive response from developers to the solicitation [gsa.gov] issued earlier this year, the U. S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) now plan to announce the selected site and offeror for the competition in early March 2017,” said GSA spokeswoman Renee Kelly.
The delay is a potential setback for Maryland, because local officials were hoping that top ranking Democrats such as Sen. Barbara Mikulski would help influence the decision in Maryland’s favor.
Mikulski is retiring at the end of the year. If Hillary Clinton becomes president, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine would become vice president, and he could have more influence over the decision.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker have pledged extensive public financial support for roads and other improvements if Maryland is selected as the site for the new headquarters.
“I’m deeply disappointed in more delay,” Mikulski said in a statement reported by The Washington Post. “As Vice Chairwoman of the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee, I will continue to work my earrings off to put the funds in the federal checkbook for a new, fully consolidated headquarters. This is a headquarters that belongs in Prince George’s County, keeping our country and the American people safe while creating new jobs in Maryland.”
Ed Gunts is a columnist for Baltimore Fishbowl.