The General Services Administration (GSA), which is the real estate division of the US federal government, has announced that it will be tendering a contract for the $2.1bn FBI headquarters in January, with the aim of choosing a development team by March.
The location of the facility is still unknown, but the GSA has narrowed the choice to suburban Maryland or northern Virginia, where it would be neighbours with the CIA, at Langley.
The cost and location of the headquarters, which is expected to take five years to build, has been the subject of a long and complicated political battle in Congress and the states of Maryland and Virginia. The outcome was expected to be influenced by the result of the presidential election, with Hilary Clinton’s running mate being a senator for Virginia. Â
According to reports in The Washington Post, two of the bidders for the scheme are associated with President-Elect, Donald Trump.
One is Steven Roth, who served as an economic adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign and who co-owns a building with him in Manhattan, and the other is Larry Silverstein, who has been referred to by Trump as a "friend of mine".
Reportedly, Trump himself considered bidding for the project, the largest federal scheme since the CIA move to Langley in 1961, before running for the presidency.
In addition to the headquarters, the FBI has been lobbying for a campus in the Washington suburbs for the past 10 years. The development team that wins this project would receive more than $1bn in federal appropriation, and would also win control over the J Edgar Hoover building in the capital, which is the current FBI headquarters. The Post calls this a "once-in-a-generation development opportunity in downtown Washington".
Most of the Hoover building’s entrances were sealed after the 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City, and netting has been added to the building’s east facade to catch falling debris.
The Construction Dive website notes that the contract will be design-and-build and will have to meet tough energy efficiency criteria.
Image: The Hoover building in Washington will be up for redevelopment (FBI)