As promised, Greenbelt Online is following breaking news about the FBI headquarters projected relocation to the Greenbelt Metro Station, and adding links to news items to our chronological archive here.
Most news stories since our first blog post about the Greenbelt announcement have repeated statements of opposition from Virginia office-holders, and mentioned that the FBI’s Inspector General is reviewing the process used to select the Greenbelt location. But there were two stories in the last month that were actually news.
News Review Outlines “Downsides” to FBI Location in Greenbelt
Greenbelt News Review president Cathie Meetre wrote her “Musings on the Downsides of the Proposed FBI Building” in the 12/28/24 issue, page 6. Naturally included were the topic of traffics congestion and an increase in property values,which is good or bad depending on your situation.
There was also some insight into why DC didn’t fight to keep the FBI headquarters there. “The FBI pays no real estate tax and their leaving [DC] will allow a private entity to redevelop the DC site and pay taxes (estimated at $25M per year.)” Wow!
Meetre expects that “The development could breathe new life into previously mooted projects, proposed earlier but shelved. These include the razing of Franklin Park and its redevelopment at higher density and new apartments to the east of Greenbelt Road at its intersection with Cherrywood Lane. It will likely revive Beltway Plaza’s redevelopment plan. Each means hundreds of additional apartments and impacts on schools, social services, and public safety.”
Of note: her conclusion that there’s little concern about environmental damage caused by the project.
Trump Lobbies to Rebuild in DC
As president, Trump reportedly opposed the relocation of the FBI headquarters for fear that a new hotel on the FBI’s current site would compete with Trump Hotel a block away on Pennsylvania Avenue, and indeed there was no progress toward a relocation decision during his presidency.
Now the Trump Hotel has been sold and Trump’s position on the FBI headquarters has changed. On December 31 it was reported that “Trump opposes new building for FBI after Congress approves $300 million for relocation to Maryland.” Here’s Trump’s announcement on Truth Social:
Soon, Trump-supporting voices weighed in to agree with his position. One example is the National Review’s “The Shady FBI Headquarters Move.” And DeSantis and Ramaswamy agreed.
Some have mocked his change of heart and speculated as to what Trump’s vision of a “new and spectacular” headquarters might look like – including these examples. Social media postings offered many more.
And there are reports of Trump’s potential financial gain through his connection to an interested developer.