GREENBELT – The General Services Administration (GSA) finally released its draft environmental impact statement for the consolidation of the FBI headquarters and Greenbelt’s facility looks to be in good standing. Garth Beall, the project manager at Renard Development Company overseeing the development and preparation of the Greenbelt site, said there were not many surprises coming […]
GREENBELT – The General Services Administration (GSA) finally released its draft environmental impact statement for the consolidation of the FBI headquarters and Greenbelt’s facility looks to be in good standing.
Garth Beall, the project manager at Renard Development Company overseeing the development and preparation of the Greenbelt site, said there were not many surprises coming with the release of the statement on his end.
As part of the project, the GSA is asking for a two-mile gas line for the building’s heating system, as well as the need for an on-site substation, Beall said. The Landover development may need an on-site substation as well, according to the document.
“If we have to do a substation, it’s not that big of a deal. Same thing with gas,” Beall said. “We’re not entirely sure if those are required.”
Beall said they will look into alternative forms of generating heat and energy before they know if the substation and pipe are both required. Either way, he said, costs would not be substantial enough to deter the project.
“It’s already a $2 billion project,” Beall said.
Unlike the other two sites, the Greenbelt site is built directly on a metro station. According to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), at the Landover site, which is being built on the site where the Landover mall once stood, the closest metro station is the Largo Town Center metro station, which is nearly two miles away, according to the document.
“GSA and the FBI have determined that if the Landover site is selected, an employee shuttle to (and) from the site would use the Largo Town Center Metro Station. As a result, this analysis evaluates conditions at this Metro station,” the document said.
Traffic also proved to be an issue for the Landover site. Current traffic operations at the four intersections surrounding the site are operating at a “currently unacceptable” level, according to the document.
“There were no planned roadway improvements within the Landover site study area to compensate for the substantial number of vehicle trips added from the addition of the planned developments,” the document said.
At the very minimum, it said, there would also need to be required changes to the interstate ramps along the Capital Beltway between the Landover Road and Central Avenue interchanges.
Despite needing a shuttle to operate, the DEIS said the current metro operation at the Largo Town Center would be acceptable should the GSA choose to operate at the Landover location. Projected passenger loads are currently slated to be below 120 passengers per car by 2022, according to the document.
There are just five intersections in Greenbelt that currently operate at a condition that would be considered unacceptable, according to the document. However, at the Landover site, there are 18 signalized intersections and just one unsignalized section that would be considered unacceptable.
Also, more parking would need to be considered at the Landover site more so than the Greenbelt site according to the document. There are 3,735 required parking spaces at Greenbelt as opposed to 7,370 at Landover.
No matter what the site, public officials said in a joint statement released last month, the FBI coming to Prince George’s County would be a positive for the state.
County Executive Rushern Baker III released a statement, along with Congressman Steny H. Hoyer, U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin, and Congresswoman Donna Edwards (all D-MD), in support of the GSA’s decision to consolidate the FBI headquarters.
“We are heartened by the explicit commitment made today by the FBI, GSA and OMB (Office of Management and Budget) to a full consolidation of the FBI headquarters,” the statement said. “We also encourage GSA to stay close to their announced timeline and to keep Congress apprised of any adjustments as they arise. Prince George’s County is the best choice for the FBI, and we will continue to work together to bring this important economic development project to Prince George’s County.”
The FBI and GSA announced last month that the bid for the FBI facility would need to consolidate all 14 of the current facilities established throughout the District of Columbia. Currently, according to Kamara Jones, spokeswoman for the GSA, the project’s award date is scheduled to be in late 2016.
Because of the delay to release the DEIS, which was originally scheduled to be released earlier this fall, the reward deadline had to be pushed back.
“Projects of this size and complexity can be dynamic and adjustments are commonplace as a project of this scope and magnitude moves forward,” Jones said.
The request for proposal release next month will be the final and absolute requirements for each site, according to Jones. They will include the minimum standards and the evaluation criteria used to determine which site gets the award.
However, Jones said, the FBI’s program of specific requirements are “national security sensitive and will not be disclosed.”