GREENBELT – The potential developer of the Greenbelt Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) site hopes to “come on down” after the price is right, or in this case, lower. Renard Development Company has drastically lowered the asking price for land it would sell to the federal government in the event the General Services Administration (GSA) […]
GREENBELT – The potential developer of the Greenbelt Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) site hopes to “come on down” after the price is right, or in this case, lower.
Renard Development Company has drastically lowered the asking price for land it would sell to the federal government in the event the General Services Administration (GSA) chooses Greenbelt as the new home of the consolidated headquarters for the FBI. The move is aimed to make the site a more competitive and attractive option.
If Greenbelt wins the bid, Renard plans to purchase 78 acres of land from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority next to the Greenbelt Metro station. Approximately 50 acres of that would be sold to the government for use as a new multi-building FBI complex. Renard plans to use the remaining land to build a 1.6 million square-foot mixed-use development project, including retail space, residential units, commercial space and a hotel and conference center. Many of these would be located above and adjacent to existing Metro facilities, with the FBI facility in space currently used as a parking lot.
Garth Beall, project manager with Renard, said the Greenbelt site is the only one of the short list sites – which also includes Landover and Springfield, Va. – to include this retail component, and the profits it stands to generate from that piece make the deal a good one for the company, even with a lowered price for the land.
“We hope to be profitable on-site with the commercial development. And obviously getting the FBI headquarters to come to Greenbelt is critical to that. Everything we can do to make that happen, we’re doing,” he said.
Beall did not say by how much, or to what, the price was lowered.
Ashley Nash-Hahn, press secretary for the GSA, said the agency is unable to offer a comment because it is still in the process of evaluating proposals from multiple bidders for all three sites.
“This is an active procurement, so we can’t comment on it at this time,” she said.
Beall said the decision to lower the price came after the state and county formalized their financial contributions in the event Greenbelt is chosen.
“Public financing has always been talked about, but until recently it hadn’t been committed,” Beall said, saying his company didn’t want to make assumptions on how much, or even if, money would be forthcoming. He added, “I think we’re very happy with the amount of public support.”
As reported in June, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan pledged $220 million worth of infrastructure improvements if Greenbelt is chosen. The county government has pledged an additional $97 million. The $317 million total offer is higher than for any other site ($120 in Springfield and $255 for Landover).
That pledge gave Renard the freedom to lower the cost. But Beall said the company had always planned to do so if it could.
“Our goal has always been to try to make the site free to the federal government, or as inexpensive as possible,” he said. “Bidders have been under that understanding, so I think it’s not much of a change for bidders.”
Those bidders are vying for the contract to actually construct the new 2.1 million square-foot headquarters. GSA is expected to make an award in December.