PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — Business leaders in Prince George’s County are sharing their thoughts on the impact the new FBI headquarters would have on local businesses if the city of Landover or Greenbelt is selected to be its new home. Although there have been changes in the selection process, many are still hopeful.
Much of the Prince George’s County community is excited about the possibility of the FBI headquarters moving to the D.C. area suburb.
“It’s a win-win to have a headquarters in Prince George’s County, which is obviously a very viable option,” said Cassius Priestly, Board Chair Member for the Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to Maryland, Springfield, Virginia is also vying for a spot.
Recently the General Services Administration made changes to the site selection process mandating the location fulfill the FBI’s mission requirements, which includes proximity to the FBI academy in Quantico, Virginia.
In a statement to DC News Now, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan expressed his dismay for the criteria changes.
“There is no question that Prince George’s County remains far and away the ideal location for the consolidated FBI headquarters. So it is incredibly disappointing to us that, after years of deliberations, the federal criteria were suddenly changed. I recently discussed the situation with Majority Leader Hoyer, and we hope and expect that our congressional delegation will continue to speak out for more equity and transparency in the process,” said Hogan.
Despite the changes, the Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce remains optimistic.
“I still think Prince George’s County is still the best option,” said Priestly. “If all the ancillary businesses that will be around the FBI headquarters that will benefit. Be it your restaurants, be it your dry cleaners, you name the businesses, that are around the FBI headquarters that will be supported by the amount of traffic. You’re talking 1000s of employees that will be housed at the FBI building,” he said.
Although the GSA has months before making a final decision on whether Maryland or Virginia will be the best fit for the government agency, Priestly says it will be disappointment if Prince George’s County is not selected but the county’s Chamber of Commerce is determined to help local businesses continue to thrive.
“There’s still tremendous growth in the county. So these businesses are already experiencing that growth and and taking advantage of it,” said Priestly. “I think just having the FBI, or any large entity of that scale come to the county will only continue to help support the growth we’re already experiencing.”