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Category: Greenbelt Interchange

After FBI Project Nixed, Area Leaders to Discuss Development Options at Greenbelt Metro Site

After the much-anticipated plan to move the FBI headquarters to Greenbelt is shelved, the area leaders have started discussing what can be done at the Greenbelt site. The Four cities Coalition, comprised of the Mayors and Council members from College Park, Greenbelt, Berwyn Heights, and New Carrollton will be meeting tonight to discuss this topic at their quarterly meeting in Berwyn Heights. The meeting will be held at the Berwyn Heights Town Council meeting room at 7pm. Also, the Greenbelt City Council discussed potential options this week( agenda here . The video here).

The General Services Administration (GSA) decided to terminate the decade long process to replace the aging J. Edgar Hoover Building housing the FBI and to construct a new FBI Headquarters Complex due to a lack of funding. The GSA was looking into three sites as the new possible FBI headquarters – Greenbelt and Landover in Mayland, and Springfield in northern Virginia. In an hour long briefing, the GSA talked about the uncertainty over full Congressional funding for this $2.5 Billion project for the main reason for the project’s cancellation. Millions of dollars have been spent over five years by the three development teams, by the land owners, the State of Maryland, and Prince George’s County in pursuit of the now canceled federal solicitation.

This happened after the Congress repeatedly showing its support for the FBI headquarters consolidation by appropriating over $910 million so far, and by an expression of commitment to appropriate the remaining $880 million in the next federal budget. Unfortunately, the GSA made the decision to cancel without consulting with Congress, nor with the development teams.

It’s hard to tell what will happen now. Here is what the Washington Business Journal says

“what might happen to the Greenbelt site. We’ll have to watch and see what the developer (Renard) do now. There are questions about whether Renard can still execute on its option to develop the land for WMATA. It had planned to set aside about 61 acres for the federal government if Greenbelt was selected and develop about 1.6 million square feet of nearby commercial space. WMATA affirmed that the entire deal was contingent on Greenbelt’s selection.”

With FBI project canceled, SHA’s Greenbelt Metro Interchange project will also be shelved. As part of the plan, SHA was suggesting to add another ramp for the westbound traffic, merging into the existing ramp from the eastbound traffic. This could potentially add more noise and pollution to our single family houses next to Metro. They were also looking at adding two 12ft lanes on both sides of the beltway, from Rt 1 to Kenilworth Ave., to provide better access to Greenbelt Metro.

SHA Plans to Widen Beltway in North College Park

Last Wednesday evening, I attended a meeting on SHA’s (the State Highway Administration) Greenbelt Metro interchange project on I-495 beltway. The 3.2 mile long project spans the portion of beltway between Rt 1 and the I-295, however the main focus of the project is to build a full interchange at the Greenbelt Metro allowing easy access between the Greenbelt Metro and east side of beltway. It appears that the interchange development is related to the proposed FBI development at Greenbelt, however the SHA is saying that the interchange project will move ahead regardless of whether FBI moves to Greenbelt or not.

As part of the plan, the SHA wants to widen the inner and outer loops of beltway in north College Park, roughly between Rt 1 and Greenbelt station. SHA plans to build one extra lane (about 10 ft wide) in both inner and outer loops. It means that the existing sound barriers will come closer to the houses in Sunnyside neighborhood, and also near Ontario Rd and Niagara Place. According to SHA, the 70% design of this project will be completed in sometime next month, however actual construction of the widening will not start in about 10 years. The widening project is in phase 2 of the larger project and its construction will start the construction of the interchange at Greenbelt (phase 1 of the project).

You can find more information about the project here on SHA’s website.

I’ll keep you posted as we hear more about the project. I’ve also requested to have a discussion at the NCPCA in February.

Greenebelt Interchange - College Park

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