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Council to Discuss FBI Development at Greenbelt Metro

At tomorrow’s Council meeting, the City Council will discuss the proposed FBI development at the Greenbelt Metro development.

Based on my conversation with Garth Beall, the developer at the A.H. Smith Greenbelt Management, the core FBI development will consist of 5 buildings. Their heights will range from from 10 to 16 stories. The developer is also proposing a mixed use development, in between the current Metro station and the proposed FBI buildings. The number of buildings could change but they wouldn’t be more than 8 stories tall unless everyone was in favor of it. Current concept plan for the mixed use is 800 residential units (500 apartments and 300 condos). There would be a condo building south of the garage that is not shown on the rendering. The developer would probably not build that until later since they don’t think the market would support that now.

Rest of the plan is for a 300 room hotel with 20,000 square feet of conference facility, 350,000 to 400,000 square feet of office and as much retail as we can make work, 100,000 square feet of retail, which may consists of restaurants, a small grocery like a Trader’s Joe’s or a 24 hour fitness as part of the retail mix. Hotel is expected be in one building, the apartments could be in one as shown in the hotel rendering or split into two buildings if it works better. Office would be two or three buildings likely.

As far as the schedule goes, the GSA has now short listed the Greenbelt site as one of the three possible sites for the future FBI headquarter. The other 2 sites are at the previous Landover Mall and the Springfield site. More on that is here.

The GSA has started the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) process, it’s expected the Request for Qualifications (to qualify bidders) to be issued in October or November, followed by Requests for Proposals late next spring or early next summer. Negotiation on bids are expected for the new headquarters to come next fall and the award to be made in the spring of 2016.

(Artist’s rendering of the aerial view. The FBI buildings are at the bottom)

(Artist’s rendering of the plaza, looking east, with Greenbelt Metro behind)

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  1. Bill Smith

    You didn’t mention that as part of the what is need for the developer’s deal to work, is that 29 acres of what is currently publically owned, publically accessible land will be set aside as a security buffer (to the bottom of the drawing). The FBI will not come to Greenbelt without the security buffer. What are we, the public, getting from the developer for the removal of that land from our use?

    It will be interesting to see how that fenced security buffer area, that, essentially the developer is getting for free, will cross Indian Creek (more than once). If they put a fence up, it will act as a huge trash trap. Trees and junk will pile up against it.

  2. Fazlul Kabir

    Bill, Thanks for your comments. I asked the question to the developer who just made the presentation to the Council. Yes, the land you referred to will be part of the security buffer that GSA is asking to be around the FBI building. According to the developer, there will be a fence around the buffer.

    While, we’re on this topic, please attend the Public hearing on the project at the Greenbelt Library at 5.30 pm. Also, the developer will be at next month’s NCPCA meeting to take your questions.

  3. Robert Catlin

    Actually if anyone is getting the state owned property for “free” it is the FBI, not the developer.

  4. Bill Smith

    “Actually if anyone is getting the state owned property for “free” it is the FBI, not the developer.”

    I disagree with that. If the land wasn’t provided the developer wouldn’t be building this project. Something else would be built there that didn’t need the buffer.

    The developer should be paying for the land being taken from the use of the public.

  5. Robert Catlin

    The developer can only provide the land with the agreement of the property owner, the State of Maryland. The state will most likely be a party in the negotiations about how the property will be built upon to protect the facility The 350 foot buffer is geared toward protecting from truck bombs. It is not yet clear what kind of protection will be needed in an area where motor vehicles can not operate.

    If the FBI isn’t built at Greenbelt Metro, no other project is likely to be built there in the next 20 years, as retail and private office interest in the site is and will continue to be nil until, at a minimum, mega developments at Konterra and by Andrews AFB get built out. The private office market in the County is terrible and getting worse as more attractive office settings are being built in a large number of other locations in the metro area.

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