The FBI’s November announcement that it will be moving its headquarters from downtown DC to Greenbelt, Maryland, ended a long-running jurisdictional competition over the agency’s future and its coveted economic redevelopment potential (if a challenge fails to overturn the decision).
Now, the move promises to bring 7,500 jobs to Greenbelt, along with 61 acres of mixed-use development for the site itself, plus an additional million square feet of nearby development, presenting a huge opportunity to close our region’s east-west economic divide. The project would be a joint development between WMATA, Prince George’s County, and the federal government.
But the decision is not without its detractors–looking at you Virginia. However, advocates believe the site is ideally situated to alleviate historic equity issues and boost transit-oriented development (TOD) in Prince George’s County.
A region divided
The DC region’s east-west divide goes back decades and has been a long-standing concern for regional leaders. In 1999, the Brooking Institute released ‘A Region Divided,’ a groundbreaking report that detailed the socioeconomic costs of the east-west opportunity gap.
The report stated that: “The Washington region is divided by race, income, jobs, and opportunity, with the eastern half of the region carrying the area’s burden of poverty and social distress while the western half enjoys most of the region’s fruits of prosperity.”