Saturday, 8 December 2012

My Neighborhood

The FBI, for those who didn't know, have this old obsolete headquarters facility in DC....the J Edgar Hoover building....which started construction in 1965 and was completed around 1970.  Rather than put a massive amount of money into a building with various limitations, in the center of DC....the FBI would like to actually leave and move out....preferably over into Virginia.

The talk over the last month is that they have a couple of places in mind, near Fairfax.  The plus-side is that most of what they want is already sitting there and little would have to be done to change things.  Additionally, it's near the interstate and Metro.

Things looked pretty good on the FBI getting what they want....up until the end of this week.  Then, talk started up with DC city council folks and Prince George's county folks (Maryland).  They want a "deal", with the US federal government.

Years ago, the Washington Redskins played at RFK stadium in DC.  It was a decent stadium, able to hold around 56k folks (absolute maximum).  For years and years, the Redskins played there, until it was deemed too obsolete for the team, but not for the local government   The Redskins moved out into Prince George's county to FEDEX Field, where they play roughly eight home games a year.  RFK stadium?   It still stands there on the east-side of DC....in fairly obsolete shape, used for soccer and public events only, and ought to be torn down.

What happen over the past decade is that Prince George's county in Maryland has come to realize that for everything they did to acquire the Redskins into their county...it's simply not returning the value hoped for, in tax revenue and fees.

The Redskins will tell you that Fedex Field is a decent stadium with a number of negative factors.  Their owner would desperately like to have a new stadium built....in DC....then just pack up and go (not paying a fee to Prince George's county for violating the contract deal).

So there's the FBI building.  What Prince George's county wants....is a swap deal with the federal government where the FBI is forced into relocating deep into Prince George's county and they would allow the Redskins to leave without any legal action or extra fees.

Yeah, it all sounds pretty hokey.....the FBI building tied to the Washington Redskins.

What's brewing behind the mess?  There's some property down in southeast DC (the bad part of town) that the city is holding for long-term development.  One area is the old mental health facility where a massive stadium and parking could be built.  It's near the interstate and would crowd out the poor section of town within a decade, if something that massive was built there.

The FBI guys have to be laughing over this suggestion.  What Prince George's county wants....is for the FBI building to be located there and over the next decade....hundreds of the agents would eventually relocate up into the area....to pay hefty Maryland taxes (income, sales tax, and property taxes).  It'd all add up to a better deal than this lousy eight games a year played currently in Prince George's county.  You can also figure that the hotel use around Maryland for the eight games....isn't that great, and maybe half the incoming fans lounge over in Virginia rather than Maryland.

The DC city council knows that they have a trusted source or two within the White House team who could get the President to push the FBI over to a Prince George's county solution....so this all makes good sense to them in the end.

A comedy of sorts?  Yes.  The curious thing is that no one has spoken of the J Edgar Hoover property in the middle of DC and what might end up there.

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