Manassas Journal Messenger | FBI to open office in county

The FBI is moving an office to a Prince William County business park.

The federal General Services Administration is arranging for a new FBI satellite office on 15 acres of land at [email protected], the county’s high-tech industrial park west of Manassas.

“It really provides a unique opportunity to take a look at where the growth is and where it is economically feasible to build a building at a fair cost,” said Joseph Persichini Jr., FBI Special Agent in Charge for the Washington Field Office, who discussed the new office at Tuesday’s Prince William Board of County Supervisors meeting.

Persichini said the site’s proximity to Interstate 66 and George Mason University were factors in the decision to relocate to Prince William County.

The office would replace the one at 7799 Leesburg Pike in Tysons Corner in a move that Persichini said is part of a trend toward stand-alone buildings and away from multi-tenant buildings.

New security requirements mandating 100-foot setbacks and barring underground parking garages make it more difficult to put FBI offices in already developed areas, Persichini said.

The county is selling the land for $2.6 million and the office building will be built at an estimated cost of $32.6 million, with completion expected by July 2007, Persichini said.

The office will house more than 300 employees, including intelligence analysts, linguists, computer scientists and an MS-13 gang task force. It will be a satellite office — or resident agency — of the Washington Field Office which covers Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.

The GSA would have 12 months to find a private developer to build the 225,000 square foot office building, which would then be leased to the FBI, according to terms of the sale.

The developer GSA picks would actually buy the property from the county, and then construct the building.

The sales arrangement, known as an assignable option agreement, delays the final sale date, yet county officials recommended pursuing it since, in this case, it would result in a long-term lease with GSA.

Board Chairman Sean T. Connaughton, R at-large, applauded the announcement, saying in a statement that it “continues our path from being a bedroom community for the federal government to being a place of employment for both the public and private sectors.”

The FBI already has a presence in Prince William County with a training academy aboard Quantico Marine Corps base.

“We have quite a few agents here and I think a lot of them will look forward to the fact that they don’t have to commute as far,” Connaughton said.

[email protected] is a business park of more than 1,000 acres surrounding the George Mason University Life Science Campus. It is zoned for high-tech, biotech and life science research/manufacturing.

In other business Tuesday, supervisors:

• Approved a federal housing report that qualifies the county for nearly $4 million in federal housing funds; and

• Decided to hold a $170 million road bond referendum in November 2006 instead of moving it up to this fall.

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