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Four Major Issues for FBI Building Redevelopment

WHO: American University Metropolitan Policy Center Experts, Derek Hyra and Brett Williams

WHAT: Redevelopment of FBI J. Edgar Hoover Building Site &FBI Relocation 

WHEN: February 19 - ongoing 

WHERE: American University, in-studio, via telephone

BACKGROUND: The redevelopment of the FBI's J. Edgar Hoover Building along Pennsylvania Avenue has many implications for D.C. and the nation. Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. is one the most important and symbolic streets in the nation along with Park Avenue in Manhattan. Respectively, political power and wealth define these avenues. What does the pending redevelopment along Pennsylvania Avenue symbolize? Could wealth come to dominate Pennsylvania Avenue? 

Issue 1: What does the redevelopment of the former Hoover Building and FBI headquarters site along Pennsylvania Avenue mean for D.C.? Does the pending redevelopment of the Hoover Building and the nearby Old Post Office (leased to Donald Trump) mean Pennsylvania Avenue is being converted into corporate America? Is the federal city now becoming the corporate city? Who will live and work at the redeveloped site? Will this new redevelopment D.C. contribute to the conversion of "Chocolate City" to "Condo City." 

Issue 2: Who should influence and control the Hoover Building redevelopment process - big business, the federal government, and what about the local control of the District government? What does the redevelopment process tell us about the state of Home Rule in the District? 

Issue 3: What redevelopment criteria will GSA use to select the winning real estate developer's land swap proposal? Will financial feasibility trump all other considerations or will some affordable housing be part of the deal? 

Issue 4: Which suburban municipality will be selected for the new FBI headquarter's site and what financial incentives will they provide? Will it be an economic boom or bust for the suburb site where the new FBI building is located?  

The American University experts below from its are available to discuss the issues above as the plans unfold. Additionally, Metropolitan Policy Center working papers are available here.

Derek Hyra, associate professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy and director of the Metropolitan Policy Center, has studied development in the Washington, D.C., area for nearly a decade. Hyra's forthcoming book on the revitalization of the Shaw/U Street area, Making the Gilded Ghetto: Race, Class and Politics in the Cappuccino City is forthcoming later this year. He is also the co-editor of a forthcoming volume, Capital Dilemma: Growth and Inequality in Washington, D.C. Hyra also recently authored a London School of Economic blog, "The back-to-the-city movement is leading to political and cultural displacement, transforming the inner city into condo city." 

Brett Williams, professor in the Department of Anthropology has been writing about Washington, DC, since the 1980s. Her book Upscaling Downtown: Stalled Gentrification in Washington, D. C. is a D.C. classic. She is a contributor to the forthcoming edited volume Capital Dilemma: Growth and Inequality in Washington, D.C. Her chapter focuses on the redevelopment of D.C.'s waterfront and its implications for low-income residents.


American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.