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FBI’s Departure Makes Money Sense for D.C.

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The J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington, D.C.  (Credit: JOYCE NALTCHAYAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington, D.C. (Credit: JOYCE NALTCHAYAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — District leaders are more than happy to see the Federal Bureau of Investigation leave its downtown headquarters in the future for one reason: money.

Although the FBI’s Hoover Building takes up an entire city block in the heart of downtown, the property is a tax-exempt federal building, meaning the city doesn’t collect a dime in property tax revenue from it.

That would change if the FBI relocated to neighboring Maryland or Virginia, allowing the District to put the downtown property on the market.

Private redevelopment of the property just blocks away from the White House and the Verizon Center would bring in about $28 million per year in new tax revenue, according to a study by the National Academy of Public Administration and Bolan Smart Associates. That money would more than make up for the estimated $9 million the city would lose from the departing 5,000 jobs the FBI would take with it.

D.C. officials know how eager developers would be to get a crack at the FBI site.

“Oh yeah, it’d be a great property. It really would,” said Bill Doherty, CEO of The Walton Group, the developer behind the Westphalia project in Upper Marlboro. “We would take the site in downtown D.C. and we’d be able to do something special down there.”

Officials say the FBI likely won’t relocate for about a decade.

WNEW’s John Domen contributed to this report. Follow him and WNEW on Twitter.

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