Maryland: Data centers could be built on Maryland's old mall site for FBI HQ

Aug 16, 2023 | Posted by Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji

Lerner Enterprises is evaluating a former Maryland mall as a possible campus for a data center if the FBI does not relocate there. Brightseat Associates LLC, a Lerner affiliate, filed a preliminary application for a "qualified data center" with Prince George's County's land use regulatory body this week, as first reported by BizJournal.

The prospective scope of the development of the data center is currently unknown. The site, located on 80 acres in Landover to the east of Washington, DC, was formerly a demolished shopping complex. The location is one of several finalists for the new FBI headquarters. According to David Iannucci, president of the Prince George's County Economic Development Corp., Lerner is "absolutely committed to pursuing the FBI," and the application is "a backup plan."

Lerner constructed the Landover Mall, which opened in 1972, closed in 2002, and was demolished in 2006. Until 2014, Sears remained on a portion of the land it possessed. Lerner had previously proposed constructing a hospital as well as an office/hotel/residential/commercial structure on the site. In 2018, Lerner placed the land for sale, promoting it as a potential data center construction opportunity.

Since at least 15 years ago, the FBI has sought to relocate its headquarters from the J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington, D.C. The relocation process was terminated in 2017 by then-President Donald Trump and reinstituted in 2022 by the current Biden Administration.