FBI relocates Sacramento office to West Roseville

New facility could grow, spur development
By: Graham Womack - Of the Press Tribune
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The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently opened a field office in northwest Roseville, relocating its operations from Sacramento.

But it isn’t just the new, LEED-certified building at 2001 Freedom Way that has city staff and developers optimistic. It’s the adjacent 34 acres of developable land that Harsch Investment Properties built roads, water and sewer for as part of its sale to the FBI’s developer, Cunningham Development Company, approximately one year ago.

The 119,434-square-foot field office opened Oct. 11, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by FBI Director James B. Comey. In time, there could be more development on the surrounding land.

“We’re going to take our time,” Harsch vice president John Shorey told the Press Tribune. “Since we’re in it for the long term, we want to make sure we make good decisions for everybody.”

The new FBI office opened in a growing part of Roseville, with Top Golf having opened down the street and the county having recently announced plans for an 8,100-acre Placer Ranch development nearby.

Roseville economic development director Chris Robles said the city isn’t looking to turn a profit with the FBI office, but that the new employees help the city.

“They’re going to be shopping in Roseville and bringing that income to our community,” Robles said. “That has a return on sales tax, which is our No. 1 revenue for providing services to the community. Secondly, this project in itself has a significant benefit on property tax.”

Roseville added employees in an area it has lacked. Unlike nearby Sacramento, where 20-25 percent of its jobs are in the public sector, Roseville only has about 4 percent government jobs.

“We have some very good areas in job diversity, but what we don’t have a lot of is government jobs,” Robles said. “We’re not going to pursue every opportunity for a government job that’s out there, but I’d certainly be interested to see what’s available.”

The FBI in turn got its new building and more space. FBI employees had been spread between three buildings in Sacramento that totaled 84,521 square feet, according to General Services Administration spokeswoman Jessica Glavin. She said the GSA viewed 19 locations, including 13 in Placer County, with seven offers in the county received.

“This location met all of the FBI’s security and mission requirements and provides the best value for the government,” Glavin said via email.

She noted that the bureau has a 20-year lease through the GSA with the developer.

Jobs might not be immediately available at the new office. FBI special agent Troy Sowers said approximately 248 FBI employees work in the new office and that the bureau didn’t lose any employees in the transfer from Sacramento.

“If you’re working for the FBI, you’re dedicated to the mission,” Sowers said.

The FBI operates smaller offices in Redding, Chico, South Lake Tahoe, Fairfield, Stockton, Fresno and Bakersfield, with no plans at this time to open other satellite offices in the Sacramento region. There’s potential, though, for growth in Roseville.

“We have built this out … so we can continue to grow in this building,” Sowers said.

Robles said he’s optimistic for the relationship Roseville now has with the GSA.

“I think we’re on their consideration list,” Robles said.