U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will consolidate its operations into a $265 million headquarters in Camp Springs, Maryland, in less than three years.
The federal agency, which oversees legal immigration to the country, will house 3,700 employees across the street from an apartment complex with another one under construction. A commercial lot will occupy land nearby with restaurants and other businesses.
The Branch Avenue Metro station is adjacent to all three properties.
“Having [USCIS] come here to the county is huge,” Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III said Monday during a groundbreaking ceremony at the lot in Camp Springs. “Not only just the jobs that will be created here … but also the industries that will support it. This gives us the critical mass to be able to do a mixed-use development around a Metro system.”
About seven people spoke during the ceremony about the project, which county representatives say will boost one of Baker’s biggest economic strategies: transit-oriented development around a Metro station.
The 570,000-square-foot building will represent the county’s sixth-largest employer as county officials tout the jurisdiction as a leader in the state of Maryland in job creation.
USCIS will lease the property for 15 years and save the federal agency $21.4 million in leasing cost in the first year.
Francis Cissna, director of the agency, said it will be the first time USCIS has housed services at one location. The agency has workers currently in about five locations on leased property throughout the D.C. area.
“This world class facility will allow the men and women who work at CIS to better collaborate and more effectively accomplish its mission and save the taxpayers millions of dollars,” said Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.). “USCIS and the 3,700 good paying jobs it will bring will also be an economic catalyst for the surrounding community. This is a major economic development win for Prince George’s County.”