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Thursday, February 09, 2006

High-end retail development: Do county residents really want it?

(Posted 9 Feb 2006)
  • County pitches for high-end retail; Officials say it’s coming.
    • Gazette, 9 Feb 2006 (by Marcus Moore, Staff Writer).
    . . . In a published report, Johnson said that Nordstrom had almost committed to building at National Harbor, the $2 billion mixed-use project being constructed on the banks of the Potomac in Fort Washington. But Deniz Anders, a Nordstrom spokeswoman, said otherwise.

    ‘‘We have no current plans to build in Prince George’s County,” Anders said.

    On its Web site, the Nordstrom chain, headquartered in Seattle, lists 13 future store openings through 2008 — with none in Maryland. Nordstrom has 155 stores in 27 states.

    The 300-acre National Harbor promises to serve 33 million visitors per year, according to its developer, The Peterson Cos. of Fairfax, Va. The highlight of the project is the $565 million Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. The 42-acre project, with 1,500 hotel rooms and 400,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space, is scheduled for a 2008 completion.

    Since the announcement of the National Harbor project, developers ‘‘have flocked to the county with additional investments,” Cornish said in a statement.
    [. . .]
  • Peterson Cos. withdraws retail plan; Some residents want site near National Harbor to be preserved; others say development is needed.
    • Gazette, 9 Feb 2006 (by Erin Henk, Staff Writer)

      The recent withdrawal of the application for the RiverCrest at Salubria center, which would have brought additional retailers near the future National Harbor Project site in Oxon Hill, is a relief to those who have pushed to have the site preserved. For others, however, it is a loss of what they say would have been a boon to an area greatly in need of better development. . . .
  • Area should not oppose RiverCrest at Salubria.
    • Gazette, 9 Feb 2006 (Letter from William H. Cavitt).
    . . . The staff report on RiverCrest points out there has not been meaningful commercial development in the area in over 20 years. As a community, we have been complaining for years about having to leave our community to find decent shopping and restaurants, mostly by driving across the river into Virginia, going east to Clinton, or south to Waldorf. Along comes Peterson with a handsome plan for a quality development on property we urged him to build on, and now some want to say no?
    [. . .]
    Residents deserve a livable community with convenient restaurants and shopping. The Peterson Cos.’ plans for RiverCrest at Salubria offer us a step in that direction . . .

  • Trade Show Sells County to Retailers.
    • Post, 9 Feb 2006 (by Ovetta Wiggins, Washington Post Staff Writer).
    • . . . According to a recent study, the average new home in Prince George's is worth more than $600,000.

      The study also showed that the county has more adults with graduate and undergraduate degrees than Howard and Anne Arundel counties and more residents with higher incomes. Yet, Prince George's does not compare with the two counties when you look at shopping options.
      [. . .]
      The speeches were rounded out by Johnson and council member Samuel H. Dean (D-Mitchellville).
      [. . .]
      Carl Williams , head of the St. Paul Community Development Corp., said Dean was integral in getting the project, which received a $600,000 loan from the county, approved. He described him as a friend and "the best council member on the County Council."

      "This is a coup for Prince George's County," Dean said. "This is what happens when we all work together."

      Dean does not represent the area of Capital Heights where the condominiums will be built but said he attended because the council realizes that there is a "blurring of the lines" in Prince George's, adding that he believes the county's future would be based on how well such established communities do.

      Of course, Dean's appearance continued to spur the talk that he may be considering a run for county executive. Dean denies the talk. "I've heard those same rumors," he said.
      [. . .]

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