Dear Prince Georgians,
Today, we held a press conference to tell an untold story. While we have talked about our Blue Line Corridor (BLC) Project over the past year, what we haven’t discussed are the local minority developers who are working on projects that will uplift inner beltway communities along the Blue Line. The BLC is likely one of the only places in the nation where local minority developers are leading this kind of investment along a five-mile stretch, with projects totaling $769 million in investments.
Five major projects are already planned or underway along the Blue Line Corridor, all being led by minority developers, that will help transform communities along the corridor that have missed out on investments for far too long. These projects and associated developers include:
- Pavilion at Lottsford: led by Omar Karim of Banneker Ventures, this mixed-use development will feature 800 residential units and 72,000 square feet of retail.
- Park Place at Addison: also led by Omar Karim of Banneker Ventures, this mixed-use development will feature 193 residential units, 11,000 square feet of retail, and 10,000 square feet of community space. This project received funding from Amazon.
- Hampton Park: led by Brandon Bellamy of The Velocity Companies, this mixed-use development will feature 400 residential units, a hotel, 100,000 square feet of retail, and over 100,000 square feet of office space.
- 210 on the Park: led by Anthony Wash of A Wash and Associates, this development will feature 173 total residential units. This project received funding from Amazon.
- The Epiphany at 6500 Central: led by Jacqueline Alexander of The Community Builders and Lloyd Blackwell of Harambee Development Group, this mixed-use development will feature 112 residential units and 4,300 square feet of retail.
These five projects are in addition to the $400 million in bonding authority we received through the Maryland Stadium Authority, recently approved by the Board of Public Works. This funding will be used to create a sports and entertainment destination along the Blue Line Corridor, which will include an amphitheater, youth sports fieldhouse, market hall, library/cultural center, and civic plaza. With this bonding authority, infrastructure money received from the State of Maryland, and the above private investments from developers, well over $1 billion is being poured into projects along the Blue Line Corridor.
What’s most significant about these private investments from developers along the BLC is that the majority of them live in Prince George’s. These are individuals who know and understand our community and will ensure development benefits all communities up and down the Blue Line. These kinds of investments will build generational wealth for our communities and for small and minority-owned businesses, helping us close the wealth gap in Prince George’s.
This is a rare and unique opportunity for any jurisdiction where local, minority developers are leading investment on this scale. This kind of investment right here along the Blue Line Corridor is historic, and other jurisdictions across the country should be looking to this as a model of successful smart growth.
Smart growth is another topic that we focused on today, because that is what the Blue Line Corridor Project represents. I’ve heard some people say that Prince George’s County is overdeveloped, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Prince George’s County has the most undeveloped land in the State. By strategically targeting growth around our transit stations, we can ensure that our County continues to grow and bring in the amenities that our residents want and deserve, while also preventing suburban sprawl.
We’ve heard the concerns from residents about sprawl and bringing development into areas that cannot support it. That’s why we aren’t investing in townhomes that have no schools or roads to support them, and we aren’t here to build another dozen gas stations. These Blue Line investments will bring grocery stores. They’ll be well planned, helping to reduce traffic instead of increasing it. They’ll have plenty of new, special amenities that we’re building with our bonding authority.
Years ago, at the start of my first term and with the help of an outstanding team, I saw a vision for what the Blue Line could mean for Prince George’s County. Walkable, bikeable, amenity-rich neighborhoods with access to transit, that still preserve affordable housing for longtime residents. We have worked for the past four years to line up the pieces we would need to turn that vision into prosperity for Prince Georgians.
I sometimes hear people ask, “Why the Blue Line?” During my first term, we commissioned a study that showed an enormous amount of unused public land along the Blue Line. This gives us a rare opportunity to plan and prioritize smart growth that meets resident’s needs. Our public land is ready for public-private partnerships, and it’s a resource that’s especially available along the Blue Line.
It’s also because, quite frankly, communities around these metro stations have missed out on promised investments for far too long. This is an opportunity for us to finally fulfill the promise of new grocery stores, amenities, and other investments for residents along the Blue Line, while creating a destination that all Prince Georgians will enjoy.
Finally, we’ve seen how this smart growth strategy around metro stations has been successful in other jurisdictions. Many of our metro stations in Prince George’s look exactly the same now as they did 40 years ago. However, just look at our neighbors, and metro stations such as Ballston, Rockville, and Silver Spring. These are areas that have become destinations for new businesses and residents across the region. In fact, our residents leave Prince George’s frequently to shop and eat at destinations in Montgomery County, D.C., and Alexandria.
We want our community to experience the same growth and prosperity that other residents around our County and our region have experienced for decades. Our Blue Line Corridor Project will allow us to bring new places for our residents to shop, dine, and entertain themselves. It will allow us to build generational wealth for our communities and local, minority-owned businesses. It will allow us to grow our commercial tax base, so we can bring in new revenues and finally stop balancing our budget on the backs of our homeowners.
There is no place in the nation like Prince George’s, and our historic investments and work with local minority developers along the Blue Line are another reason that continues to be true. I hope all of you are just as excited about the future we are building in Prince George’s together.
Yours in service,
Prince George’s County Executive
Photo of County Executive Alsobrooks and Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Economic Development Angie Rodgers with local minority developers supporting the Blue Line Corridor Project.