Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III touts how the future of economic growth hinges on commercial and residential development near Metro stations.
Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States seeks to incorporate that evolution county officials envisioned when it brings about 850 employees on a 49-acre complex near the New Carrollton Metro station.
Kaiser, one of the nation’s largest health care providers, will become part of a $1 billion transit-oriented development project in the city of New Carrollton scheduled for completion in the next 10 years.
“This is going to be great for the surrounding communities,” Baker said Wednesday after a groundbreaking ceremony near the Kaiser site scheduled to open late next year. “The properties values will go up and the quality of life will go up, so it’s great for us.”
County officials hope Kaiser’s presence would boost its proposal to entice online giant Amazon to construct a second headquarters in Prince George’s. One of the three proposed sites rest in New Carrollton that would accommodate 10 million square feet on at least 300 acres near the Metro station.
New Carrollton houses the county’s top transportation hub that includes the Marc train system, Amtrak and Greyhound. The Metro station will connect to the Purple Line light-rail project, which officially began construction in August.
The Metro station influx stood out as one main reason why Kaiser chose to house its administration building in New Carrollton, said Kim Horn, regional vice president for Kaiser. Horn said some of the “high-skilled jobs” include programming, support systems and other administrative positions to exceed $20 an hour.
She said the company serves about 150,000 people in the county with clinics and centers in Largo and Camp Springs.
“We have a vision where many of our workforce can work, live and play,” she said after the ceremony. “We have a longstanding investment in Prince George’s County. We looked at where health care is needed, kinds of jobs [the county] wanted to create. We built this 10-year plan to support the work here.”
Urban Atlantic of Bethesda will not only construct the building for Kaiser’s employees, but also a nearly 300-unit apartment building with restaurant on the ground floor and a 10-story, 175-room hotel that would sit adjacent to the Metro station.
Vicki Davis, president of Urban Atlantic, said the hotel wouldn’t be constructed in another four or five years.
Officials couldn’t stop smiling Wednesday staring at the dirt that will transform into a bustling business structure with nearly 1,000 workers and access to Metro, Route 50 and Interstate 95.
“This is the best multi-modal location in the region,” said Malcolm Augustine, a member of the Metro board of directors who represents Prince George’s. “It’s just a fantastic location. I’m really looking forward to this entire project coming to fruition.”