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P.G. Housing Department Makes Major Move

Gale Horton Gay | 6/12/2013, 3 p.m.
It’s been years in the making with lots of negotiations, but Prince George’s County is about to be the headquarters ...
Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker III (Courtesy Photo)

It’s been years in the making with lots of negotiations, but Prince George’s County is about to be the headquarters of a state agency — its first.

The Board of Public Works has approved a lease in New Carrollton for the new headquarters of the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).

This means that DHCD will be moving into a new mixed-use project which will include 500 residential units and 65,000-square-feet of retail in phase one. When fully built out through phase two, the project will incorporate up to 2,400 residential dwelling units, 100,000-square-feet of retail and a 300-room hotel.

“Working with the private sector, this project will create a vibrant transit community in Prince George’s County” said Gov. Martin O’Malley when he and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown made the announcement May 29. “This project concentrates development around our existing transportation infrastructure and will reinvigorate communities around the New Carrollton Metro station, creating new job opportunities and economic opportunity for our business community.”

The initial phase of the project including the construction of the DHCD building will take approximately 18 months to complete with an expected occupancy in June 2015.

Berman Enterprises was the successful bidder on the project.

The first phase of the project will include $116 million in private investment. This investment, coupled with the state’s commitment to a 15-year lease, will create 132 permanent jobs and 325 construction jobs, officials said. It also means new tax revenue to the county and state with an estimated economic benefit of $8 million during the lease.

DHCD is currently located in Crownsville, Md., in Anne Arundel County and is staffed by 380 employees.

Brown said the move continues to strengthen the county.

“This investment is designed to spur new economic development opportunities, maximize our existing infrastructure and create new well-paying jobs in our community,” said Brown.

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III called the project a “smart and strategic investment in the economic future” of the county and the state.

“Prince George’s County makes up 15 percent of the state’s population, and we enthusiastically welcome the opportunity to house our first state agency,” said Baker. “The Department of Housing and Community Development will jump start transit-oriented development at the New Carrollton Metro Station and anchor a quality mixed-use project that will create jobs, increase our commercial tax base, and provide retail and residential options in a new urban center.”

Prince George’s County has one of the largest transit systems in the state and expects growth with the expansion of the Purple Line through New Carrollton, officials said.

Delegate Jolene Ivey said that the county has been lobbying the state for more than seven years to diversify its offices to include Prince George’s County. A relocation study was conducted in 2008.

Ivey said that the key vote leading to approval of the project occurred on May 29 “in a standing-room-only meeting of the board at the State House, and only after a spirited debate on the benefits and drawbacks of the relocation.”

She praised the support of the governor, State Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot for “overcoming concerns and opposition to approve this major initiative.” 

“This move demonstrates the faith that our state has in the continual improvement and prosperity of Prince George’s County,” said Ivey. “We will be a strong partner in ensuring the smooth transition for the agency and welcome this new opportunity.”