Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker joined a host of county dignitaries and well-wishers at the recent groundbreaking ceremony for the Capital Court, a redevelopment project on the former site of the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Largo.
Brokered by Monique Anderson Walker, principal of Fleur De Lis, and purchased by developer Steve Sandler of L.M. Sandler & Son, the April 12 groundbreaking represents new life and new energy in the downtown Largo community, Baker said.
“Capital Court fits in nicely with our concept of a new ‘Downtown Largo,'” Baker said. “As we build a new Regional Medical Center near the Metro station in Largo, the project will become a significant part of what will be a vibrant area for Prince George’s County where people can live, dine, worship and work. All of this development makes this county the place to be.”
Sandler has envisioned the redevelopment of the 34-acre tract of land as a great opportunity to provide the Largo community with market rate and workforce housing to meet the needs associated with the new Regional Medical Center and the relocation of the county seat.
He has also committed to recycling the demolition materials into the new project, which will include a community center with a collaborative think tank between the Prince George’s Community College and Leadership Prince George’s.
“My experience with Prince George’s County is that they want to do business and want to grow,” Sandler said. “The people that we have worked with in the county have been very impressive. I have found that as long as we do what we say we are going to do, the county will do what they say they are going to do. And as a developer, you can’t ask for anything more.”
Marva Jo Camp, attorney for Sandler & Son and chair of Leadership Prince George’s, was pleased to be a part of bringing the property back onto the county’s tax roll and providing a community resource with the Leadership Prince George’s organization.
“Capital Court reflects the best of public-private sector collaborations,” Camp said. “Here we have a redevelopment of a dormant project that could not have gone forward without significant private sector development and a commitment from the public sector. It also reflects the vision for a new ‘Downtown Largo’ anchored by the new Regional Medical Center and the county seat. I am particularly excited about the development of a think tank onsite and the partnership with the Prince George’s Community College. Capital Court will be a model for quality development and innovation.”
Also in attendance at the ceremony were EDC Chief Operating Officer Paul Rowe, Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce President and CEO David Harrington, County ADCAO for Economic Development David Iannucci, EDC Board Chair Olan Johnson, EDC Board Members Andrew Roud, Ray Lambert and Sheriff Melvin High.
Well-wishers also included M-NCPPC Planning Director Andree Green, Bondholder Trustee Mark Young, County Revenue Authority Director Peter Shapiro and Nell Johnson, a representative of County Council Chair Derrick L. Davis.
“Every day, ‘Downtown Largo’ is becoming more and more of a reality and the EDC is committed to utilizing all of its resources to ensure the Capital Court project is a success,” Rowe said. “The excitement surrounding this project is profound as it marks the end of a blight on this community. We look forward to working closely with the Sandler Group and other stakeholders as they move forward in completing this project.”