Saturday, 19 Jan 2019

Prince George's has not been added to Amazon's list. But the county could still be a winner.

The Prince George County Executive, Rushern L. Baker III, speaks at the opening of The Remy Apartments in New Carrollton. Officials say that housing like The Remy could help attract Amazon employees. (Mike Yourishin / Prince George County) Prince George officials felt flouted when their county was the only jurisdiction in the Washington area selected as finalist of Amazon's second head office. Now, however, they say Prince George's could be the "lucky" move of the retail giant to Crystal City. The abundance of subway stations and low housing prices in the county, home to the state's flagship university, could attract new employees and businesses that Amazon will bring. But experts say that to make the most of the opportunities offered by Amazon's second headquarters, Prince George's must make a concerted effort to include marketing, school improvement and workforce development. . "There is a real opportunity," said Margery Turner, Senior Vice President of the Urban Institute. "Access to affordable housing and rapid transportation in the region will be a magnet." Terry L. Clower, director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, said Prince's needs George were "an effort of all actors". to make themselves known to ancillary businesses as well as potential new residents and to ensure the safety of neighborhoods and the many opportunities for education.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) speaks at a press conference after Crystal City in Arlington has been chosen to host the new headquarters of Amazon. (Kevin Lamarque / Reuters) With the announcement made by Amazon just a few weeks ago and the takeover of county leader Angela D. Alsobrooks on Monday, the county has yet to take any firm action to attract the people and associated companies to the big retail giant. But David Iannucci, the new president of the Prince George Economic Development Corporation, said he had a list of more than 20 companies trying to recruit to do business with Amazon in Seattle. Much of the work to attract new residents will be done in the private sector, said Iannucci. This task should be facilitated, he added, by the recent arrival of high-end apartments near the New Carrollton subway station and elsewhere.[[[[
The loss of the Amazon in Maryland raises questions about its competitiveness]Nevertheless, Prince George's crime rate is higher than that of neighboring countries, despite substantial reductions in recent years. His schools, which have also improved, are still among the worst performers in the state. Alsobrooks (D) rejected the negative stereotypes about the county during his opening speech, calling Prince George "a role model for others." "We're not the 9th district!", She threw loud applause into the communities of Prince George that border the rapidly gentrified Columbia District and its eight political boroughs. Alsobrooks is optimistic that Prince George's will benefit from Amazon's arrival, particularly because its housing remains relatively inexpensive compared to the District and other nearby suburbs. Amazon – whose owner, Jeffrey P. Bezos – also owns the Washington Post – plans to employ 25,000 employees in northern Virginia by the mid to late-2020s. At the Urban Institute, the median selling price of Prince George's homes was $ 274,113 in March, compared to $ 424,208 for Montgomery County homes and $ 519,313 for the houses in the district. In Arlington County, where Amazon will be located, the median selling price was $ 588,583. Prince George's also distinguishes itself from rental prices, which increased 8% in the 2011 to 2017 district, compared to 0.1% in Prince George's, according to Urban Institute data. Board member Derrick Leon Davis (D-District 6) said, citing low housing prices and undeveloped land in the county, that no jurisdiction was ready to move faster to accommodate people in this area. region.
The New Carrollton metro and transit station, introduced in 2014. (Bill O & # 39; Leary / Washington Post) Leaders hope the 15 subway stations in the county will attract another big draw, more than any other suburb of Washington, and that development that has taken place around them in recent years. Among
Amazon workers in Seattle, about 30% of commuters use public transit. Four metro lines are connected, including one, the Blue Line, which goes directly to Crystal City. The county also has two MARC lines that carry passengers to Union Station; Amtrak trains also stop at New Carrollton Station. "All of these lines – and the development around all these lines – offer opportunities to connect us to jobs throughout the region," said Dannielle M. Glaros (D-District 3), a board member. Overlooking the New Carrollton station in the Glaros district is a new luxury building called The Remy, as well as an upscale office for the 2U educational technology company and ready-to-rent commercial space. The project was part of the plan of former county director, Rushern L. Baker III, to stimulate the development of five underdeveloped subway stations. The Remy, which has benefited from fee reductions, tax relief and a conditional loan provided by the Baker Economic Development Stimulus Fund, features a rooftop terrace offering a view striking, state-of-the-art gym and screen in the lobby itineraries and Uber waiting time. Kevin Berman, whose company Berman Enterprises has developed the project, said it was the fastest-rented property in suburban Maryland this year.
A screen displays waiting times for Metro, Uber, Amtrak and MARC trains at The Remy, a luxury apartment complex built last year near the New Carrollton subway station. (Rachel Chason / The Washington Post)

The lobby of Remy apartments. (Rachel Chason / The Washington Post)

Lanterns hang in a playroom at The Remy. (Rachel Chason / The Washington Post) Alsobrooks said it was considering finding innovative ways to build on the economic development work being done by
Baker and continue to focus on development focused on public transit. "We have accessibility. . . we have affordable and extraordinary housing. . . we have a world class university, "said Alsobrooks. "We know that we will become attractive almost by extension." [Amazon FAQs: What Northern Virginians are asking about HQ2] The University of Maryland at College Park, which will soon have a new computer building, will create talent for recruiting Amazon and other companies, she said, as well as Bowie State and Prince George's Universities. Middle School. However, these institutions will have to compete with Virginia Tech and other state institutions on the other side of the Potomac River, which are receiving a huge financial boost from Richmond alongside the arrival of Amazon. The Alsobrooks and other leaders say that they are already discussing the best way to position and market the county, which is one of the richest black majority jurisdictions in the country. Amazon estimates that its new headquarters will open in 2019 with approximately 400 employees and will reach 25,000 over the next few years. Prince George's has already launched a marketing campaign, launched by Baker, which, according to the authorities, highlights the county's selling points. Bright images of attractions ranging from wooded parks to Six Flags America are associated with the slogan "Experience, expand, explore". "This campaign was the county attack to try to start telling our own story," said Barry Hudson, Baker's spokesperson. "If you are experimenting or exploring Prince George's, you will want to grow your business here."

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