For the second time within a week, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan visited Prince George’s County on Wednesday and stood alongside County Executive Angela Alsobrooks to tout economic development.
The governor joined the county executive on Thursday to announce construction of the county’s first cancer center that will open in two years on the Largo campus of the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center.
The two leaders returned to nearby Largo Town Center Metro station to promote the $400 million legislation signed into law Tuesday. The new legislation allows the state’s Stadium Authority to issue bonds to refurbish, construct and open sports and entertainment facilities in the county — specifically within communities inside the Beltway along Metro’s four Blue Line stations that include Largo, Morgan Boulevard, Addison Road-Seat Pleasant and Capitol Heights.
Alsobrooks announced the money for the project remains part of a $2.5 billion package in state aid secured for the county this year, the most during the 90-day legislative session in Annapolis.
“We are so proud to bring home what we believe will be transformational economic growth and long-await entertainment amenities for our residents,” she said. “This did not happen by accident.”
As for the Blue Line corridor project, there’s a plan to build an amphitheater, library/cultural center, sports fieldhouse, a plaza and a market hall.
None of the money will be used to help construct a new stadium at the site of FedEx Field in Landover, current home of the Washington Commanders, which remains under contract through 2027. Morgan Boulevard, the closest station to the stadium, sits about a mile away.
“We’re not building a stadium for that team. I said, ‘Good luck if they wanted to go to Virginia,’” Hogan said Wednesday. “Angela Alsobrooks and I came together and said, ‘We are going to do a lot to redevelop this community with or without the football team.’ That’s what we’ve done here today.”
Some residents said they’re pleased the state will invest money to refurbish areas around the Metro stations but want the Commanders to remain in Landover.
“There are jobs for the people there who live in the community,” said Tiffany Quzack-White, 38, of Largo, who conducts janitorial services for Manassas, Virginia-based Didlake. “That will be jobs gone and an empty lot. The Commanders should stay.”
Celestine Odukwe, also of Largo, said the team shouldn’t leave for historical reasons, adding that the money would help improve accessibility for those who use public transportation.
“The team is kind of a legacy in the area,” said Odukwe, 49, who works as a certified nursing assistant in Northern Virginia. “Besides the team staying here, I hope the area [around Largo station] gets refurbished with the hospital nearby. Public transportation is very important for people like us. Not everybody has a car and not everybody can bring out a car every day on the road. This area is massive.”
Former Rep. Donna Edwards, who’s running again in Maryland’s 4th Congressional District that includes FedEx Field, said in an interview all the Metro stations in the county should be refurbished “to develop affordable and workforce housing around them.”
“Make sure there is retail and commercial development and bring federal agencies to locate [there].],” Edwards said.
As for the Commanders remaining in Prince George’s, Edwards said it’s beneficial for both the team and the county.
“Any national football team would be proud to be located in this county and a transportation hub that services the stadium,” she said. “It’s important that the citizens of Maryland and Prince George’s County foot the bill for things that benefit us. I hope and I believe that this effort on the part of the governor and the county executive could result in a huge benefit to keeping the Commanders at that stadium and also bring a tremendous benefit for the people of the county.”