Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III lauded the recent start of a massive development project near the New Carrollton Metro station, stressing that the future of economic growth hinges on commercial and residential development near transit hubs.
Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States will incorporate that vision with about 850 employees on a 49-acre complex near the 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 Oct. 4 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 rests in New Carrollton and would accommodate 10 million square feet on at least 300 acres near the Metro station.
Other major businesses adjacent to the station that also call New Carrollton home include the state’s Department of Housing and Urban Development.
An education technology company, 2U Inc., relocated from Landover this year to expand its operation in New Carrollton. The company plans to add 900 additional employees in the next three years to its more than 700 employees currently in the county.
“To bring [companies] here to experience and expand and enjoy what we have to offer here in Prince George’s County … means our residents win,” said Jim Coleman, president and CEO of the county’s Economic Development Corp. “Companies are going to say, ‘If Kaiser Permanente is going out there and that’s a Fortune 500 company, what’s going on out there?’ Other companies better get out here and find out what’s happening.”
New Carrollton also houses the county’s top transportation hub with access to Amtrak, MARC and Greyhound and other means of transit. The Metro station will connect to the Purple Line light-rail project, which officially began construction in August.
The proximity to the New Carrollton Metro station stood out as one main reason why Kaiser chose the site, said Kim Horn, regional vice president for Kaiser.
Horn said the “highly-skilled jobs” that will be available 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 for another four or five years.
Officials couldn’t stop smiling while staring at the lot, which ultimately will accommodate nearly 1,000 workers in a 176,000-square-foot building with access not only to Metro, but also to 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.”