Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks speaks during a May 31 press conference at The Landing at Woodyard shopping center in Clinton to announce that nine county shopping centers will receive $1.9 million for façade improvements and other upgrades. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)

Thanks to slightly more than $1.9 million, Prince George’s County residents will see façade improvements and other renovations at nine shopping centers.

Some of those renovations are slated to happen immediately as a way to enhance visibility, increase retail and remain competitive in the D.C. region.

“It is our goal to improvement the retail diversity and quality, while also improving safety and façade,” County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said Friday at The Landing at Woodyard Clinton. “We have no doubt our business community, our residents and our economy will greatly benefit.”

Besides renovations on a 207,000-square-foot property at The Landing at Woodyard in Clinton, it will also add new businesses such as ALDI, Marshalls, Chik-fil-A and possibly a steakhouse.

A list of the nine shopping centers to receive $1.9 million in renovations and upgrades (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)

“It will also make more jobs available,” said Barbara Jackson, who’s resided in Clinton since 1988. “Whenever we want to go shopping, we would have to go Waldorf [in Charles County] or Virginia. This is a real good thing needed for Clinton.”

How property owners received grants through the Commercial Property Improvement Program are based on several criteria such as good standing with the state of Maryland, current on mortgage payments and ability to match the grant funds to receive reimbursement.

The owners also must show an ability to transform and improve a distressed piece of property in a short amount of time.

The county contributes $1.7 million and the state at $200,000 for a total just north of $1.9 million. Owners can receive between $50,000 to $350,000 for a project that must begin within 90 days after approval.

Some of the other retail spaces and centers that will receive grants include: Dodge Plaza in Landover ($350,000); Shoppes at Crittenden Crossing in Hyattsville ($150,000); and Mt. Rainier Main Street ($76,100).

The Landing at Woodyard will receive $350,000 for exterior lighting, install signs to enhance visibility from Branch Avenue and replace doors and windows to open a Marshalls department store, previously occupied by Giant grocery store.

When the owner purchased The Landing in May 2016, it stood at 60 percent vacancy. Today, it’s at 30 percent with Burlington and Ross department stores now open.

Through his research of the Clinton area, property owner Erik Hugus said about 130,000 vehicles travel along Branch Avenue daily, an average household income of $100,000 and 100,000 people within a five-mile radius.

“It was a big risk. As entrepreneurs, we tend to be a little risky. But in this case, it turned out to be a beautiful thing,” he said. “We met with the local community early and found out what they want they wanted. The county helped us with this grant and we can now get this project going.”

Coverage for the Washington Informer includes Prince George’s County government, school system and some state of Maryland government. Received an award in 2019 from the D.C. Chapter of the Society of...

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