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County Executive Baker And Team EDC Meet With Premium Retailers At Worldwide Conference To Boost Access To Shopping And Restaurants For County Residents

L to R: EDC President and CEO Jim Coleman, EDC Business Development Director John Mason meet with Benjamin Berman, Principal of Berman Enterprises to discuss transit-oriented development plans at New Carrollton Metro Station at the Prince George's County ICSC booth in Las Vegas.Las Vegas, NV, May 25, 2016 - Today, Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker, Prince George's County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President and CEO Jim Coleman and a team of executives from the County and the EDC closed out a whirlwind two-day push at the 2016 International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) where they pitched premium, high-quality retail outlets to expand their brands in Prince George's County and enhance the quality of life for County residents. 

"This trip is all about providing our county's residents with access to the premium, high-quality shops and restaurants that they deserve and creating new jobs and career opportunities to make our County families sustainable," said Coleman.  "We are determined to bring every resource possible to get the job done, but we ain't grovelin'.  County Executive Baker has already laid the groundwork by streamlining the permitting process and creating the type of business-friendly environment that developers and investors are craving.  The secret is out. It's Morning in Prince George's County!  Now is the time to invest before it's too late!"

The team held nearly 20 meetings at the County's booth with high-level executives from top retailers, major developers and international food outlets and grocery stores.  Nearly 500 convention attendees representing retailers and developers stopped at the County's booth to gather more information about expanding their businesses into Prince George's County.

Throughout the convention, the team met with representatives of targeted retailers such as leading retail brokers representing Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and Cracker Barrell, who were excited by the opportunity to expand in Prince George's County.  The EDC has already scheduled follow up meetings with these representatives within the next several weeks. 

"I learned a lot in the meeting today about Prince George's County. It's very exciting," said Joseph Gibbs, Starbucks Store Development Manager, who met with County Executive Baker and his team. "A lot of opportunities are coming, especially with the Metro stops and the transit-oriented development that the county is planning.  It's a great and exciting time for Prince George's County."

County Executive Baker brought decision makers from the County and the EDC to participate in the meetings in order to send a message to businesses that Prince George's County is open for business and ready to act quickly as a partner in their projects.  These key personnel included Glenda Wilson, Chief of Staff, Nick Majett, Chief Administrative Officer, David Iannucci, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Economic Development, Jim Coleman, EDC President and CEO, Larry Hentz, EDC Business Development Director, Haitham Hijazi, Director of the Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement, and Brad Frome, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Public Infrastructure. 

County Council Chair Derrick L. Davis, County Council Vice-Chair Dannielle Glaros and County Council Member Karen Toles actively participated in the meetings, pitching the value of their districts and the County as a whole.  EDC Board Chair Orlan Johnson and EDC Board Vice-Chair Marva Jo Camp also provided their support and expertise to business prospects in these high level meetings and throughout the conference.

"We're looking forward to expanding into Prince George's County. We got a lot of great information from the representatives of the county executive's office and the EDC," said Aisha Braveboy, Esq., Manager Government Affairs for Children's National Health System, who also met with the County's team.  "It was helpful that they understood the importance of healthcare delivery and having access to healthcare and how critically important it is for us to partner with them.  County Council Chair Derrick Davis totally gets it.  He's well-versed in all of the incentives that the County offers companies like mine and he has the desire to work together. We look forward to continuing to serve Prince George's County, but now in a bigger way."

Attendance at the conference was a record-breaking 36,000 with 120 new exhibitors.

Many retail prospects were interested in the opportunities developing in the County's 'Emerging Corridor', an area represented by County Council Member Karen Toles, including Suitland and Iverson, where the County is investing $90 million in new infrastructure and road improvements.  A new massive mixed-use community development is planned for the historic Suitland Federal Center, including 900 new residential units, 90,000 square-feet of new retail space, a 700-seat theater and performing arts space and a walkable promenade.

Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Mike Gill visited the County's booth to offer support on behalf of Governor Larry Hogan.  During an intensive strategy session led by County Council Chair Derrick L. Davis, the team discussed ways in which the County and State could work together to address key areas of economic development, including workforce training and transportation issues.

With 3,600 jobs coming online for the MGM Resort and Casino at National Harbor by December 2016 and the capacity for 10-15 more hotels to open in the County within the next 24 months, EDC Board Vice-Chair Marva Jo Camp coordinated a special tour of the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas, a training facility graduating thousands of Las Vegas hospitality servers annually.  The tour was designed to share best practices in preparing a local workforce for customer service-oriented occupations and to explore the development of a similar training center in the County.

To view the new video released by the EDC at ICSC 2016 entitled 'It's Morning in Prince George's County' that celebrates the County's progress and the incredible opportunities available to retailers, developer and investors, click here.

Prince George's County has scored many wins from past ICSC conferences, including Dave and Buster's, which opened at Ritchie" Station last month, Harris Teeter, Krispy Kreme and Nordstrom Rack.

The County's participation at this year's ICSC was sponsored by MGM National Harbor, Dave and Busters, Walton Development, The Peterson Companies, ARC Properties, Berman Enterprises, G.S. Proctor & Associates, Echo Realty, Iverson Mall, Petrie-Richardson, Diversified Lending, Forestville Plaza, NAI Michael Companies, Urban Atlantic, Wawa, Blueline Security Services & Blueline Video Surveillance, Royal Farms, Quantum Companies and Krispy Kreme.