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Economic Development Corporation Partners With Top Local Developers To Boost County Retail Success

EDC President & CEO Jim Coleman talking with Local Developers about New Attraction Strategies for Premium RetailersLargo, MD – Yesterday, Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President and CEO Jim Coleman announced that the EDC will be joining forces with top local developers in the region to bring more well-known retailers to Prince George’s County.  Through a public private partnership, the EDC and local developers are planning to roll out the red carpet to key retail executives by bringing them to Prince George’s County and exposing them first-hand to the feel, smell, touch and opportunities available in the County. Michael Amann with Forestville Plaza, Howard Biel, Sr., Vice President of Echo Realty, Trey Proctor with G.S. Proctor and Associates, Kent Digby, Vice President Peterson Companies/National Harbor and Jeffrey Berman, Vice President of Berman Enterprises were among the 17 local developers invited to brainstorm on how to best showcase Prince George’s County to the world. 

“Today, we heard from the ‘movers and shakers’ of the Prince George’s County retail and real estate establishment. Like our residents, these developers deserve to have major retailers like Apple Computers, Saks Fifth Avenue, Capital Grille and Morton’s Steak House in the County, and we want to help them get  it,” said Coleman. “We want to invite the CEO’s and CFO’s from the major retail outlets to not just meet with us when we go to the ICSC shopping center convention in Las Vegas, but to bring them to see the Prince George’s County up-close and personal.  I see no reason why Louisville, Kentucky, with a smaller population and lower median household income than Prince George’s County has a Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and Prince George’s County doesn’t.  With the strong community interest and the development community working with us, I’m betting on the house that Prince George’s County can bring in more premium retailers with our hands on approach to enhancing the County’s retail community.”

In recent years, through its participation at the annual International Council of Shopping Centers Convention (ICSC) in Las Vegas, the County has successfully attracted retail outlets such as Harris Teeter, Nordstrom Rack, Krispy Kreme and Tanger Outlet.  These ‘wins were part of the County’s collective efforts to highlight the land, local support and incentive tools that developers community and the County are willing to contribute to ensure retailers success. 

“I’m really happy that the County is reaching out to the business community, and developers in particular to gage us on how they should they should facilitate retail in the County.  Many retailers are not aware of the purchasing power in Prince George’s County,” said Berman.  “As people begin to understand what County Executive Baker and his team have done to change and enhance the regulatory environment, and to become more business friendly, I believe we will have more national and regional presence in the County.  My family has been developing in this County for generations, and this is the best it has ever been. Now is a great time to bring national brokers to Prince George’s County to experience firsthand what the County is all about.”

Attendees complimented the County on its ability to showcase Prince George’s County at the ICSC conventions and were also shared concerns about the changing face of retail.  Many were pleased to recognize that the County is, in fact looking to change the retail attraction program and are developing initiatives that, in conjunction with the Convention, would have a stronger impact in showcasing the County. 

“Our goal is to showcase the genuine opportunities that exist throughout Prince George’s County,” said EDC Business Development Director, Larry Hentz.  “Building on our past successes, our partnership with the development community will take us to the next level.  We believe that by actually seeing these great opportunities, people will come to the realization that Prince George’s County is a great place to do business.”

Several of the developers shared their own challenges in doing business with the County in the past, and credited the tenacity and cooperation of County Executive Baker’s office and the Economic Development Corporation with making their businesses successful.  As a development community, it seemed it was important for them to ensure that other retailers had the opportunity to become a part of the dynamic business environment that is synonymous with Prince George’s County. 

“As a development community, we are doing well attracting new retailers and we are trying to achieve further momentum,” said Digby.  “There is a lot of energy in the County.  It is very refreshing to see Jim Coleman and the EDC bringing developers together in these type of forums.  Having worked in the County for more than 11 years, this is the best I’ve seen the County and the business community working together.  We want to continue to make things happen in Prince George’s County.”

The EDC and the County will attend the ICSC Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada from May 21st through 24th, 2017.  For more information on retail business development or to become a part of the Prince George’s County delegation to ICSC, contact Larry Hentz (lhentz@co.pg.md.us) or call 301-583-4650.