Outlet mall chain breaks ground near National Harbor

Prince Georgians who have long lamented the lack of high-end retail in the county may have a new place to shop by this time next year.

Tanger Outlets broke ground Thursday on a 340,000-square-foot, $100 million strip shopping center off Oxon Hill Road, about a mile from National Harbor.

Steven B. Tanger, the company’s president, promised about 80 off-price retail shops from American Eagle, Brooks Brothers, Banana Republic, Gap H & M and J. Crew among others.

Tanger, who appeared with several local politicians and National Harbor developer Milton Peterson at a ceremony Thursday, said there would also be 600 construction jobs, and as many as 1,000 jobs in retail. Estimates vary about the tax revenue the new stores would generate. Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) said the stores could bring the state and county about $5 million annually in additional revenue from taxes; Tanger put the figure at $6.5 million.

Peterson,whose National Harbor mini-city on the Potomac has weathered tough economic times, despite millions in tax breaks and infrastructure payments from the county and state, said there were moments when he thought about giving up. “A lot of people would have said good-bye,” he told the crowd of about 400 who had gathered in a heated tent for the Tanger groundbreaking.

But he said he had hung on and was looking forward to the expansion of retail and a possible casino. The new shopping center, expected to open by this time next year, “would add to the mix.” And now that voters in Maryland approved Question 7, which expands gaming in the state and adds a site somewhere in Prince George’s, there is a good prospect that a casino will come to National Harbor too, Baker noted.

Miranda Spivack writes about government and politics in the suburbs, based in the Post’s bureau in Largo in Prince George’s County.
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