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From the Ground Up

More Retail Coming to Prince George's

By Dana Hedgpeth
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 21, 2005; Page E03

Prince George's County may be getting some of the trendier retailers that civic leaders and local shoppers long have sought.

A team of developers bought 245 acres at the Capital Beltway and Route 202 in Landover and plans to turn it into a complex of homes, offices and moderate- to high-end retailers that sell furniture, clothing and specialty items.

Landover Mall, where only a Sears store remains, may soon find itself across the Capital Beltway from new retailers. (Robert A. Reeder -- The Washington Post)

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Petrie Ventures Inc. of Annapolis, Erwin L. Greenberg Commercial Corp. of Owings Mills, and Hovnanian Land Investment Group (formerly Washington Homes) bought the property from the former Rouse Cos. of Columbia (now part of mall operator General Growth Properties).

The developers said they plan to put single-family houses, townhouses and condominiums, up to 1.5 million square feet of office space, and about 700,000 square feet of retail on the property, one of the area's last unclaimed parcels.

"It's an important site because it's very close to the Beltway, and it's another opportunity for us to attract unique retailers to the county," said Kwasi G. Holman, president of the county's economic development corporation.

Prince George's County officials have been working to attract varied retailers. A few years ago, Landover Mall closed, leaving only a Sears, Roebuck store open there. The mall sits across the Beltway from Petrie's project. Just a few miles south of Petrie's project in Largo, there is a new, town-center-style shopping center called the Boulevard at the Capital Centre. It has a DSW Shoe Warehouse, Sports Authority, Circuit City and a movie theater.

Although Petrie's development team said it has not filed plans with zoning officials, it expects to build some first-floor shops with condos above them, according to Walt Petrie, chairman of Petrie Ventures.

Not that the new development is likely to bring luxury merchants to Prince George's. "There's a lot of people who want me to put a Saks Fifth Avenue or a Neiman Marcus in here, but it will be more moderate-priced shopping," Petrie said. A Trader Joe's grocery store? "That's not out of the question," he said, and there also are likely to be neighborhood services such as a gym and dry cleaner.

Construction is expected to start at the end of the year, with completion in mid-2007.

Cohens Split Partnership

Richard and Ronnie Cohen, brothers who are well-known developers in Montgomery County, are splitting up one of their partnerships and selling a large strip mall at the intersection of Randolph Road and Nebel Street in Rockville.

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