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$800,000 HUD grant to spur growth near 4 Pr. George's Metro stations

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By Ovetta Wiggins
Wednesday, October 20, 2010; 7:39 PM

Prince George's County and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission will receive an $800,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to stimulate growth around four Metro stations.

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Federal officials said "the goal is to attract new federal and spinoff tenants and mixed-income housing" to the stations.

Kwasi Holman, president and executive director of the Prince George's County Economic Development Corporation, said the county will conduct a study that will offer recommendations for incentives to builders for "intense office development" around the Southern Avenue, Naylor Road, Suitland and Branch Avenue Metro stations.

"We're overjoyed about this in conjunction with the work of our congressional delegation to look seriously at Prince George's for a federal facility," Holman said.

Holman expects growth around the Metro stations to complement development at the former St. Elizabeths Hospital, located in the District between the Congress Heights and Anacostia Metro stations on the Green Line. The western part of the site is becoming the headquarters for the Department of Homeland Security. D.C. officials want the eastern campus to offer a mix of offices, housing, shops and community facilities.

"This grant is great news for Prince George's County," said Sen. Barbara A. Milkulski, who made the announcement in a statement with fellow Maryland Democratic Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin. "But this project means more than transportation. It means people can live and work all in the same neighborhood."

For years, Prince George's officials have been trying to attract development around the county's 15 stations, and efforts have intensified in recent months. Metro and the state of Maryland recently requested proposals to develop 39 acres around the New Carrollton transit hub. Bids are due Nov. 5 for that project.

Earlier this year, Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) announced that the state Department of Housing and Community Development would move its headquarters from Anne Arundel County to a location near a Metro station in Prince George's.

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