The new growth of Prince George's County is concentrated outside the Beltway. Attached to the major roads and intersections, there are new and planned industrial parks, and businesses stretched along the cross-county roads and winding back from them into the fields are the new homeS.
A few side trips off the Beltway, starting from the north near the Montgomery County line, illustrate where the change is coming.
The Calverton Commercial Center, a complex of office buildings and stores, is planned by developer Albert Turner for the intersection of Rtes. 198 and 1-95 near Laurel.
Heading back south, along Route 1, the Ammendale Industrial Park is just to the west, two miles or so north of Powder Mill Road.There on 200 acres, Knott Industrial intends to build an office and industrial park.
"We're shooting for electronic, fast-growth industries," said County Economic Development Committee director Bob Polley, as he described what kind of industry he would like to bring into the country. Ammendale is one of the places he would like to bring it.
Back on the Beltway, a couple of exits to the southeast, sits the "Golden Triangle" - the area south of the Beltway at Greenbelt Road where the county would like to see a hotel-and-office complex rise.
Further south down the Beltway, the bulldozers are already stripping the scrub grown from the New Carrollton Triangle, the area pushed so avidly by county planners and economic development officials, the area that Shell Oil Co. intends to develop then sell to the builders of high-rise hotels and offices. And cater-cornered across the intersection sits the expanding Washington Industrial Park.
Even farther to the south, past Rte, 50 and near Central Avenue, is Capital Centre country. There,, in Largo where everything was tobacco fields a short time ago, planners have designed a new downtown, with some apartments, a lot of townhouses and single-family homes that will eventually house about 68,000 people. The Largo area has receded somewhat as an immediate prospect for development. Inside the Beltway, the old downtowns are crumbling and county officials are a little cautious about approving a new one.
Not far from Largo, to the cast along Central Avenue, is Kettering, Albert Turner's development of 1,200 or more homes, where more building continues today. Turner's proposals for apartment construction, however, have been stalled. So he has acceded in part to the county's wishes, and turned half the proposed apartment projects into town houses instead.
Even farther out Central Avenue, near Crain Highway and just a few miles from the Anne Arundel County line, is Enterprise Estates, another Turner development, and the kind the county executive wants more of. Only about 300 homes, the development of $85,000 homes on a third to half-acre lots still symbolizes for County Executive Winfield Kelly and his staff what the words "Prince George's" could mean to people in the future.
North of there, along Crain Highway, is the old site where Bowie Airpark was to be, the 1,200-acre tract where nothing ever happened. County planners admit that development here is not in the near future, but the county has bought the land with the intention of making it into an industrial park.
Just north of this, the Bowie New Town center would sit, a major retail and residential area on the southern edge of Bowie. However, the executives now running Levitt and Sons are not sure if the market would support this, and will only say they intend to build "as soon as we can."
It's a long way down Crain Highway from Bowie to Mariton, the new, growing area of homes in the east-central section of the county. New zoning ordinances recently passed will force all homes to sit on two-acre lots - part of the county's efforts to make the area elite. Black up north, black where the Beltway and Pennsylvania Avenue meet, there's talk of putting in another industrial park, the Pennsylvania Avenue Industrial Park. Polley said recently, this idea is still too problematical to count on.
Finally, there is the far south, the world opened up by Indian Head Highway and Route 5. Along these two corridors, new expensive homes are coming. By Indian Head Highway, there is continued development of Tantallon, where the homes cost upwards of $100,000.
Down where Crain Highway meets 301, where small trees form in dense clusters to cover the landscape, there is the proposed new town center of Mattawoman, where five property owners are trying to make a new city out of 3,100 acres of forest and cornfields.