County DVD Outlines

Steps for Entrepreneurs

Prince William County officials have headed to the small screen to help entrepreneurs figure out how to make their way through the permit process, commissioning Alexandria-based Nine Yards Media to produce a video that aims to help "demystify" the process of opening a new business.

"I would hope that it would give people the tools that they need to get their business up and running quickly," said Marieanne D'Antonio, management analyst with the county's Building Development Division.

The free "Prince William County Open for Business" DVD, available to the public at the county's offices, includes vignettes of local businesspeople discussing their experiences in expanding, relocating or setting up shop in the county.

It features 10- to 20-minute interviews with owners of four companies: Sandia Cafe of Lake Ridge, Distinctive Consignments of Woodbridge, Enterprise Database Corp. of Manassas and Auto Fleet Services and Auto Cosmetics of Woodbridge.

The production includes a 30-minute overview and a segment on frequently asked questions about the permit process.

County officials decided that such a DVD would be useful after they produced a feature about how to build a deck. More than 1,000 people have picked up a copy of that production on DVD or video.

Harris Teeter Breaks

Ground in Gainesville

In another sign that Prince William County is going upscale, ground has been broken for a Harris Teeter grocery store in Gainesville. The store will anchor a 125,000-square-foot retail center called the Marketplace at Madison Crescent.

"We continue to see additional investment in the commercial and residential that is dramatically more upscale than we have ever seen in the past," said Sean T. Connaughton (R), chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors.

The 52,000-square-foot grocery store will be part of a 43-acre mixed-use development called Madison Crescent. It was inspired by the historic town of Bath, England, with the development's residential and commercial buildings surrounding a park.

The development will open late next year and will have a three-story office building and 216 homes, including town houses and single-family houses.

"While modeled after a town built over two centuries ago, Madison Crescent will be a modern, state-of-the-art planned community where people can live, work, shop and enjoy a comfortable and convenient lifestyle," said John D. Rhoad Jr., managing principal of McLean-based RMJ Development Group LLC, which will develop the project.

The District's Madison Retail Group is leasing the retail space and Community Realty Company Inc. of Greenbelt is handling the office leasing. McLean-based Miller and Smith is building the residential portion of the development. The Lessard Group Inc. of Vienna is the project architect, and Rounds VanDuzer Architects PC of Falls Church is the retail architect.

County's Housing Prices

Rose 3 Percent in July

Housing prices continued to climb in Prince William County, with the median sale price reaching $391,000 in July, up 3 percent from July 2004.

A total of 1,315 houses were sold in the area in July, compared with 1,274 a year ago, according to the Prince William Association of Realtors. Houses stayed on the market longer, for an average of 22 days in July compared to 16 days a year ago.

Commerce Bank Opening

Branch in Dale City

Prince William County-based R.W. Murray Co. is building a 4,600-square-foot Commerce Bank branch in Dale City.

Based in New Jersey, Commerce Bank will spend $1.69 million on construction of the Minnieville Road branch. The bank also has a branch in Manassas.

Jim Hoskinson, a project manager with R.W. Murray, will supervise the project. InterArch Inc. of Mount Laurel, N.J., will provide architectural services for the project.

Woodbridge Chipotle

Opens With Fundraiser

Big burritos are coming to Woodbridge. A Chipotle restaurant at 2457 Prince William Pky. will have an opening preview from 5 to 8 p.m. today as a fundraiser.

Visitors will receive a big burrito and drink for a $5 donation to benefit Gar-Field High School. The restaurant opens tomorrow.

-- JENALIA MORENO

E-mail news about Prince William County business to lallyk@washpost.com.