Dirt started moving last week on the mixed-use project long planned for the Prince George's Plaza Metro station in Hyattsville.

On hand were the project's developer, Harvey Taylor, president of Taylor Land and Development; its financier, Thomas M. Farasy, president of Mid-City Financial Corp.; Prince George's Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Alfonso Cornish; and Metro officials.

For years the county's Metro stations have lacked the kind of mixed-used development found in Fairfax and Montgomery counties.

"We're thrilled to have it get started," said Rosalyn Doggett, a senior development staff member at Metro. "It's the first mixed-use development we've had get started in Prince George's County. There are more to come."

The $160 million project will include 300,000 square feet of office space, 260 apartments that will rent for $1,500 and $1,700 a month, and 130,000 square feet of retail space.

It will be built across the street from the University Town Center Development and the recently renovated Mall at Prince George's.

Williams Back at Chamber

Wendi Williams, who resigned in the summer as president of the Prince George's Chamber of Commerce, is back -- temporarily. Williams was scheduled to begin working in the office again this week, said Michelle Lamb Moone, chamber chair.

Williams, who left after five years to spend more time with her family, takes her old spot to fill the gap as the organization searches for a replacement for Kathleen M. Smith. Williams is working under a consulting agreement for 90 days and will work on internal chamber projects, Moone said.

Smith stepped down as chamber president Oct. 11 after four months, citing the chamber's "tenuous" finances as a main reason. Smith is a career nonprofit organization executive who previously owned a nonprofit executive consulting company. The board selected her from more than 200 applicants to replace Williams.

Moone said a group headed by Craig Muckle, Safeway public relations manager, will hire a search committee. The committee will hire a consultancy to conduct the search next week, in the hope of finding a local candidate.

"We need to bring someone on who knows us, who knows the county and who knows the needs of our members," Moone said.

The chamber is the 10th-largest in metro Washington.

Wendi Williams is back at the Prince George's Chamber of Commerce.