More than halfway through the National Football League season, MTM Builder/Developer has opened a 1,600-space parking lot near Fed-Ex Field in Landover.
The lot, which opened last month, was delayed by a permit holdup that was resolved when the county school board allowed the company access to a road behind property that the school system owns at Brightseat and Sheriff roads.
MTM bought its property two years ago but left it undeveloped and wooded until it built the parking lot this year.
"The parking is an interim use," MTM Vice President Gary Laios said. "The highest and best use of the site is to develop it commercially, but we just don't know when."
Retail stores in the corridor near Fed-Ex Field have died a slow death in the past four years. Landover Mall, once a bustling regional commercial center, was shuttered in 2002. There are no plans for redeveloping it as a commercial center.
Across the street, Sam's Club and Circuit City left two big boxes empty in the Landover Crossing strip center. Smaller retailers are hanging on, and Petrie Ventures of Annapolis is leading a team of developers who acquired a large parcel nearby. The site plans include single-family houses, townhouses and condominiums, up to 1.5 million square feet of office space and about 700,000 square feet of retail.
If that project sparks a retail revival in the Fed-Ex Field corridor, MTM might develop its parking lot for some commercial use, Laios said.
Firm Seeks Chamber Chief
The Prince George's County Chamber of Commerce has selected Jorgenson Consulting to conduct a search for its next president and chief executive.
The firm has offices in Annapolis, Northern Virginia and Florida but will search exclusively in the Washington area because chamber officials are looking for a leader familiar with the chamber, Chairwoman Michelle Lamb Moone has said.
Jorgenson mostly conducts searches for chambers of commerce and the economic development industry. It has worked in Prince George's -- it was responsible for the hiring of Kwasi Holman and Joe James by the Prince George's County Economic Development Corp. Craig Muckle, manager of public affairs for Safeway Inc., will serve as the chamber's liaison to the search committee.
The chamber wants to fill the vacancy left by Kathleen M. Smith within 90 days. Smith stayed in her position for only four months, citing the chamber's "tenuous" finances as a main reason for her departure. The chamber selected her from more than 200 applicants.
The chamber, the 10th-largest in the Washington region, has said its finances are not in trouble.
Books for Louisiana
Market research firm Macro International Inc. of Calverton sent 13,014 books to Louisiana last week as part of a campaign launched after Hurricane Katrina. The company sent the books to the East Baton Rouge Parish school system. Chief Executive Frank Quirk said he started the campaign after he heard that the population in Baton Rouge had doubled after the hurricane ravaged New Orleans.
The collection campaign involved Macro's five Maryland locations, including its Calverton headquarters and offices in Bethesda, Columbia, Rockville and Silver Spring. The company has 1,200 employees in 11 offices worldwide. It provides research and other consulting services to governments and businesses.