The new controlling partner in the 485-acre waterfront project known as Bay of the Americas -- located along the Potomac River in Prince George's County -- plans to change the name of the project as part of a new image he wants to project for the multimillion-dollar development.
James T. Lewis, a Tysons Corner area developer and lawyer who now owns controlling interest in the project, this week said he has hired internationally known architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee to design the development.
Lewis said he plans to drop the name Bay of the Americas but he has not settled on a new one.
"I think we need a fresh start. And if the project is to have an international flavor, perhaps the name should reflect more than just the Americas," Lewis said.
Lewis is expected to pour millions of dollars into the mixed-use development.
The project is located near I-95 and the Capital Beltway at the base of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. A world trade center building and a hotel will be the highlight of the development, which is also scheduled to include office buildings, restaurants, international markets and expensive residences along the waterfront.
Local officials hope the project will bring Prince George's its share of the annual Washington area tourist trade. It has been compared to Baltimore's Harbor Place as a potential attraction.
Lewis said he had hired architects Johnson and Burgee because "they are the best."
"I want the project to be the best on the East Coast," Lewis said. The pair recently designed a three-building, 1.3-million-square-foot office complex for Lewis. It is in the early stages of construction near Tysons Corner.
Johnson and Burgee are known locally for their work on the Kennedy Center.
Lewis, a lawyer and developer, has formed J.T.L. Enterprises Ltd. to act as the principal partner in the riverfront project. J.T.L. Enterprises includes Dick Patrick, one of Lewis' partners in his developments as Tycon Developers; Henry M. (Don) Moore and Charlotte Lewis.
There are also several limited partners who have been involved in the Bay of Americas project for years. They are James Burch, of Fairfax County, who first conceived the Bay of Americas in 1980; Frank Lucente, a Prince George's builder and developer; Michael Garrett, president of MRG Inc.; George Dunn, president of Hepfrom, a mechanical engineering firm, and Mark Vogel, president of Vogel and Hoffmann, a brokerage and development firm.