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Quantum Computing, New Developments And A Bid For The FBI: How Prince George’s County Is Moving Forward

Prince George's County

Before the pandemic, Prince George’s County led the state of Maryland for job growth for six consecutive years. When Covid-19 hit, the area’s Economic Development Corporation pivoted to come up with a strategy to keep the county from losing that momentum. 

“We basically had to become a grant-writing organization,” Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation President and CEO David Iannucci said. EDC along with other economic development focused County agencies put about $45M in grants out on the street to several thousand businesses, impacting 5,000 to 6,000 jobs.” 

Iannucci said that since the height of the pandemic, the county has seen dramatic growth, has recovered 85% of the jobs it lost and is on its way to being back to pre-Covid-19 levels within the next 12 months. Now, the county is looking forward to new tech opportunities, new developments and securing more federal jobs. 

One new venture the county is pursuing is quantum computing. Iannucci said that the EDC has been working with the University of Maryland College Park to support IonQ, which, he explained, is currently the world’s best-capitalized quantum computing company. 

“We share the vision of the University of Maryland for growing a quantum computing ecosystem in Prince George's County, bringing hundreds if not thousands of jobs to the area and leading the world in this field,” he said. 

He added that the county is also courting data centers and has created, with the help of the County Executive and County Council, a three-pronged initiative to help make the area more attractive to these facilities. This includes getting the state to waive the sales tax, giving the EDC the ability to negotiate reductions in the personal property tax rate and making data centers “by-right” use facilities in designated commercial and residential zones in the county. 

“This means we get a data center breaking ground within 90 days from the filing of the paperwork,” Iannucci said. 

The EDC has also created training programs to provide technical support to the business community, and is advising them on becoming bankable, finding a site, building their customer base and growing their online presence. 

As for new development, Prince George’s County did not slow down during the pandemic. Iannucci noted that anyone driving past New Carrollton in the last 12 months would probably have a hard time recognizing the area, since what used to be scores of parking lots for commuters is now well on its way to becoming a transit-oriented development. Kaiser has put a new location there, bringing 1,000 new jobs to the community, and Urban Atlantic, which is heading up the new development, has built one multifamily building already with plans for a second underway. The WMATA is also constructing its Maryland headquarters there.

Additionally, Iannucci said that there is hope that upcoming federal relief funding will go toward supporting the redesign and reconstruction of the Amtrak, Metro and Purple Line stations in the area, to further benefit new residents and office tenants. 

“There's no location in the Washington, D.C., area that has as many transit options as New Carrollton,” he said. “And now, the area has even more to offer and has taken off as an exciting, urbanized transit center.” 

He added that Largo, where the new University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center is now open and operational, is busier than ever. In the next six months, developers should break ground on the first multifamily building in the area. 

In Hampton Park, one of the area’s older shopping centers just inside the Capital Beltway is being turned into a new community by Velocity Real Estate featuring offices, restaurants and multifamily homes. 

“County Executive Alsobrooks wants to turn the Blue Line corridor — which runs from Capitol Heights to Largo — into the new urban center of Prince George's County,” Iannucci said. “She envisions a walkable, bikeable, mixed-use development community focused on incentivizing job creation and attracting large employers to the area.” 

While Prince George’s County may be flush with new developments, one thing the area is lacking, according to Iannucci, is federal jobs. 

“There are issues with how federal jobs have been allocated,” he said. “When you look at the number of federal jobs here, it's disproportional compared to Montgomery County and Fairfax and others. And that's a very serious complaint that I think that the federal government needs to own up to.” 

Prince George’s County has seen some recent success on this front, however: The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services opened its headquarters at the Branch Avenue metro station, The Bureau of Labor Statistics has been reassigned to move to the Suitland Federal Center, joining the Census Administration and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is moving 1,600 jobs to the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. That last development will make the county one of only two places in the U.S. where money is printed. 

He added that the county is once again pushing to be the new home of the FBI — a project it was in the running for before President Trump shut it down. Now, the EDC is working with Rep. Steny Hoyer, Sen. Chris Van Hollen and Sen. Ben Cardin to get it back on track. 

“We believe, very firmly, that we have the best site in the Washington metropolitan area for the FBI,” Iannucci said. “All of us are going to continue to push for the FBI to come here so we can create a high-security suburban campus for them.” 

This article was produced in collaboration between Studio B and Prince George’s County Economic Development Corp. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

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