Multifamily Investors Love Prince George’s County, Purple Line
At Bisnow’s regional multifamily forum last week, it wasn’t the luxury apartments with rooftop pools and million-dollar condos getting the most love from our panelists. Rather, it was the old properties with few amenities to speak of in emerging markets like Prince George’s County that seemed like the belle of the ball.
County executive Rushern Baker is the man to credit with much of the county’s recent success, and his proposed $50M investment in Suitland—along with moving the county government to Largo from Upper Marlboro—is seen as just another step in the right direction.
“There’s a ton of value-add product in Prince George’s County,” The Donaldson Group SVP John Majeski (on the right, next to Lowe Enterprise's Mark Rivers said. TDG is a value-add multifamily investor, buying Class-C properties and sprucing them up. “To us, we’ve always liked it for what we do, but we like it even more with what’s going on now, the focus the county is taking.”
Helping matters is the Purple Line, running from Bethesda in next-door Montgomery County to New Carrollton in Prince George’s, stopping through the University of Maryland in College Park on its way. Whereas the suburbs have only been growing strongly around Metro stops, for the most part, the Purple Line has the potential to create more, reliable transit.
“The transit stop is the new interchange,” Cooper Carry’s David Kitchens said. “While you don’t want to be out in the generic suburbs, there’s a lot of interest around all the Metro stations, the Silver Line and the Purple Line. There’s a lot of transit connections and connectivity along that line, where you’ll see residential infill.”
And even though a Purple Line station in Prince George’s County will never compete with the vibrancy of places like the U Street corridor, no one wants to live forever in a neighborhood where the streets are as crowded as the bars every Friday and Saturday night.
“There’s no question that national investors believe Millennials are going to move out to the ‘burbs,” Clarion Partners’ Barron Williams, sitting in between Fannie Mae's Wilfred Steplight and EagleBank chief of lending Tony Marquez, said. “What’s the magnitude of the move? The homeownership rate ticked up this quarter for the first time in years. Is that a blip or has the trend reversed?”