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Whose National Harbor Is It Anyway?

"This Place Changes Everything," say promotional materials for the new National Harbor, the $4 billion, 300-acre development along the Potomac River in Prince George's County.

It certainly changed things for more than 60 people who attended one of the first conferences at the Gaylord National Resort, the complex's centerpiece hotel. They got royally ill after their stay, the result, county health officials said, of a norovirus.

It's also changed things for guests at the 2,000-room hotel who say the place is already well-booked up with a less desirable class of traveler: field mice.

Even before its first attractions opened, National Harbor was making enemies. Developer Milton Peterson's decision to buy and move Washington's beloved outdoor sculpture, the Awakening, from its longtime home at Hains Point, alerted the public to the idea that National Harbor is designed to lure tourists and conventions away from the District -- a potential blow to a city heavily dependent on visitors for tax revenue.

Now, Peterson has locked horns with Maryland lawmakers over the fate of as many as 40 liquor licenses for eateries and nightclubs that are to open at National Harbor. The legislature in Annapolis adjourned last week without approving the licenses. This latest fight puts Maryland politicians, who approved hundreds of millions in public subsidies for the ambitious riverfront project, in the position of undermining its success. The issue is what some see as an insufficient commitment to Prince George's businesses and contractors.

Peterson, who did not respond to my request for comment, is a tough, creative guy who can take care of himself. And most of National Harbor's problems are fleeting. A virus can hit anywhere, mice can be exterminated and liquor licenses are available from the county as well as from the state.

But the lingering obstacle Peterson may face is the belief among Prince George's powerful and ordinary alike that National Harbor is not meant for them -- not as a playground, not as a symbol of the county and not as an employer.

"They asked for and received $250 million in taxpayer money from the county, and they have an obligation to at least be friendly to the community," says state Sen. Anthony Muse. Upon learning that just 12 of 361 National Harbor contracts went to minority businesses in Prince George's, Muse drafted a letter to Peterson in which he proposed reopening all bids for contracts at the project and said that a minimum of 15 percent of contracts should go to local minority businesses.

At a statehouse meeting last week, Gov. Martin O'Malley characterized Muse's approach as something that might be seen as a "shakedown." Earlier, Muse and Senate President Mike Miller became angry enough that a state trooper felt compelled to check out the situation, The Post reported.

"We have a right and obligation to make sure they pay attention to the concerns of the community," Muse tells me. "My letter was a draft of concerns, simply saying here's what we want to say."

National Harbor was a decade in the talking before the first earthmover arrived at what locals knew as Eagle's Cove. Donna Edwards, who this winter ousted Rep. Al Wynn in the Democratic primary for his congressional seat, rose to public prominence as a resident and lawyer fighting the original plan for National Harbor. Now she, like Muse, wonders whether the county should have driven a tougher deal, insisting that in exchange for tax support, the developer commit to greater use of local contractors.

"I've been disappointed," she says. "It's not enough to set a goal as an aspiration; you need to require the developer to meet levels set by the community."

But unlike Muse, Edwards wants the liquor license fight to end, now. "The same people who are up in arms about minority contracting now are the ones who failed to demand clear contracting goals from the start," she says. "I question leadership that waits until the eleventh hour."

Shakedown or quid pro quo for public dollars -- whatever you want to call it, that's the price developers pay if they want government money for their projects. In a perfect world, developers would do their own thing without public handouts and without the accompanying political payback.

But this is how big projects get done, and it's important to see all the players for what they are -- actors in a role. Today Muse says he's not sure whether Peterson really cares about Prince George's, but rest assured his tune will change as soon as the developer swallows his pride and cuts a deal to hire more county-based minority contractors.

And Edwards, who spent years battling the project but came to support it after Peterson agreed to a public hiking trail along the river and other environmental and traffic concessions, is so ready to let bygones be bygones that she's entered into a contract of her own.

She's bought a condo at National Harbor and expects to move in this fall.

By Marc Fisher |  April 13, 2008; 9:18 AM ET
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Comments

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I grew up in Oxon Hill. Over the last thirty years or so, my home town has faded. The shops and movies have closed and were replaced by check cashing places. National Harbor WILL change everything. It will bring jobs and business back to the area. The revitalization of Silver Spring and Hyattsville are bringing life back to the close-in suburbs to the north and this will start the same process to the south.

Posted by: Terry in Maryland | April 13, 2008 11:45 AM

Lets see National harbor already sickened its first visitors. After a couple years when convention goers are robbed, murdered, carjacked and raped National Harbor will be a ghost town. The number of car break ins over the last week there is astounding. Who would hold a convention in an area known for its high crim and murder rate. And lets not forget the ever frindly PG County Cops. I am sure they will do thier best to welcome patrons with a beat down and a night in the pokey!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2008 11:53 AM

TAxpayer dollars should not fund these projects. End of story.

Posted by: No Taxes | April 13, 2008 1:28 PM

Given Rev. Muse's inability to overcome his own religious bigotries against the equality of gay people in the recent legislative session, he's hardly in a position to be extorting anyone else regarding moral issues like minority and community rights. Maybe if he someday learns how to represent all the citizens of Prince George's County, he can regain the moral high ground, but right now, he hasn't got a leg to stand on.

Posted by: Equality for ALL | April 13, 2008 2:50 PM

P.G. County govt officials are always complaining about the lack of high end retail and dining but they are themselves partially responsible for driving away business. The special alcohol license was a blatent shakedown to get more money out of the developers. Requirements to hire local contracts is also a way to steer money to the friends of local politicians.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2008 3:05 PM

TAxpayer dollars should not fund these projects. End of story.
----------------------------
Why? Tax dollars will surely be flowing into the county's coffers as a result. Face it, the Peterson Cos. are giving PG county an excellent chance to enhance their revenue and their national exposure. From the looks of it, the PG County leaders aren't up to the task of taking the ball and running with it. Perhaps if the National Harbor takes off (despite PGs politicians, not because of them), it will usher in a new wave of competence and accountability to the County government.

The lack of minority contractors issue is a non-issue. There are not enough minority contractors in PG County who are capable of even taking on the various contracts.... and those that can are not competitive. Petersons have compensated by awarding contracts to national minority owned companies.

Posted by: Rolling my eyes at more of the same... | April 13, 2008 3:11 PM

The idea that a development shouldn't be built because every single possible county resident won't be using it is fairly stupid. If that were the measure, nothing would ever get built.

Yes, this is a high end place. Yes, many in PG county won't use it.

But so what? Since when is that the ultimate measure of whether a place works or not?

PG County complained for years that no high end establishments would come. Now they've got just that, and they whine about how it's not 'for everybody'?

Posted by: Hillman | April 13, 2008 3:53 PM

So, are you glad you choose Donna Edwards now? It seems she may come out as bigger hypocrite (sp?) than Wynn. This is just the 1st story....

Always vote for the lessor of 2 evils.....

Posted by: 4th via Home Floor | April 13, 2008 4:06 PM

I live in PG County but hardly ever go that far south unless I am crossing the Wilson bridge. I was already upset with the fact that in a majority black county, Gaylord pretty much refused to hire black contractors during the building process. I'm glad now I guess because noone can blame the mouse infestation on black folks.

Not a good way to start for Gaylord. If he's trying to attract people from Virginia and DC its not the way to do so. I live in Bowie but when I want more upscale shopping opportunities it's just as long of a drive to get to Annapolis as it is to get to Oxon Hill, usually with less congestion on the weekends.

Goodluck Gaylord. Maybe you should have done more quality control and less evading EEOC rules. I for one won't be patronizing the "National" Harbor.

Posted by: gwt301 | April 13, 2008 4:25 PM

"She's bought a condo at National Harbor and expects to move in this fall."

First of all, she was against and now for it? I guess that hiking trail will clean the river.

Face it PGC, this place was built by white people for white people. And when I say built by white people, I mean rich white people using your tax money to hire illegals to built it. No wonder rats are there.

Posted by: She's fake | April 13, 2008 4:38 PM

PG County has needed more high end restaurants, and businesses for a long time. Without more white collar jobs- it will continue to have the blight and problems it is known for.
Everyone should be happy that this investment has come to this county, whether they personally chose to use it or not...it improves the area greatly.

Posted by: JackLA | April 13, 2008 5:32 PM

Let's get this right: PG County extracts an agreement from the developer to hire "local or minority-owned" sub-contractors for fully 30% of the project, and the developer *complies*. But now Muse and company are trying to---what was the governor's word?---"shake down" the developer further because they're mad that he didn't require 30% set-aside for sub-contractors that were "local *AND* minority-owned"?!! In other words, these critics seem to argue, we're not happy because 30% of the subcontractor dollars (versus number of contracts) were spent with firms that were either "local and white-owned" or "minority-owned but not local"?!

Gosh, maybe PG pols should negotiate a little more carefully--upfront--when they try to strongarm developers and line the pockets of local same-race supporters? I mean, it's not like the county has had any desire for National Harbor to open on-time and under-budget. No...Prince George's doesn't actually *need* high-end retail, restaurants and conference facilities. Where did you ever hear that?

What PG really needs is more race-based kickbacks and set-asides from developers, right?

What is likely next for National Harbor? Here's a bet: PG County crime makes a loud appearance at the development. Management--with nose already bleeding over mice and noroviruses--quickly beefs up security by hiring off-duty county cops until groups of African-American youths begin to complain of racial profiling by security staff. Shortly thereafter, Muse or others in the county's political heirarchy decry with great umbrage the "profiling" and the black middle/ upper-middle class--stung already by Peterson's allegedly race-insensitive remarks--decides, formally or informally, to boycott the entire place.

All this racial acrimony clogs the news media for months (if not years) and numerous national chains decline to open up on the site, dashing the hopes of economic development officials, potential employees and mainstream consumers alike.

Good luck getting your next major project built, PG County....

Posted by: staticphoto | April 13, 2008 6:57 PM

Jack Kent Cooke built his stadium in Landover, Maryland. Many years later, the area is still the same. With National Harbor I don't see that Oxon Hill or the surrounding areas will change much either. These places are a destination. The new tax revenue will come in but the quality of life for PG County residents might not change at all. That's sad.

Posted by: quarterpast | April 13, 2008 8:10 PM

Friday evening, I went to the Gaylord Hotel for dinner. I watched the sun set over the water as I drank my wonderful Margarita, eat my sushi appetizer and crab cakes main course. The water fountain show was wonderful.

The only people who have a problem with National Harbor are those losing money from it DC and Virginia residence.

National Harbor will be a success. Don't like it, to bad! Those of us in Prince Georges County now have our own high end hotels and restaurants to frequent. Oh and there are people from all over the world who are coming to visit National Harbor, in Prince Georges County. Accept it.

Posted by: Denisew | April 13, 2008 10:01 PM

I seriously doubt crime will be a problem at National Harbor. It's all private property, essentially a giant gated community. It's sure to be under constant surveillance, with a ton of security. But the biggest factor is the fact that it really is essentially a private facility.

Posted by: Hillman | April 13, 2008 11:29 PM

Martin L. King stated that "Injustice anywhere is a threat to Justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of Destiny". African Americans are still accepting the crumbs off the table, begging for a handout instead of demanding that they share in the despensing of wealth created in their own back yard. Over 200,000,000 of tax payers dollars made National Harbor a reality. The return on those dollars is exactly what the people have clearly let the world know what benefit was expected. Prince Georgians informed the developers of National Harbor that if you bring us UPSCALE SHOPPING and HIGH END RESTURANTS we will be happy and love you for the next 20 years.The result of that aggreement is we spend our money and and get poorer while the developers and those people who look like you but sold you out, get filthy Rich at your expense!! Its been said that " A man who won't stand for something will fall for anything". Prince Georgians have been bamboozled and sold out not only by our Politicians but by a few African Americans who have enriched themselves at the expense of the people. When the truth of corruption and patronage is finally revealed, the public will see the faces of those that have been paid off to sell the people out The corruption will reach the highest echleons of county government. Many Prince Georgians don't have a clue about the history of National Harbor which dates back to 1999 and all the negotiations that created the current disputes. True to form we can be counted on to react based on our ignorance not based on truth and knowledge. We have been stupified by our ignorance and those who rape and pillage our wealth have been empowered by their arrogance.. We as a people need to take the blinders off and see the big picture. We need to discard the SLAVE MENTALITY and escape the plantation of economic deprivation to economic freedom! Ask yourself the question what do you really expect to benefit form the millions of tax payers dollars spent on this project? Is the answer a place to spend more money to eat and shop at expensive venues? You would be hard pressed to qualify or quantify any other answer that makes any economic sense.

Posted by: Jerry Mathis | April 14, 2008 10:35 AM

What about the natural environment of National Harbor? That thing could sink. Also, is Metro coming there any time soon? It's the 21st Century and we have to stop creating these giant things that just waste land, especially when so many of the "town centers" we built already aren't used anymore. If our government truly cared they would take care of this also...

Posted by: down with me | April 15, 2008 12:56 PM

Jerry--

Where is all that BITTERNESS coming from?? (sorry, couldn't resist)....

Seriously..I dont understand. Hopefully, the place will be something upscale and entirely different than PG has had before and can be proud of.

If you for some reason, you don't want to spend your money there, or are offended by it--DON'T VISIT.

I'm Asian, but the developers didn't give me a contract there either...who cares? I don't feel that because I live in PG I automatically deserve a piece of the pie, I am just looking forward to a nice place that I can take my family or relatives who visit that actually EXISTS in PG County.

Look around you. The neighborhoods that are the cleanest and brightest with the most opportunity, also tend to be the MOST DIVERSE!! I welcome investment and development that will improve everyone's quality of life here in PG, and so should you.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 15, 2008 4:31 PM

Racially prejudiced and ignorance at its best is how I define authors like "staticphoto," "Denisew," "Hillman," "Jackla," and "Marc Fisher." Individuals who apparently don't live, work, or have an invested interest in the success or failure of the communities in Prince George's County. Not "PG". The National Harbor project like the Jack Kent Cooke project was not developed with "ALL" of us in mine! So yes to writer "quarterpast", neighborhoods like Landover would go unchanged or very little change at all. The Peterson Group like Cooke made our government, county officials, and local stakeholders an offer they couldn't refuse. And that was "if you sale your people out...the tax paying citizens and "LOCAL" owned minority businesses in particular...then we'll promise "YOU" the "Massahs in charge of Maryland government" and "Clearance Thomas' of the County, all the breadcrumbs you can eat. FOR HEAVENS SAKE...WHEN WILL ENOUGH BE ENOUGH! The National Harbor project is not just about race it's about fairness. It's about equality for ALL! Not just a selected few! The O'Malley's, the Donna Edwards, the Mike Millers, the Jack Johnson's, the Petey Greene's and Mike Little's whom positioned THEMSELVES for the kiss of the Godfathers ring instead of upholding the position they where charged with. That is to be the elected chosen voice of the PEOPLE!

Let's examine the facts, O'Malley...Governor of choice according to two Counties predominately populated by African American people. Those Counties being Prince George's and Baltimore, yet both have poor school districts, high crime, and high poverty. Yet O'Malley...mostly because he is Democrat and was support by the Clintons, was elected to head the whole State, so he could continue to lead us by the shore side using fear as his arsenal with little to no results in the end. Donna Edwards who bet Al Wynn DOWN with on-going claims of accepting money from special interest groups, which was exactly what she herself has done, resulting in her owning a condo at the National Harbor and more leadership by controlled interest groups. What about the Eagles now Ms. Edwards? What about the environment and traffic now! I guess a lil ole hiking trail makes it all better? Or was it the condo? I think the latter. But lets not forget the Mike Millers and Jack Johnson of the County. The Grand Massah and Clearance Thomas wannah be themselves. Two attorneys-at-law... two elected official co-responsible for the original Memorandum of Understanding drafted between the Peterson Group and County. As county officials and attorneys they where charged with looking out for the best interest of the County! Yet here we are! Ole Massah still dispatching his "controlled" house servant to bid his dirty work. And like the good servant ole southern-boys are known for... other captains where commissioned...the likes of Mike Little and Petey Greene.

When will we stop looking at life through our own paradigm, considering just ourselves and individual greed? When will we think about the WHOLE picture and not just the sum of its parts? We must come together and stop developers like the Peterson Group from prostituting our communities, we must come together and hold elected officials accountable to the people, not to themselves, we must come together and stop developers like the Petersons, politicians like the Clintons and many others who use racial insensitive remarks and political fear tactics to gain interest and control within our communities.

Posted by: Can't Take No More | April 15, 2008 6:23 PM

I lived in PG County from 1967 till 1990. So I believe I earned the right to call it that. You can call it Prince George's, I don't mind.

Posted by: quarterpast | April 15, 2008 10:55 PM

Cant take no more: Sorry you didn't get a piece of the pie, but stop the insanity!!

Geeeeze Man. Paragraphs of ranting and raving, and we still don't get your point-??!!

What is it specifically that you are asking for here? It is clear that you are angry at everyone in Government, but how is it that you feel so personally violated?? Do you own a business that you feel should be part of the Harbor project?

Everyone I have spoken with in the African American community has a very positive overall view of the National Harbor. What this county has been asking for for YEARS is a greater variety and greater CHOICE of retail and restaurants, and yes, those of the upscale variety are the most absent.

There are still LOADS of small businesses around the county, and if you or I CHOSE, we can do business with them. No one is telling you you MUST SPEND your money at the Harbor!!!!

Obviously, you feel personally slighted by someone, but please don't make this a race thing, and don't make the rest of us in the county pay for that kind of ignorance.

I say THANK YOU to whatever developer brought this together-- it is a wonderful addition that everyone can and should be proud of!!

Posted by: MikeH | April 16, 2008 12:04 PM

You not getting the point is the problem! Further, for you to think it's not about fairness, race, and economic balance, then you haven't lived nor walked in my shoes or many like mine who live in Prince George's and have tried to do business with the Peterson Group. I am not angry at everyone in government, just those that impact us the most with their choices in the name of our voice! It is an abuse of power as well as an abuse of their elected responsibilities to accept the peanuts thrown at us by the Petersons. I am personally violated when time after time again members of my own community accept personal gains to keep the large at bay. History has shown us this behavior repeatedly some examples would be the death of Dr. King and Malcolm X, and even the Clearance Thomas hearings. In all these examples whites have used African Americans to destroy other African Americans, or at a minimum keep them at bay. You argue that African Americans overall don't have a problem with the National Harbor, and I beg the differ. We "overall" have a big problem with exclusion in our own backyard! We have a big problem with people like you who have no interest the economic growth of our communities until it reaches your home! We have a big problem when pockets of poverty still exist in a county allegedly controlled by some of the most educated and riches African Americans in the world. Please understand "We have NOT over come!" And your ignorance in thinking that we are just fusing over nothing is just that --IGNORANCE.

Posted by: A Change Must Come | April 16, 2008 2:21 PM

Would you like some CHEESE with that WHINE??

OK, so you got snubbed by some big developer with big money and deep pockets. SO SORRY. You keep saying "Our" and "We", but it is fairly obvious that this is YOUR chip on YOUR shoulder...my advice? Keep trying or just Get over it!!!

You know, it always strikes me that there have been other races that came to this country with NOTHING, knowing NO ONE and not even speaking a lick of English, that help each other, and pull themselves up by their bootstraps, prioritize educating and parenting their kids, and VOILA!! -- They have TAKEN THEMSELVES from nothing, to being some of the most educated, wealthy citizens in our country.

NEVER have I heard a single complaint from these people, because GUESS WHAT?? They don't wait for others to give them anything--They save, work hard and sacrafice to control their own destiny.

There is much to be learned from that sort of work ethic and attitude.

The sun is shining!! Make it a GREAT DAY!

Posted by: Warren | April 16, 2008 4:31 PM

For you to even think there is a chip on my shoulders is further proof of your ignorance or lack of concern for ALL members in the community. When you speak of other races, I wonder which races might that be? While my race had no choice in the matter of coming to America and being mentally, physically, and economically rapped by people like you and your ancestors. Other races had a choice in MOST cases and still they possess the same challenges, they clean your clothes, cook, provide landscaping services or whatever handouts your people wish to issue at any given time. Today its immigration laws - what will it be tomorrow? Are you that far remove the experiences of others that the only thing you get from this is "VOILA and they pulled themselves up by their boots." That's exactly what WE not ME are trying to do here. We are trying to stop people like you from continuing to undermine and/or dismiss the REAL problems as if there are no problems at all.

Posted by: A Change Must Come | April 18, 2008 6:10 PM

Then don't GIVE UP, keep knocking those doors down, and networking with like-minded individuals in your community and you will get where you are trying to go. I understand the history that you reference, but you or I cannot change that, and at some point, you just have to stop looking in the rear view mirror and focus on the road ahead.

What "problems" would you specifically like to see these developers solve within the county? You haven't mentioned anything specific, but I think a project the size of the Harbor represents a huge commitment and an excellent start to giving the area the diverse attractions it has been crying for.

The county as you know, is huge, and of course there are many problems and problem areas within' it. You seem however, to be blaming these developers or the govt. for not helping everyone, and everything at the same time, and that just isn't realistic!!

My whole point is just that as individuals, the only thing we really can control, is what WE chose to do. We have control over our attitude and actions every day, and that is about it. Personally, I think our country is headed for a major depression, and I sure as heck wouldn't count on Dubya' or anyone else in govt. to take care of my family when it all hits the fan. If Katrina was any indication of how our Govt. will take care of us in a crisis, then we are in serious trouble.

Posted by: Warren | April 19, 2008 10:57 AM

I found this blog while doing some research on Prince Georges County and just wanted to add my 2 cents. I say "Bring on the white people" (and asians, and latinos and indians and green red and yellow martians for that matter.

I think everyone wins when any sort of investment is brought to Prince Georges county. I also think that the greater the diversification we can get, is also a win-win, and these people won't come to our county unless we clean it up.
Case in point- we are a black family living in a subdivision in Clinton, and to be brutally honest, until more white, indian and latino families starting moving in, our block was a disaster. Foreclosures and unkempt houses were everywhere, and thefts and car break-ins were common.

Now things are beginning to turn around, because developers are building niceer communities here and the people moving in have brought their ethics with them. Prices are stabilizing, foreclosures have slowed, and we have great neighbors that take pride in keeping our block beautiful and livable. Call it what you want, but I am loving it.

Posted by: edjackson | April 19, 2008 11:18 AM

exactly! The more investment this county sees, the more "your" problems become "everyone's" problems - THAT is when they get solved, because everyone takes ownership.

Posted by: jd | April 19, 2008 12:21 PM

Giving up is not an option. We are all business owners trying to do just that - NOT GIVE UP. Most of us live and operate our businesses within this County. We are not looking for a handout or the government to solve all the ills - we just want to level the playing field a bit. Therefore we do network with each other and try to develop strategies to help tear down existing barriers within our own communities and beyond. Educating and bring awareness to the problem is an on-going effort among our group. But we are getting there.

We are all proud of the National Harbor and feel it is a great thing for Prince George's County and the State as a whole. What we are seeking is a balance in contracting opportunities there. We are not crying because new development is here, we are just asking the developers to be fair with the economic distribution in our own backyard.

African Americans represent over 70% of the population here in the County. Millions of our tax dollars was given to the Peterson Group in support of the project. Yet low level positions and only 12 contracting opportunities out of 316+ where awarded to minority contractors. Yes I understand the politics of it all. And yes, I understand that people who look like me have cut there own deal. Still, what we are seeking at the end of the day is inclusion and accountability. Not a handout, not for government to have all the answers.

I personally write community development plans. I'm a strong believer in change and diversity. It benefits us all. But diversity does not dictate change in a community, the actions of its members does. Change does not come because a white, Hispanic or Asian individual move in your community, change happens as a result of the will of the people. Remember - in numbers "TOGETHER" we can stand hold those in position of power accountable. After all it is the American Way.

Posted by: A Change Must Come | April 21, 2008 4:13 PM

First and formost, I was raised in Prince George's County from 1980, until I left as an adult in 2005. I longed, from high school on, to leave the county, once out to never come back. National Harbor may change my mind.

The county has been underserved, compared to our neighbors. Large communities such as Marlton do not have a public run community center, for example. The Metro stops at the Beltway, because of poor, race biased planing in the 1960s. Shopping venues have failed because of poor locations. People from Prince George's County travel to other places just to buy groceries, clothing and cars. While things have improved since the late 1990s, they still have a long way to go. It's not a place I would want to raise a family.

Honestly, for National Harbor to have any hope of being sucessful is to keep out the social problems and ills of the rest of Prince George's County. A good start is the lack of open access from the rest of the county. There is basically only one way in, one way out. When you enter, your choices are from Oxon Hill Road, I-295 or I-495. When you leave, the choices are the same. Second is to provide an express bus service to a safe Metro station. Third is to make sure the youth that visit toe the straight and narrow, regardless of race. If National Harbor remains a distinct enclave, it will be a sucess. If National Harbor taken over by the drama of the rest of the county, it will fail and be a ghost town.

Posted by: An Outsider Looking In | April 22, 2008 12:59 AM

This County is a wonderful place to raise a family and its getting better everyday. There are social ills in every community and Prince George's County is no exception. However, we as a community must look at the cause of the ills to determine the best course of action. The results of high poverty and unemployment rates, low educational investments, and homelessness are well document. These issues create social ills like increase in crime and violent acts against women and children. If the tax revenue we expect to gain from the National Harbor help prevent these outcomes then I'm all for it.

I believe it can, however we must make sure by holding our elected officials and the developers like the Peterson Group accountable. Community Centers are needed; and improvement in our educational system is needed as well. We as a county have come a long way. The work is not over yet.

Posted by: A Change Must Come | April 22, 2008 1:11 PM

There are some very nice-(even gated) neighborhoods and areas going up in PG county that are a decent proximity to DC and look to be very nice places to live, but I havent personally spent much time there, so I can't say for sure.

We don't have kids, so don't have to worry about schools, just want to get the most house for our money in a nice neighborhood, where we can take walks and enjoy the ammenities.

Anyone have any feedback on some of these areas..?? Oak Creek or Beechtree for example??

Posted by: Jackie | April 23, 2008 6:59 PM

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