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Has National Harbor Helped Changed The Image of Prince George's County? | Business

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Has National Harbor Helped Changed The Image of Prince George's County?

Ask drivers from Virginia, who travel into Maryland, and they will tell you it is hard not to notice the beautiful development that overlooks the Potomac River, especially during the evening and night times where the National Harbor is illuminated with bright vibrate colors.  The National Harbor has not only become a destination, located just minutes away from our Nation's capital, but also a symbol of change for a county that has long struggled with attracting large public and private sector employers as well as high to middle-class retail options for its' residents compared to the surrounding counties.  Opened in 2008, the National Harbor, includes a convention center, which is the largest non-gaming hotel and convention center on the East Coast, six more hotels, restaurants, a variety of retail shops, condominiums, a marina that over sees the Potomac River, and it will soon be the location of a new upscale Potomac Gourmet Pantry grocery store.  There are also plans for Disney to build a resort hotel on the site and for the National Children's Museum to move from its former Washington DC location.

This past weekend, Prince George's County made another step of making itself an attractive community for big name businesses with the opening of Wegmans in the Woodmore Towne Center in Glenarden, MD.  The opening of the store attracted close to 1500 people, just at the opening alone, and the store remained packed through out the entire day.  The opening of Wegman's became the county's first major upscale grocer, which has been overlooked by such names as Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.  Wegman's, which has won numerous awards, opened only it's second store in Maryland.  Previously, Wegman's opened six stores in Virginia prior to its' opening in the Woodmore Towne Center.

As time goes on, the opening of Woodmore Towne Center, and the successful debut of Wegman's, will surely be the beginning of many more shopping centers to open within Prince George's County.  With projects such as Karington, Konterra, Richtie Station Marketplace, Hall Station, and others on slate, Prince George's County is clearly looking to make its mark in the retail industry and attract businesses that have long ignored Prince George's County.  If and when these projects are successfully completed, the opening of the National Harbor will be viewed as the beginning of the changing of the tide for Prince George's County.  It will not only represent a blueprint of how successful upscale developments can be produced, but it will also give example to large businesses that Prince George's County is capable of supporting them as much as Prince George's neighboring counties.