Politicians and Buildings Under Construction

All is well. I keep telling myself that about this country, about the state of Maryland, the DMV area/URea (with DC accent), and particularly in Prince George’s County, or as I like to call this place, PGCo (pronounced PeeGeeCoe). Yes the President of this country is embroiled in a mess of his own making, but I’m believing that if we continue to stay informed of the issues and vigilant about politicians’ accountability, our current federal and local political piles of poo will be resolved in a way that passes the sniff test for the average citizen of the U.S. 
Let’s touch on our local politicians just for a minute. I just CANNOT with the person holding court at the White House. Donald Trump has played those who voted for him. PLAYED THEM! Now everybody who said (side-eye) they didn’t vote for him is marching, protesting, and taking hold of causes. Umph. Shoulda marched on down to them polls and took a hold of a voting ballot, but nope THAT didn’t happen and BAM, here we are with the Trumps all up in the White House. Another old man that colors his eyebrows also doth plague us in Prince George’s County: Delegate Joseph Vallario.  He’s currently bamboozling District 23B, (2015 to present) into believing he represents them at the state level.  Mr. Vallario is also a defense attorney with a private practice while simultaneously chairing the Maryland House of Delegates  Judiciary Committee. This committee has, for the 9th time, let a bill die in committee that would deny a rapist parental rights to a child that is the product of the rape.  Vote Vallario OUT! His concerns are for the clients his firm represents NOT the general population of his district. Ron Watson would be my choice if I lived in that district. 
We’re a cool year away from the  June 2018, democratic primaries and already many candidates are popping up. Check out this WPost article and start googling these candidates so you’re not in the booth like a child hitting at a piñata. I don’t know all the names, but others I’m very familiar with. Take for instance Councilman Mel Franklin. The WPost article stated that Franklin is ‘“seriously considering” an at-large run…Franklin was charged with drunken driving late last year after a crash involving his county-issued SUV. It is not clear how his pending criminal case could affect his political future.” Let me clear this up: It will and should affect his political future, at least for now.  Mel Franklin has a history of getting drunk and crashing county vehicles. He should not be rewarded with an at-large council seat so he can continue. It is my sincere hope that he is being treated for whatever ails him, but it is not, and will still be in 2018, too soon to hand him proverbial keys to drive again.
County Executive Rushern Baker is making headlines for being the top paid elected official in the area and for his interest in running for governor.  7 On Your Side came after both Baker and the PGCo Council for their perks. I was extremely embarrassed by the amount of tickets racked up by the Council: 107 traffic violations and 15 crashes in their taxpayer funded take-home cars, according to the article. WHAT KIND OF DRIVING are these council members doing? Karen Toles keeps, I mean KEEPS a speeding ticket and from what I’m told, she is totally unbothered by it. WPost reported, “Forty-six of those tickets went to council member Karen Toles, D-Suitland, a popular lawmaker who drew attention in 2012 after she was ticketed for driving 105 mph on the Capital Beltway.”  Her fellow, aforementioned council member Mel Franklin is driving around pickled, tearing up other people’s cars then running into the woods. This behavior is unethical and reckless. It has to stop, but it won’t stop unless we the public call the public servants into accountability. Don’t get me wrong, I hear you Councilman Davis, members of the PGCo Council put a lot of miles on their cars and there needs to be some financial allowance for gas and car maintenance, but currently, it is being abused. 


Walton International Group, the developer company for the humongous Westphalia development has filed for bankruptcy in Canada. From Maynard Realty

The Calgary-based firm and 32 of its affiliate companies was granted creditor protection last week under a Canadian law known as the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, according to an article in the Calgary Sun and other Canadian news outlets…According to the published reports, Walton lost $67.3 million over the last three years. Its sales volume fell from $117 million in 2013 to just $20 million last year, a drop of 83 percent. As a result of the financial turmoil, the company has dramatically shrunk its North American workforce from 469 employees in 2013 to just 96 in April this year. According to the Sun, the company plans to sell some of its assets and restructure its debt.

Cadillac Crossing rendering

Cadillac Crossing broke ground in Brandywine, MD at 16101 Crain Highway. This $50 Million, 17 Acre project will include a retail center anchored by Chipotle, Verizon, Sparenity Nail Salon, and a Hibachi grill. The second phase, expected to begin almost immediately after the completion of the first, will add more retail, a Lidl grocery store, a 10,000-square-foot medical center, and a 100 room Marriott hotel. 
My PGC Blog People tell me that signs are up saying that a new Royal Farms store is coming to the intersection of Sansbury & Whitehouse Road in Upper Marlboro.
Constellation Centre

New high-rise apartments coming Rivertowne in Oxon Hill.  As reported by Marcus N. Daniels in a PGCo Facebook group, a couple of county office buildings, including the Constellation Centre building in Oxon Hill, are headed for a big change – to apartment buildings. Oxon Hill Road LLC, Potomac Holdings acquired the office building that was long home to the IRS. It paid an even $8 million. A partnership managed by Spaulding & Slye sold the building, but before it did, it won at the County Council a zoning amendment that would allow it to convert the building to apartments. At the time, Spaulding & Slye argued that the approximately 181,000 square foot building’s views from the upper floors made it a natural apartment complex. Constellation Centre has already been bought and is in the hands of an affiliate of Bethesda-based Potomac Holdings. The Metro II office building at University Town Center, hasn’t settled yet but is controlled by the The Bernstein Companies. In both cases, federal tenants are out, leaving the buildings vacant and ready for ‘adaptive reuse.’

Downtown Largo is really going to be a major downtown area at the rate apartment projects are coming up. From Washington Biz Journal: Crescents at Largo Town Center, which will include 84 NVR townhomes in addition to the three multifamily buildings, is located at Largo Center Drive and Harry S. Truman Drive, immediately north of Central Avenue, is being offered for sale, or as a joint venture opportunity, by Lanham-based development company NAI Michael.
I was reading through the Cheverly sector plan (I do this so you don’t have to) and was so pleasantly surprised to see that there are indeed plans to redevelop Prince George’s Hospital into a “mixed-use neighborhood after the hospital relocates to a new campus in Largo.” Strategies for redevelopment include rezoning to allow high density development, retail, entertainment, public gathering areas, and providing a a mix of housing types to meet the needs of seniors and other populations. I’ve been saying it for a while now, Cheverly is a hidden treasure. As soon as that hospital is torn down, it’s on. I also read that the Cheverly Metro station is the most underutilized of all the stations.


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Comments (1)

Mel Franklin seems to be more than “seriously considering” a run for one of the at-large seats. I’m on his email list and the logo of his latest email stated “Mel Franklin – County Council At-Large”.

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