WASHINGTON -- Metrorail stations in Prince George's County have been called a lost opportunity for transit-oriented development. Often surrounded by seas of parking lots, stations like New Carrollton, Greenbelt and Branch Avenue have not seen the type of dense, mixed-used development long associated with more vibrant places like Silver Spring, Bethesda and Ballston.
With the help of the state of Maryland, that's supposed to change. Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) on Monday officially announced that one Maryland state agency, the Department of Housing and Community Development, will move from Anne Arundel County to the New Carrollton station area in Prince George's County. It will be the first state agency to be headquartered in the county.
The governor said the project will create 300 construction jobs, 80 retail jobs and lay the foundation for more economic growth. New Carrollton is the terminal stop for Metrorail's Orange Line, is served by Amtrak's Northeast Corridor and MARC's Penn Line and eventually, will be linked to the future Purple Line, which will connect Metrorail's Red, Green and Orange lines via Silver Spring and the University of Maryland.
But as Greater Greater Washington wrote in June, despite the commitment to new transit-oriented development, New Carrollton, surrounded by highways, rail yards and railroads, faces an uphill climb to being a vibrant mixed-used community.