The Center, through our outreach arm (AAEA), was the only environmental group in the United States that supported the National Harbor proposal. We also supported the nearby Woodrow Wilson Bridge replacement and its accompanying highway exchange improvements.
We note this because while we are very proud of the Gaylord/National Harbor development, we are disappointed that the office complex originally envisioned for the 'peanut' section along the Indian Head Highway offramp is not going to be constructed. Instead 2,500 new homes are being put in place of the office complex. The Oxon Hill/Fort Washington section of Prince George's County, Maryland is already a 'bedroom community.' It does not need more housing; it needs office buildings that will provide lunchtime restaurant crowds that will make upscale dining establishments viable.
National Harbor's developer, The Peterson Companies, has plans to move forward with building the Oxon Hill site's first gas station, representing the project's transition from an entertainment destination into a residential center. What happened to Disney? The proposed 6.15-acre gas station will be in an undeveloped area referred to as the "peanut." [See photo above] The developer is also looking into putting a bank, a fast-food restaurant and a sit-down restaurant in the peanut.
We are sure that Milt Peterson did his best in attracting office development to the site. Absent such office development, we support his gas station plan.
The Peterson Companies is presenting a plan to the Prince George's County Planning Board to implement a Sunoco gas station on the western side of National Harbor. In December, The Peterson Companies announced it would be building a 350-unit apartment complex in National Harbor with Greenbelt's The Bozzuto Group, the long-term plan calling for 2,500 housing units in National Harbor. There are currently 300 to 400 occupied housing units. The new lots will be the first geared toward renters. (Gazette, 1/20/2011)
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