Building Blocks Newsletter Special Edition

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Business Development Section's 1 year anniversary issue

October–November 2020

 In this issue:

DPIE Celebrates a Milestone: The BDS Turns 1!

DPIE Director Melinda Bolling explains why she established the BDS and congratulates the team on a successful year 1

The BDS Team

Stacked photos of BDS team Nicole Reece and Tanya Hedgepeth

Nicole Reece came to DPIE after operating her own business and working  as a policy attorney for the District of Columbia Office of the Attorney General and the Deputy Mayor’s Office on Greater Economic Opportunity. She is passionate about economic development and supporting entrepreneurs as they bring their ideas to fruition.

“Helping DPIE to effect change has been very rewarding as businesses continue to grow,” Reece said. “As a former business owner, I empathize with the concerns of the business community and understand the pressures they face. I think the entrepreneurs we work with understand that I feel their pain and work as hard as possible to help them get their issues resolved.”

Tanya Hedgepeth worked as the construction outreach coordinator at the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority before joining the DPIE team. She previously served as a planner coordinator for the Maryland–National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M–NCPPC).

As a Prince George’s resident, Hedgepeth is pleased with the success of the BDS team and excited about the growth of business in the County. “It is thrilling to see a business come to fruition knowing that our team assisted the owner with the processes needed to make it happen,” Hedgepeth said. “One of DPIE’s mandates is to help expand business, and we are excited to be directly involved in that mission.”

BDS Officers Nicole Reece (left) and Tanya Hedgepeth (right) assist Business Owners after a training

Responding to Customer Needs During COVID-19

Flyers advertising BDS webinars in a variety of subjects including permits, licenses, U and O, Inspections, etc.

DPIE has modified its delivery of services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the agency’s offices are closed to the public, the staff continues to assist its customers by responding to questions about permits and the review of electronically submitted building plans and business license applications. The BDS is working remotely and has adapted the way the team assists its customers, as well. The team has developed a series of YouTube videos on a variety of topics: obtaining a special event permit; building and use & occupancy permits; tenant fit-outs; and inspections. In addition, the BDS officers have hosted webinars on the peer review program and business licenses. The videos and webinars can be accessed on the DPIE website under presentations.

Thumbnails of the videos and webinars presented by the BDS team

A Year of Business Spotlights

Words say New Business Spotlight. Letter O in Spotlight is a spotlight icon.

Small Business Highlights 

The BDS has assisted several businesses in the last year, including restaurants, grocers, retail establishments, day care centers, assisted living facilities, hair salons and barber shops. Here are a few of the business highlights.

Composite of 4 photos of businesses: Lidl, PJs Coffee, Physiocare (wellness) and Proteus Bicycles

BDS Helps Restauranteurs Implement Outdoor Seating in Response to Pandemic

Prince George’s County established the Restaurant Temporary Outdoor Seating Area (RTOSA) Permit this summer to allow restaurants to offer outdoor seating to diners while following social distancing mandates. The permits allow restaurants to provide additional dining options to residents and augment limited indoor seating, carryout and delivery services.

Before and after pictures, adding seating outdoors, of 3 businesses: 2Fifty Central Texas BBW, Shortcake Bakery and Maryland Meadworks

Large-Scale Projects 

In addition to assisting small businesses, the BDS has also assisted business owners involved with some of the County’s larger scale, or mega, projects through the facilitation of the permitting and inspections processes.

Hampton Park Redevelopment Project, Capital Heights

This project focuses on the redevelopment of the Kingdom Square Shopping Center on Central Avenue at I-495, at the former Hampton Mall site. The 25-acre mixed-use development, renamed Hampton Park, will be comprised of a hotel, office building, restaurants, retail establishments and apartments. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will have offices within the development.

Hampton Park Mall - 2 renderings and building in progress

Liberty Sports Park, Bowie

This sports park is designed as a complex of multi-use athletic fields located on 76-acres near the intersection of routes 214 and 301. Initially, the sports park will feature 10 lighted grass and synthetic fields. A stadium field is planned for large competitions. The fields will accommodate football, field hockey, lacrosse, rugby, soccer and ultimate frisbee.

Artist rendering of Liberty Sports Park, a 76-acre sports complex located just outside of Bowie.

The Landing at Woodyard,

Several stores have opened at The Landing at Woodyard in Clinton, including Marshalls, Beauty Mart and Panera Bread. A franchise dine-in restaurant is slated to open in 2021.

The Landing at Woodyard shopping center composite of artist rendering and photos of Panera, Star Beauty and Marshalls

The Shops at Iverson, Hillcrest Heights

Several new businesses have opened at The Shops at Iverson, a redevelopment of the previous Iverson Mall, located on Branch Avenue. The businesses include Chipotle, Wing Stop and Mamma Lucia. Shoppers World is the new addition slated to open in late November.

The Shops at Iverson 2 artist renderings 1 of mall and 1 of two fashion ladies; photo of mall

BDS Collaborations

Multi-colored collaboration beans in a circle with arms around each others shoulders

The BDS has collaborated with several County agencies and organizations during its tenure.

• Economic Development Corporation (EDC) — During COVID-19, the BDS has participated with the EDC on several Zoom calls with prospective and current business owners in need of assistance navigating DPIE’s processes.

The South County Economic Development Association (SCEDA) — In April, the BDS team presented information about the team’s services to SCEDA members.

M–NCPPCWhen businesses have routine zoning inquiries, the BDS works with
M–NCPPC staff to explain what is needed to get a zoning determination for a change of use or the regular zoning regulations for a site.

Municipalities — The BDS works with economic development departments in Greenbelt, Mount Rainier and Riverdale Park to address permitting and licensing requirements in those jurisdictions.

Agencies — The team works with the Department of Health, the Liquor Board and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) to assist food service establishments.

Feedback on the BDS

Quote of appreciation to the BDS team from Eugene A. Jones, Constituent Services Specialist for Council Member Thomas Dernoga, District 1Quote of appreciation to BDS team from Nicole Hall, Business Development Manager for Retail and Restaurants, Economic Development Corporation

contact us

County, Prince George's Proud and DPIE logos, plus DPIE address, phone and email