Largo, Landover battle for new $645M hospital -- Gazette.Net



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Landover Mall and a site near Largo Town Center are the two properties left in the running for a new $645 million hospital, according to the Dimensions Healthcare System Board of Directors.

The site selection for the new 280-bed hospital is expected to be made by the end of August, with construction expected to begin in 2017, said Dimensions Healthcare System spokeswoman Erika Murray.

Prince George’s County officials have long sought a new medical center as older facilities suffered from outdated equipment and financial challenges caused by a large number of uninsured patients. Dimensions currently operates Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly, Laurel Regional Hospital, the Bowie Health Campus and Glenridge Medical Center.

The Largo site consists of 70 acres of land owned by Oak Brook, Ill.-based Retail Properties of America Inc., and several adjoining properties under private ownership, and is adjacent to the Boulevard at Capitol Centre shopping center and the Largo Metro station.

The Landover Mall property consists of 80 acres, owned by Rockville-based Lerner Enterprises. The mall closed in 2002 and demolition was completed in 2007, although retailer Sears continues to operate at the site. The Landover site was under consideration for a new hospital in 2005, but funding was not available at that time, according to media reports.

Both sites are within short access to Interstate 495. The Landover site is approximately two miles away from the Largo Metrorail station. There is bus service at the Landover site, but no direct service from the site to the Largo Metro station.

David Iannucci, economic policy adviser to County Executive Rushern Baker III (D), said both sites would be strong economic drivers, and the county government would be pleased with a hospital at either location.

“We have two sites that have excellent characteristics,” Iannucci said. “The Largo site is in central Prince George’s County and it has great transportation access. It has the potential to come up with a number of configurations to serve the community. It has the potential to become a development hub with a health care focus.”

Iannucci said the Landover site is in an area with the potential for mixed-use or townhouse development, and is served by the necessary infrastructure.

David Harrington, president of the Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce, said both sites hold great potential for encouraging economic growth.

“We look forward to the business development that will be spurred by a hospital on either site,” Harrington said.

The hospital construction is being funded through state and county government, as well as Dimensions and the University of Maryland Medical System.

Landover resident Mary Samuelson, who moved to the area in 1966, said she would be in favor of a new hospital at the site of the old mall.

“They need to do something over there. It’s a mess, and that wouldn’t be a bad idea,” Samuelson said.

janfenson-comeau@gazette.net