LARGO, MD (WUSA9) - A $500 million, mostly state funded, hospital is expected to transform health care in Prince George's County.
On Thursday, the hospital development got the final approval needed to break ground.
It is not only expected to improve the health of county residents, but also the health of the county’s economy.
The hospital has been years in the making. County officials say this is a very big deal and they expect to break ground in a few months. Officials hope the hospital will be open and operating by 2020.
Prince George's County residents say they need and want this.
With 205 inpatient beds and a 15-bed special pediatric unit, the new state of the art facility will replace the struggling hospital center in Cheverly, which will transform into an outpatient facility.
The new Prince George’s Regional Medical Center will serve a community that the Maryland Health Commission says suffers disproportionately from chronic disease and health care disparities. It'll also be centrally located in the county, right next door to Largo Metro and near major roadways like the beltway.
The hospital will take the spot of what has become neglected land that’s part of the Boulevard at the Capital Center Shopping Plaza.
County officials insist this will create far more than it destroys.
The new complex is expected to be a magnet for residential and retail development.
County officials say they envision Laurel evolving into something that looks more like downtown Rockville in neighboring Montgomery County.
Adding to anticipated Largo development, the county will be moving county council and exec offices to Largo. But the county seat will continue to be Upper Marlboro where the county courthouse sits.