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Fighting gentrification in Prince George's County with real estate incentives

Prince George's County officials have announced a deal with investors to keep a large apartment complex in Landover Hills affordable for 15 years.

LANDOVER HILLS, Md. — Prince George’s County continues to leverage a law intended to slow down gentrification. The latest deal was announced this week.

A majority of units at a 30-acre apartment complex in Landover Hills, The Verona, will stay affordable for at least 15 years, according to a deal struck by county officials with private investors, who stepped in when the complex went on the market recently.

The Prince George’s County Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) exercised its Right of First Refusal (ROFR) in the purchase of Verona, according to an announcement from the county.

The deal gives private sector investors lucrative tax breaks in exchange for an agreement to keep rents affordable for a majority of units here for 15 years, according to Jose Sousa, Assistant Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Economic Development for Prince George's County.

"In the past 18 months, we've preserved over 1,200 units within the county at different levels of affordability just for this purpose to keep our residents here, keep our presidents in places that they can afford, and places that they enjoy living," Sousa said.

The multi-family rental property, built in 1963, is located just outside the municipal boundary of Landover Hills. The property consists of 25 separate buildings on nearly 30 acres and includes a total of 727 units.

It's within a mile of a proposed station along the Purple Line at Annapolis Road/Glenridge and also within walking distance of the Landover Metro station. 

According to an announcement from the county, the Verona was acquired by a joint venture between Dantes Community Partners, L&M Development Partners and Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group. In coordination with the Prince George's County Department of Housing and Community Development, the partnership committed to 15 years of affordability for 75% of the units at 60% AMI levels, which will preserve affordability for 545 units. 

The partnership also plans to invest an additional $20 million to further renovate units and the exterior of the property. The partnership is committed to providing the community with resident services, with the objective to facilitate community and a positive living experience.

Since the revamping of the ROFR program early last year, Prince George’s County has preserved the affordability of 1,213 multi-family units to date.


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