- The Washington Times - Friday, November 21, 2008

Southern Prince George’s County, specifically National Harbor and the area bordering this exciting new development, is growing both commercially and residentially. This provides many new housing options for potential home buyers who want to be close to the action.

From trendy condominium developments at the harbor to sprawling single-family homes just a short drive away, finding a home that fits families, empty nesters or single professionals shouldn’t be hard.

In addition to being the home of the new 300-acre National Harbor development on the shore of the Potomac River, Oxon Hill‘s location (south of the District and east of Alexandria) makes it an appealing place to live. Fort Washington, Clinton and Camp Springs are other desirable areas to live nearby in southern Prince George’s.

Patricia Dowtin with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Camp Springs said that Prince George’s is a popular place for home buyers and tells potential buyers that there’s never been a better time to get into the market than now. “We’re also more affordable that many of our sister communities and the county has a lot of amenities.”

Some of the newest amenities are those located at the harbor that include public spaces for outdoor concerts, festivals and weekend markets. There are also scenic parks, a dog-walk park, restaurants, cafes, nightclubs and art galleries. The harbor is still growing and will eventually be the home of the National Capital Children’s Museum in 2012.

For those who want to venture beyond the harbor, a convenient water taxi shuttles guests and residents to Old Town Alexandria, Georgetown and Mount Vernon.

One of the highlights of the $2 billion-plus National Harbor project is the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center that is characterized by an 18-story atrium. Amie Gorrell, public relations director for the Gaylord National, said that the hotel attracts visitors from out of town, as well as local residents looking for a weekend getaway.

Both the Gaylord National and the National Harbor are gearing up for their first winter holiday celebrations since opening last spring. Ms. Gorrell said that a soaring glass Christmas tree suspended from a ceiling will be part of the Gaylord National’s Christmas on the Potomac celebration that begins Nov. 24. The harbor will kick off a holiday celebration with a tree-lighting event on Nov. 28 and a weekend holiday market that will be held every Saturday and Sunday beginning Nov. 29 through Dec. 21.

Buyers may choose to live in one of several residences being developed at the harbor. While One National Harbor by Peterson Cos. is sold out, Peterson are also building Fleet Street, a high-rise condominium of 163 homes. Amenities include a fully equipped community room, a rooftop swimming pool and pavilion area, a fitness center and underground parking.

This unique, contemporary, 11-story building is highlighted by glass and clean lines. An upscale hotel is in the same building, so Fleet Street residents may use the hotel’s pool and fitness center. (There are separate entrances for residents and hotel guests.)

Buyers may choose from one- or two-bedroom plans on one floor or two-bedroom plans on two levels. Balconies and private terraces line the structure to take advantage of the waterfront. The smallest plan has 502 square feet of living space with one bedroom and one bath. The two-level Duplex floor plan is the largest with two bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths and 1,480 square feet. Prices range from $300,000 to $1,000,000. For more information, call 301/203-4150 or visit www. fleetstreetcondos.com.

Waterfront Street Condominiums and St. George Condominiums are also being developed at National Harbor and are on American Way, which is also known as the harbor’s “Main Street.” The condos at Waterfront Street are on sale now. Sales for St. George will begin in spring 2009. For more information about residential sales at National Harbor, call 301/203-4150.

Ryan Homes is building town-home-style condominiums just 2 1/2 miles from National Harbor at Virginia Landing in Oxon Hill. The three-bedroom homes have between 1,600 and 2,600 square feet of living space, an attached one-car garage and two floor plans from which to choose.

The Matisse model starts in the upper $220,000s and has a living room and dining room combination floor plan, second-floor laundry room and 2 1/2 baths. The Picasso model starts in the upper $260,000s and boasts columns, two walk-in closets and an eat-in kitchen that opens to an outside deck. For more information, call 301/630-6925 or go to www. ryanhomes.com.

Timber Ridge in Clinton is a new development by Caruso Homes Inc. The community offers five different home styles arranged on cul de sacs. Three of the plans come with an optional coffered ceiling in the family room. Standard features in each of the homes include hardwood floors in the foyer, a gas fireplace and a basement entrance. Prices start from the low $400,000s. For more information, call 301/599-7811 or visit www.carusohomes.com.

New homes are also going up in Cheltenham Park in Clinton. Richmond American Homes Inc. offers single-family homes on wooded lots that start in the high $300,000s. Home sizes range from 2,600 square feet to about 4,000 square feet. The Berkshire IV is priced in the midrange at $429,990 and has 3,100 square feet of living space. Among its features are a two-story foyer, library and a sitting room that can be converted into an optional fifth bedroom. For more information, call 301/856-3419 or visit www.richmondamerican.com.

Woodburn Estates by Ryan Homes in Clinton offers eight models that range in price from the upper $320,000s to the upper $380,000s. Community amenities include biking and equestrian trails, open spaces and a tot lot. The Waverly is one of the largest and most dramatic models. It offers a formal living room and dining room separated by an archway, a study with French doors and a dual staircase. For more information, call 301/234-0182 or visit www.ryanhomes.com.

Wood Partners has a new condominium community near the Branch Avenue Metro called Tribeca at Camp Springs. Homes start from the low $200,000s, and buyers may choose from one-, two- or three-bedroom floor plans. Each comes with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and expansive windows. Select plans include a fireplace.

The community is equipped with a fitness center, a putting green, an entertainment room, a swimming pool and a sundeck. For more information, call 301/316-2610 or visit www.tribecacampsprings.com.

K. Hovnanian Homes has four-bedroom, single-family homes at Sellner Estates in Fort Washington. There are five floor plans to choose from and prices start from $319,990. The largest model is the Massachusetts I, which offers 2,693 square feet of living space and starts at $369,990. This plan comes with a standard two-story family room with a fireplace, a walk-in pantry and a luxurious owner’s suite. For more information, call 301/433-0140 or visit www.khov.com.

Waterford Cove is another K. Hovnanian community in Fort Washington. The second phase is selling near the National Harbor with prices from the low $500,000s. Each of the five home plans comes with hardwood floors in the foyer and kitchen, decorative moldings, a gas fireplace and dual-zone heat and air conditioning. For more information, call 301/292-1755 or visit www.khov.com.

Belinda Sanders, office manager for RE/MAX Colonial Homes in Oxon Hill, said that southern Prince George’s is desirable because of its planned communities and the fact that buyers can get more house for their money. In the past several years, she has also noticed that new homes being developed in the southern corridor have been more high end and larger than those in the northern portion of the county.

In 2007, the Maryland Association of Realtors said that the median selling price of all owner-occupied properties in the county was $325,000.

Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs is one the county’s primary employers, followed by the University of Maryland at College Park (located at the northern end of the county).

In addition to the happenings at the National Harbor, there are a sampling of historic and recreational activities to explore in southern Prince George’s. Historic Fort Washington National Park offers fishing, picnic areas and opportunities for wildlife viewing. Oxon Hill Cove Park and Oxon Hill Farm operates as an actual working farm, representative of the early 20th century, and offers historical agricultural programs.

The Surratt House Museum was built in 1852 as a middle-class farmhouse for the family of John and Mary Surratt (who was found guilty of conspiring with John Wilkes Booth to assassinate Abraham Lincoln). The house is now a museum that offers visitors tours. Harmony Hall Regional Center offers musical and theatrical performances in the 210-seat auditorium. There are also plenty of places to play golf and tennis.

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