PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY - Congressman Steny Hoyer joined federal, state and local officials for the groundbreaking of National Harbor and Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center on the Potomac River. National Harbor is a mixed-use community being developed over seven million feet along the Potomac River.
Congressman Steny Hoyer played an integral role in supporting the National Harbor project. He sponsored legislation to rescind the National Capital Planning Commission's (NCPC) authority over the project and led this coordinated effort among federal, state and local officials to ensure that the project moved forward. Rep. Hoyer has also worked closely with the Peterson Companies to make this project a reality. Company officials expect the property to open in March 2008.
"Sometimes you hear people say, something is so hard, it would require an act of Congress to straighten it out," said Milt Peterson, Chairman of the Peterson Companies. "We had that here. We had the federal government saying they had jurisdiction over this property, not you Prince George's County, and not you the state of Maryland. We had a little discussion with our Congressman, and he took care of business. He said this property should be under the jurisdiction of this County and of this State, and he was the author of an Act, signed by the Congress, and signed by the President to put the jurisdiction where it belongs. That is just one of the things that Congressman Steny Hoyer has done for us and we thank him."
Following are Congressman Hoyer's remarks as prepared for delivery.
"National Harbor is a widely supported waterfront attraction designed to bring new life, new jobs, and welcome opportunities to Prince George's County and the Capital Region. Positioned along the Potomac River, National Harbor will be a working, shopping, dining, and entertainment experience comparable to other world-class waterfront destinations.
"National Harbor is the largest and most economically significant new project to begin in the Washington, DC area since construction of the Pentagon. The Peterson Companies and Gaylord could have selected a number of other jurisdictions for their investment. By choosing Prince George's, they have highlighted what we have to offer in terms of first class opportunities in the region.
"The Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center will be the leading hotel and convention center in the National Capital Region and the biggest hospitality industry project to break ground in the U.S. this year outside of Las Vegas.
"This project will both secure and facilitate high quality development, with the most significant beneficiaries being the people and businesses of Prince George's County. Gaylord's investment thus far totals over $500 million and represents the largest private investment in the history of the state of Maryland.
"According to the latest fiscal impact study, the project will produce over 10,000 jobs and provide $736 million (net) over the next 30 years.
"This project is crucially needed and long overdue. In 2000, I worked with Congressman Wynn and other federal, state and county officials to pass legislation to ensure a project of this size and scope could move forward on a sensible timetable.
"Now, in our lifetime, we will witness an unused riverfront transform into a commercial center full of amenities. National Harbor will serve as a gateway to the National Capital Region for millions of local residents and visitors from around the world each year.
"In the future jobs, prosperity, and opportunity created by this project will have a positive and profound impact on economic growth and development, not only in Prince George's County, but throughout our region.
"I thank the people assembled here today for their leadership in making this project possible, and I am proud to have worked with them on this effort."
Editor's Note: Additional information about the National Harbor project can be found by visiting http://www.nationalharbor.com/. The site includes artistic renderings of how the facility will appear when finished.