Despite losing Amazon.com Inc. as a massive new tenant, the developers of the Westphalia Town Center say they’re still nearly ready to line up retailers for the Prince George’s County project.
The tech giant was set to solve a major conundrum for the development’s backers, with early plans to build a 4 million-square-foot fulfillment center at the town center and provide Westphalia with the major employer its developers have long courted. But the internet company announced Aug. 23 it would no longer pursue the project, as community members organized in opposition to a warehouse sitting so close to residences.
That sent the project’s master developer, Canada-based Walton Westphalia Development Corp., back to the drawing board.
Before Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) came calling, the company had long hoped to build up to 5.5 million square feet of commercial office space at Westphalia alongside 5,000 homes and up to 1 million square feet of retail. Ed Fleming, executive vice president of Walton Global Holdings Ltd., said the loss of Amazon and the tough market for office space in Westphalia’s section of Prince George’s has convinced the company to commence a “reassessment of what to put on the core parcel” of the development. He added that Duke Realty Corp. (NYSE: DRE), which was set to purchase the warehouse site and lease it to Amazon, is no longer under contract, freeing up a full re-evaluation of the site’s potential.
Watch the video to see Walton Global Holdings executive Edward Fleming speaking with News4’s Tracee Wilkins about what happened behind the scenes after the plan for a huge warehouse fell apart. A key resident also weighs in.