Baker says Prince George’s Co. economy has ‘shifted into high gear’

CLINTON, Md. — Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker touted fresh development projects and improving employment numbers, while teasing a potential run for governor, during his State of the Economy address.

“We have shifted into high gear,” Baker said Wednesday. “Not a lot of people had faith that this county could not only rebound, but could lead.”

County officials say Prince George’s County added 15,000 jobs since 2013, not including 3,600 generated by the new MGM National Harbor.

“It means that that many more Prince Georgians are walking around this county today with their heads held high because they have a job,” Baker said.

Property values are also up 61 percent since 2010, and the median home sales price now stands at $265,000, officials said.

“We are the economic engine of the Washington region, and I dare say the state of Maryland,” Baker said in his address.

Baker highlighted the December opening of the $1.4 billion MGM casino resort as well as last month’s opening of the county’s first Whole Foods store, in Riverdale Park.

He noted that the health care company Kaiser Permanente is building a new office in New Carrollton and adding nearly 900 new jobs, bringing the number of its employees in the county from 1,800 to 2,650.

Baker also made a point to cite a recent article in the Washington Business Journal that said the county was experiencing a “hotel boom.”

“Six new or redeveloped hotels have opened in the past year, and six more are under construction, including the Hotel at the University of Maryland, which is adding another full-service hospitality option to the county,” the article says.

Baker may decide to run for governor, seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge the popular Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in next year’s election.

He addressed the question of whether he will run, not giving a definitive answer but saying he is “seriously considering” the possibility.

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Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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