Prince George’s County, Maryland, is named after Prince George of Denmark. Nestled in the Atlantic coastal plain, its landscape is a beautiful mix of gently rolling hills and valleys. The county is part of the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, and is home to the Joint Base Andrews, the Census Bureau, and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Historically, the county was once inhabited by dinosaurs in the Cretaceous Era, whose fossils are now preserved in a 7.5 acre park in Laurel.
Prince George’s County economy has always been predominantly agricultural, with tobacco being the main crop through the 1900’s. With the end of the Civil War, the slaves that worked the tobacco fields were freed, but the economy was still majorly supported by the tobacco farms. The 70’s and 80’s County leaders sought to expand the economy through industry and commercial enterprise. Despite these economic changes, Prince George’s County still retains its rural character and agricultural lifestyle.
Prince George’s County Central includes the area between Bowie and Landover, and through the south. Central county has a diverse employment base, fueled by Andrews Air Force Base. Limited demand and tenants vacating space contributed to this submarkets’ sluggish office market conditions during the 2nd quarter of 2013. The Central county submarket had an overall vacancy rate of 18.1% in Q2 2013. Average asking rents for Class A office space are at $22.67 per square foot. Class B office space is slightly lower, at $19.95 per square foot. The overall outlook for this sub-market remains subdued as tenants are reluctant to take space.
Prince George’s County North encompasses Laurel, Greenbelt, College Park, and Beltsville/Calverton. The NASA Goddard Space Center is the major contributor to this area’s economy. As in Central county, the North county sub-market has been experiencing a slowdown in the office sector. In mid 2013, net absorption was at -104,000 square feet, with the overall vacancy rate at 21.5%. Average asking rents for office space in Prince Georges County North are at $22.40 per square foot for Class A space, and $19.90 per square foot for Class B.
Despite the current lull in the office space market for Prince George’s County, overall, the conditions are expected to improve, positioning the county for long-term growth.