Construction of a major mall near National Harbor began Thursday, but there is still a battle that could pit high-end shopping against the preservation of a historical site.
Tanger Outlet Center, a 340,000-square-foot mall, is expected to house high-end shopping – an estimated 80 stores. It will also offer about 1,000 jobs when it is completed.
Some residents unhappy about the project in a once-secluded area of Prince George’s County have filed several appeals in court to try and stop construction.
“Since it’s ongoing legal action, I don’t want to get involved in discussing it at this point because it’s still in the hands of the courts at this point,” Prince George’s County Council member Obie Patterson said.
There are also concerns over the historic relevance of the site. The land is known as Salubria, a historic Oxon Hill plantation where a 14-year-old slave was hung for poisoning her master’s three children. Her act of rebellion led to her master becoming an abolitionist, a significant history of which many are unaware.
“We’re going to be able to display the history of what happened here, and I think more people will know about it than they do today,” said Jon Peterson of developer Peterson Company.
County Executive Rushern Baker, who ran on a platform promising economic development in the county, said this project is just that.
“It’s good for Prince George’s County, and that’s what people elected me to do, make sure we bring the best for the county as a whole,” he said.
The mall is expected to generate $6.5 million in tax revenue for the state.