Life Along the Blue Line

Estimated read time 5 min read

Much Love for the Boulevard

Originally published on May 29, 2014

The trees and unruly shrubbery are gone from the corner of Lottsford Road and Harry S. Truman Drive. Over the past week, what appears to be a one-man tree wrecking crew is flattening the woody acres and opening up the straight-on view to the tops of Fedex Field, Magic Johnson Theater and other rooftops over at the Boulevard at Capital Centre. Standing on the corner, you can appreciate the architectural beauty of the Largo Town Center Metro Station. I think to myself, it’s about time. I will enjoy the view for as long as it exists because at some point, the construction of a new residential complex will begin.

These new residents will be able to walk out their front door having direct access to the Blue Line metro station. They will be one metro stop away from Fedex Field. They can hop on the train and go see a Nats game or a Wizards game without breaking a sweat walking. The green line exits to the front door of both venues. The will be able to take a snooze from Largo Town Center while they ride to Reagan National Airport, hop off and catch their flight to everywhere. The same will hold true to catch an Amtrak Train at Union Station. They will not need a car to enjoy the best that the city has to offer. But the really good news is, life at Largo may be a bit pricey, but more than likely, not nearly as pricey as being downtown. You also will have the advantage of having a Senator and a Representative.

Largo is a beautiful area. In spite of how some may negatively characterize Prince George’s County, the fact is much of Washington, D.C. was carved out of its lands. The colonial families of Prince George’s were good to what is now the District, giving land to help build out in those times what we now enjoy in these times.

Although no obvious remnants of plantations remain in the immediate area near the Metro, the connection to the Federal City is explicit in our history from the roads into the District to Abe Pollin’s Capital Center and the evolution from Bullets to Wizards basketball.

As the interior designers may say, a walk down Lottsford Road offers clean lines of view. Although the addition of new residential complexes will increase the density, from what I read in the county’s plans, those views will be enhanced. In the Largo Town Center Sectional Map Amendment, recommendations include creating wider pedestrian walkways, bike lanes, improved outdoor spaces, and roadway corrections that will make it safer for people to walk not just within the immediate area around the station, but also to and from neighboring residential communities.

Residents will be within immediate walking distance to the new regional hospital and retail (shopping), dining and entertainment.

I think the county has a secret and that secret is how successful Largo Town Center can actually be. I don’t read a lot about it. As a matter of fact, when I “google it”, my hits include how depressing the Boulevard at Capital Center is. Are you kidding me?

I take pictures of the land at the corner of Lottsford and Harry S. Truman. I walk by the Fortune Johnson construction site at Arena Drive and Lottsford Road. I smile when I see this. Yea, I know that might mean gentrification in the Largo area, or something akin to it. But for the past five months, going into six, I am observing transformation in Washington, D.C. and capturing it in on camera. I wonder if my county, Prince George’s, can be competitive with the city. And if we can’t, what does that mean for our future employment, business development, and quality of life issues.

I see there’s a new Famous Dave’s coming to the location of the former Sidelines restaurant location at the Boulevard. I tell my daughter that a restaurant called Famous Dave is coming to the Boulevard and she seems pleased. For her, a 23-year old, that is a sign akin to a Chipotle or a Starbucks coming. One of those places that indicates youth and cool.

At the Metro-side of the corner of Lottsford and Harry S. Truman, nothing is on the site except the fallen trees and unruly shrubbery. I won’t miss the fallen trees. No one took care of the landscaping of the acreage anyway and with the trees gone the land looks promising. For me, I mark it as an indicator that change is coming. I am excited for this neighborhood. I live not far. I don’t know what this will mean for my particular community, or whether or not I can afford to stay in the area. That will be up to me. In the meantime, I will continue to write about it – one voice with much love for the Boulevard.

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