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GREENBELT, MD (July 15, 2020) – Brandon Bellamy, CEO of Velocity Companies, will deliver the keynote address at the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) Summer Conference on Wednesday, July 29, 2020. The virtual conference, scheduled from 9:00 A.M. to 12 P.M., will highlight leaders from both the public and private sector sharing insight on how economic developers can assist business owners and the unique challenges that they face in the midst of COVID-19.

Bellamy, a successful real estate entrepreneur, has worked for many years to locate and build opportunities where it is needed the most. But his success, and that of his projects, have not been without their unique challenges, many of which are not apparent to everyone working in economic development.

“Communities that were distressed pre-COVID-19 are even more distressed today, and many of these communities are comprised of minority business owners and entrepreneurs,” said Bellamy. “I look forward to sharing my journey at this year’s Summer Conference and hope that it benefits those working to create jobs and investment in the state of Maryland.”

Brandon will provide examples of challenges he has met and overcome and share how he is not alone when it comes to being faced with these unique challenging hurdles. He has a story that exemplifies how to put together a recipe for success using hard work, community support, and economic development.

The MEDA Summer Conference is sponsored by Maryland Department of Commerce, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and Maryland Association of Counties (MACO). For more information about the MEDA 2020 Summer Conference and to register, visit www.medamd.com. ###

Media Contact: Veronica Jeon | VSJ, Inc. | vjeon@vsjinc.com | 202-803-3303

Read the article: https://thevelocitycompanies.com/news/PRESS%20RELEASE_MEDA_MB_VJ.pdf

CAPITOL HEIGHTS — To celebrate the beginning of construction for the $250 million development project in Hampton Park, county officials, developers and members of The Sanctuary at Kingdom Square church held a ceremony which featured a keynote speech by County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, a dance performance and a building demolition to kick off the construction on Sept. 27.

“This is a community project, this project has been for the community,” said Brandon Bellamy, CEO of Velocity Companies, a Maryland-based, minority-owned commercial real estate company and one of the lead developers of the site, at the beginning of the ceremony.

“It took a long time to get it to come to fruition, and that’s probably why there are so many people here, and there is so much happy energy because when you work on something that’s meaningful and can really improve the lives of many people, people just get inspired by it.”

The project, which was initially announced by County Councilmember Derrick Leon Davis (District 6) on July 24, is envisioned as a mixed-use development project on the 25-acre site formerly known as Hampton Mall. It is expected to be completed within 30 months.

It will feature multi-story apartments, retail, offices, hotels and a $35 million Health and Human Services building. The new center will be part of a revitalization of the MD 214/Central Avenue corridor which has been designated as a Life Sciences and Health corridor.

The Hampton Park development will include a 120-room business hotel, 100,000 square feet of retail which will consist of Market Fresh Gourmet Grocer, the award-winning Ivy City Smokehouse restaurant and four to five-story apartments and townhomes.

In addition to the Health and Human Services building, another staple of the area will be a Senior Day Center, a 17,000-square-foot center to accommodate the educational, recreational and social interaction needs of the seniors in the surrounding Capitol Heights area.

The area was also designated as an Opportunity Zone. Established in 2017, as part of the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act, the Opportunity Zone program incentivizes long-term private sector investments in urban and rural communities that are explicitly designated by each state and certified by the Treasury Department. The Opportunity Zone fund for Hampton Park raised $35 million towards this project.

The Sanctuary at Kingdom Square played a significant role in getting the project off the ground as well.

Spearheaded by Bishop-Elect Anthony Maclin, the 3,000-member church purchased the Hampton Mall property in 2004 hoping to revitalize it into a community space.

“We knew we needed to do something with this place, Central Avenue, and it means something to me because it’s the central dividing point for me for this county…Everything is around us, and if we could just draw the synergy and bring people together, we thought that this would be a great place to live, to work and to enjoy what God has done for us,” Maclin said.

In an effort that lasted about 15 years, Maclin and his congregation led the purchase, lease and renovation of more than $24 million in properties for church and other retail use and spurred community-focused development along the Central Avenue corridor in Capitol Heights leading up to the Hampton Park development of today.

The Hampton Mall used to be a vibrant space, and this project will bring it back to vibrancy, Davis said.

He called the Central Avenue corridor the transportation artery and the center of the county and, along with the Regional Medical Center and Metro station located nearby, Hampton Park will be “a vibrant community development.”

Following a dance performance by the Divine Dance Institute of Capitol Heights to the song “A Brand New Day” from “The Wiz” signifying the theme of the event, Alsobrooks took to the stage to address the importance of what this new space will mean for the county.

With Prince George’s County being in the top 4% wealthiest counties in the country, Alsobrooks said, this means the county has buying power and there is a great return on investment within the county.

“The best is yet to come,” she said. “Today is a glorious morning, but put on your seatbelts because the best is yet to come starting here and it’s moving all across the county.”

After giving her speech, the county executive was given the honor of starting the construction. Everyone gathered around as she climbed into a bulldozer and, with the help of a member of the construction team, partially knocked down an old credit union.

Velocity Companies formed a joint venture with ARCTrust, a New Jersey-based full service vertically integrated real estate company, to bring the Hampton Park development to fruition.

While Velocity started putting together the first feasibility studies of the project in 2009 and had the site plan fully approved in 2017, Bellamy said it was not easy getting to this point.

“My biggest challenge in this project has been the perception that people have had about the county,” he said. “Hampton Park was a microcosm, so it was the same exact problem. We had difficulty getting people to see that it was a self-imposed perception.”

The real estate was good, he said, but one of the reasons it took so long to get the project off the ground is because it was passed over because the people who had the capacity to invest were not interested due to their of the perception of the area.

However, redeveloping this area is the first step to changing what people think of Capitol Heights, Maclin said, and it will be the kind of place that the people of Prince George’s County deserve.

“People will no longer be afraid of Hampton Mall, and people will be no longer afraid of Capitol Heights,” Maclin said. “People will no longer find reasons to avoid coming to Capitol Heights, they’re going to want to come here.”

Read the article: https://www.thesentinel.com/communities/prince_george/news/local/250-million-hampton-park-construction-begins-in-capitol-heights/article_9630e1eb-7f01-5b87-bedc-353c33366050.html

Hampton Park 2

Hampton Park 2

By   – Staff Reporter, Washington Business Journal

See Correction/Clarification at end of the article

Construction is about to get underway on a $250 million Prince George’s County development that is expected to bring more than 500,000 square feet of mixed-use to Capitol Heights.

Hampton Park, the redevelopment of the 25-acre Hampton Mall, will include a $35 million, 115,000-square-foot office building slated to house the Prince George’s County departments of Health and Human Services, Veteran Affairs and Family Services. That building will also house a 17,000-square-foot senior day center.

The Hampton Park project, its backers say, will feature a national brand hotel with 120 rooms, 100,000 square feet of retail, including a 20,000-square-foot Market Fresh Gourmet grocer and an Ivy City Smokehouse, the restaurant’s first location outside of the District. The residential portion will contain 200 units of multistory, market-rate apartments.

“We are deeply concerned about some of the food deserts we have in Prince George’s County,” County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said during a Friday morning groundbreaking, on the eve of the initial demolition of the former mall. “It’s no secret our residents deserve to have quality dinner in Prince George’s County.”

All approvals for the first phase of construction have been received, and completion is expected in phases over a 30-month period. The first phase is estimated to cost $133 million. The project is expected to create up to 1,608 construction jobs.

Greenbelt-based Velocity Companies and Clifton, New Jersey-based investor ARCTRUST formed a joined venture with the goal of spurring the revitalization of the legacy communities located along 214/Central Avenue corridor, they said. Other project members include Baltimore-based Design Collective Inc. as the architect, Rockville-based Soltesz Engineering and Columbia-based Manekin Construction as the general contractor.

“Hampton Park is a microcosm of Prince George’s County,” Velocity CEO Brandon Bellamy said in an interview. “It’s a true bellwether for the vitality of the county.”

The project has received numerous federal, state and county designations that should its ease path to viability. It has been designated part of Maryland’s Sustainable Communities, as a Primary Investment District and, most recently, as an opportunity zone.

It is also boosted by incentives, including $14 million in tax increment financing, Moral Obligation Bond Financing and $1.8 million from the Prince George’s County Economic Development Incentive Fund.


Due to incorrect information, an earlier version of this story misidentified the project architect. The correct architect is Design Collective Inc.

Read the article: https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2019/09/27/250m-mixed-use-project-breaks-ground-in-capitol.html