New business for West Hyattsville

October 10, 2011

BY PAULA MINAERT — Most of the recent development in the city has happened in the EYA area along Route 1 or around the Prince George’s Plaza Metro station. But a federal contractor bought property in May on Ager Road, across from the West Hyattsville Metro station, and plans to move its headquarters there next October.

The city council, at its September 19 meeting, moved to support Executive Technology Solutions, LLC’s request to the Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission to add zoning for offices and research to the area’s current townhouse zoning. It also voted to support the company’s site plan.

“We are excited to welcome them to our community,” said Jim Chandler, Hyattsville’s director of community and economic development. “We’re certainly hoping the site is one of the seeds that helps facilitate redevelopment at the West Hyattsville Metro area.”

Miran Kim, the company owner, said ETS does federal government contracting in two industries: health-care staffing and transportation. It currently has offices in both Vienna, Va., and Silver Spring.

Most of its more than 100 employees work remotely, though 50 percent are in the D.C. metro area, and 80 percent of that group lives in Prince George’s County.

The number of staff working in the Hyattsville office will be about eight, providing office support, human resources, payroll and financial management, and project management functions.

Councilmember Paula Perry (Ward 4) lives near the site, though it is located in Ward 5. She, too, is happy about ETS moving in.

“I’m hoping it’s going to jumpstart other viable businesses on Ager Road. It’s an old area that needs to be revitalized. I think that would help tremendously,” she said. “People here are thrilled to see something nice going up.”

She also pointed out that ETS talked to people in the area around the site about their plans and said she thinks the company really has shown respect for the neighborhood.

Chandler agreed. “They went door to door and solicited feedback from neighboring properties, saying, here’s who we are and here’s what we’re looking to do, ” he said  “They really did their homework in trying to figure out what they can do and how to make it work [for both parties].”

Stuart Eisenberg, director of the Hyattsville Development Corporation, said that it’s “refreshing” to have a property owner who works with the community upfront rather than after it has an idea, as so often happens.

In contrast, Eisenberg said Cafritz Corporation, which is trying to develop property in Riverdale Park, has an approach that is “backwards” because it didn’t come first to the adjoining towns.

Kim said Hyattsville has been welcoming, with enthusiastic neighbors often stopping by to talk to ETS staff when they are on site.

And ETS, in turn, likes to promote being part of the community with an annual outreach day “where we pay employees to get involved in the community,” she said.

 

 

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