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Washington, DC suburbs in Maryland Calvert County, Charles County, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County
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Old 11-08-2006, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Avondale Estates
426 posts, read 2,248,147 times
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I am Black and I currently reside in Atlanta, Georgia. I do not live in an all Black area here and I would not wish to do so in Maryland. However, I am curious still about PG county. I have heard and read that it is supposed to the most affluent county for African Americans in the country. Yet, I have read other reports where PG County is plagued with bad schools, high crime, high poverty rates, and slow commercial development. Will someone clear up this issue just to satisfy my curiosity? I would like to know where the affluent areas of the county are, if any, and I would like to know if anyone would actually suggest a move there. Any insights would be appreciated.
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Old 11-08-2006, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Falling Waters, WV
1,502 posts, read 7,152,399 times
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I grew up in PG County in Landover HIlls, next to Bladensburg, Hyattsville and Landover. I graduated school from Fairmont Heights and can attest that the area is not that good. It wasn't too good when I left and before my parents left our Giant off of rte. 202 had metal detectors in there. I think you will find people within the communities that have been there for years but most have since moved on. The schools were really bad then with drugs and fights. I would definitely check out the neighborhoods well before moving, like most places you have some nice sections within bad areas with people just trying to raise their family. In Landover off of rte 202 I know that they built some really big homes. I am really not up to date as far as Laurel MD but I know it was getting bad a few years back but not sure what is going on there. I will tell you that the majority of the county is black, like I said there are nice sections but you really need to do your research.

Also, I should mention that because PG County is inside the Capital Beltway, your car insurance is a lot higher (when I moved outside of the beltway my insurance dropped $400. a year), also the shopping tends to be a little more because of theft they raise the prices.

As with anyplace, you have the good with the bad, it is just how much you want to deal with. Personally, I would never go back. Besides the traffic is awful on 450.
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Old 11-08-2006, 05:04 PM
 
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
2,408 posts, read 13,982,616 times
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PG County borders some of the worst neighborhoods in DC so there is a great spillover in terms of crime and poverty in those suburbs closest to DC, particularly Southeast DC. The general rule of thumb is that inside the Beltway (the I-495 loop encircling the DC area), communities are older, poorer and less safe. There are very nice and affluent parts of PG County in places like Mitchellville, Bowie, Lake Arbor and Upper Marlboro.

It's also important to remember that when regarding PG County as the wealthiest county with a black majority, this is generally referring to the median income. Cost of living in general is very high in the DC area and therefore incomes are higher here than all but a handful of other metro areas, and the majority of counties with a black majority tend to be either rural in the South, or in cities with lower costs of living meaning that the location of PG County in the ultra-expensive DC area and the correlating income is a large part of it's considered affluence.

PG County has nice parts and it has bad parts. Some really really bad. The general consensus among residents is that things are only getting worse in terms of crime and education and such and there's been a rather marked exodus of middle-class blacks to neighboring Charles County, mirroring the original middle-class exodus from DC to PG County in the 60s and 70s.
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Old 11-09-2006, 01:54 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
36,885 posts, read 38,303,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stvincent View Post
I am Black and I currently reside in Atlanta, Georgia. I do not live in an all Black area here and I would not wish to do so in Maryland. However, I am curious still about PG county. I have heard and read that it is supposed to the most affluent county for African Americans in the country. Yet, I have read other reports where PG County is plagued with bad schools, high crime, high poverty rates, and slow commercial development. Will someone clear up this issue just to satisfy my curiosity? I would like to know where the affluent areas of the county are, if any, and I would like to know if anyone would actually suggest a move there. Any insights would be appreciated.
There are some wealthy neighborhoods in PG county. My African American executive level boss and his family live in Bowie, and I have been to his house which is huge and modern and in a community (within Bowie) of other huge homes, however, most of the county is not so hot. Here's the deal about Maryland, from my observation. The closer you live to DC, the lousier the neighborhood. Both the very affluent Montgomery County and Prince Georges County have gang problems now.

Here's a newspaper article for you to read about crime in PG County. It mentions neighborhood, too:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...010201788.html
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Old 11-09-2006, 06:06 AM
 
Location: Maryland outside DC
2,171 posts, read 3,147,732 times
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I'll echo most of the sentiments already expressed. PG county has some amazingly nice neighborhoods (dullnboring mentioned some above). Most, but not all, of the areas inside the beltway are high crime and getting poorer. There has been an exodus of middle class to further out suburbs (kind of breaks down: blacks to Charles county, whites to Calvert & St Marys counties - a bit simplistic and overstated on my part, but I think you get the idea). My wife grew up in District Heights in PG. Once a mix of blue & white collar folks. Now a place with several section 8 apartment complexes and a crime rate that suggest more inner city than burbs.

Not trying to paint a completely negative picture. Lake Arbor is a great area with many Executive style houses laid out along the golf course and lake. Bowie has quite a few nice neighborhoods, and has recently been getting more and more retail (and its close to Annapolis which has a regional mall). Southern PG county (towards Charles county) has been experiencing a housing bbom for about a decade now. Some great areas there as well. There are also a couple of major projects in the works to add retail/office/residential centers near the nearly completed new Woodrow Wilson bridge to Alexandria (I-495/95), and just off the beltway near Greenbelt.

As far as education, the school system has some major issues. It's one of the largest in the country (well over 100,000 kids), and funding is kind of up and down. There are magnet schools which have some good programs and faculty, but many of these are located in less than desirable hoods. One of the better schools is Eleanor Roosevelt high school in Greenbelt, excellent school academically and athletically. Most high schools in the county are not near the same caliber.

Should you move there? I'm sure you could find a very comfortable and fairly safe niche in a county of over 800,000 people. Shopping might not be the best, but I feel confident that will improve. There are Metro stations in several locations if you need to commute to downtown DC. You've just got to do your homework to find a place that's right for you. Best of luck.
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Old 11-12-2006, 07:46 AM
 
311 posts, read 1,330,243 times
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Here are the areas that are good:

Clinton (Cheltenham Square). They are building there, but crime is low and the neighborhood is nice and well kept.

Brandywine

Accookeek, particularly the new developments along Floral Park Road.

HOWEVER, the school system sucks. As a single Mom, I sent my son to private schools. You will find that many parents/single parents, even without high paying jobs, send their children to Christian, Catholic or private schools. The private/parochial schools are almost a school system in itself in PG County.
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Old 11-12-2006, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
20 posts, read 173,173 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stvincent View Post
I am Black and I currently reside in Atlanta, Georgia. I do not live in an all Black area here and I would not wish to do so in Maryland. However, I am curious still about PG county. I have heard and read that it is supposed to the most affluent county for African Americans in the country. Yet, I have read other reports where PG County is plagued with bad schools, high crime, high poverty rates, and slow commercial development. Will someone clear up this issue just to satisfy my curiosity? I would like to know where the affluent areas of the county are, if any, and I would like to know if anyone would actually suggest a move there. Any insights would be appreciated.

I was born in PGC, and I've lived there up until i was int he 7th grade, when i moved with my mother and sister to Alexandria, VA. I am seventeen years old now, and I can share with you my own personal experience in Prince George's County. I've lived in Landover, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington. If you're a relatively quiet person, enjoy safe neighborhoods, and would like to walk around outside in the evening without worrying, then PCG is really NOT for you. Wherever you read that PGC has bad schools, high crime, and high poverty rates, they have the right idea. Since i have personally been in PGC schools, (and i moved back with my father in 9th grade and attented Friendly High School before returning back to VA) I can tell you that it's NOT the teachers that have the problem in PGC. In fact, the lessons that they teach are more advanced than Fairfax County, VA, which supposedly have the BEST schools in the Washington/DC metro area. The problem, however, are the students. Too many of them do not wish to learn anything and show up just because the law requires them to do so. They therefore make it harder on the teachers to actually teach the few kids who DO want to learn something, what with them having to write refferals and reprimand the many kids that disrupt the classes. That's how the schools in PGC have become so bad. The high poverty rates, yes, PGC is full of section 8 housing and single parents that have to work 2 and 3 jobs just to make the rent. NOTHING against them at all, because they're doing what they have to do to survive, and i'm far from judgemental, but for the more wealthy people, they'd rather be in an environment more suitable to their own personalities.

However, just because PGC is the way it is does not change my opinion that Maryland is FAR better than VA. (which is going downhill rapidly) If you are looking to move to Maryland, I would suggest Howard County, which in my opinion is the best county in Maryland. The schools are excellent, It's SO well kept and it's full of excitement. I'm hoping to get my mom to see how much better Howard County is compared to Fairfax County.

BTW, if you're thinking just because im seventeen i don't know what i'm talking about, I really do care about where I live and I do my research like the next middle aged person and I really hope that you consider what I've written, because I hope you make the right choice
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Old 11-25-2006, 09:14 AM
 
1 posts, read 12,063 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stvincent View Post
I would like to know where the affluent areas of the county are, if any, and I would like to know if anyone would actually suggest a move there. Any insights would be appreciated.
I think a lot depends on why one might be considering a move. If you DID want to move somewhere where you were in an all-black community, PG would NOT be that place. I think right now, the county is clearly struggling with its racial-ethnic-economic-etc makeup!

http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet..._2005_EST_G00_
Maryland - Selected Economic Characteristics: 2005

As a longtime resident and community activist in the county I would say that there is a lot of stratificiation. There are people who are QUITE well-off, and there are people who are VERY poor. And it seems that every year, more of the middle class slips into the poor category, than jump into the well-off category (but the well-off grow their wealth each year, which offsets the sheer numbers of the poor and getting poorer).

Has anyone here read THE MILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR? After reading that I would think twice before I sought to move into the McMansion neighborhood and buy a Maserati. One can apparently be very wealthy, and live in a teeny little house and drive a 2002 Chevy hatchback. I know the MILLIONAIRE data isn't down to the county level, but I think "affluence" is probably an overrated criterion.

I would not recommend moving to Prince George's County as speculation! If you enjoy being near a big city with museums, government and the arts, but also near the water, if you enjoy seafood and like to see the seasons change but don't love very cold, snowy weather, if you are a friendly kind of person who is willing to do a favor for a neighbor now and then, I'd say, move to Prince George's County, yes! Oh, and we have a TON of very large churches in the county of late. You can find a lot to occupy you by joining a ministry or two in one of these -- and we hope that you will make sure that ministry really reaches out and touches the people in the county, who need the help.

I think that Prince Georges is a great and exciting place if you are willing to put some work into living here -- you can't move somewhere and take the attitude that you'll sit and wait until things come to you.
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Old 12-01-2006, 09:09 AM
 
350 posts, read 1,592,580 times
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I grew up in P.G.- got married a year ago and moved to Howard. I will never move back. I was robbed at an ATM down the street from my house when I was 19, my family and neighbors have had their cars stolen and houses broken into, and it feels unsafe to be walking down the street alone. It's very sad to me that the area is so crime ridden because my family still lives there- and has for over 40 years. My grandparents don't want to move out of their home, but I worry about their safety.
The schools are horrendous- not because of the teachers, because of the students. Kids bring weapons to school and threaten teachers. There are constant fights and disruptions. Someone mentioned Eleanor Roosevelt, which does have a lot of good academic programs, but they're extremely overcrowded and have had stabbings there in addition to fights.
There are some very nice neighborhoods, both new and older, and hopefully P.G. County can be revitalized- but it will be a long process.
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Old 12-17-2006, 01:39 PM
 
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Let me offer some perspective. I grew up in S.E. (Valley Green neighborhood-doesn't even exist anymore)/N.E Washington (off Minnesota Ave) and Capitol Heights (Peppermill Village). I attended a private elementary school in the county and moved to Clinton for high school (my father was born and raised in Clinton), and went to college on the Eastern Shore. I remember Central Ave when it was a two-lane road with the X-rated drive-in movie theatre ( and when PepperMill Village was considered Seat Pleasant) and farmland from Hampton Mall (now Kingdom Square) to Addison Road (where there is now a Metro stop and condos planned for across the street-go figure). I also remember heading to "the country" of Clinton to visit my grandfather on Branch Ave when there was NOTHING on either side of the road from Auth Road (which now houses a Metro stop, planned condos, and a planned town center) to the PG/Charles County line but Allentown Mall, a Giant grocery store and drug store (now CVS), and a corner store across the street from Gwynn Park HS.

No matter where you go, given time, most neighborhoods in close proximity to a major city will undergo change, and that change will, to a certain extent , depend on the change in that city. For example, the climate of the city government when I lived in DC was pro-social services. City-run recreation centers were common place, and the school system was much better (talk to anyone who attended DC schools from the 60's-80's). Fast foward to the Anthony Williams era; DC has become pro-business. Every scrap of land has development going on, and the laws in the city are heavily tilted towards tenants (which is why there is so much condo conversion in DC). Recreation centers have been cut by 2/3, and the school system has been all but neglected. Additionally, DC is rapidly moving out of the public housing business. This (and other factors) has caused a gentrification from DC to the surrounding suburbs, and mostly to PG County, where housing is much cheaper around the city/county line (Capitol Heights, Fairmount Heights, anything along Eastern Ave, Seat Pleasant, District Heights, etc.) Couple that with the fact that former MD Gov. Glendening (sp) almost bankrupt PG County when he was County Executive for 16 years, and you have the present scenario. For the last 8-10 years we have been trying to make up for lost time; the county school system is rated next to last in the state , and the egos on the appointed board of education are partly to blame. Money for the school system isn't the problem; the county has a budget of 2.2 billion, and the schools get 1.7 billion of that. Crime in the county has skyrocketed, but the powers to be (Glendening) never increased the authorized force of the police department to keep up with the growth of the county. We almost have a million people living in PG County, yet the authorized force of the police department is only 1420; DC has only half a million residents, and they have 3800 officers.

That being said, the county is a wonderful place to live. I work and live in the county (and have worked for both DC and PG County governments), and the county is on the upswing. RULE OF THUMB: Current and planned development is slated for areas in close proximity to Metro stations. PG County has more stations than any other jurisdiction other than DC. That means newer housing developments, more shopping, etc. The largest development on the east coast is underway in the southern portion of the county (National Harbor) along with an equally important development in the northern section (Konterra). Many people are heading to Charles County because of the school system and becasue of a slightly lower cost of new housing, but beware-Charles County is looking to put the brakes on development to retail most of its rural flavor. A brand new regional high school has just opened in PG County (Wise). Simply put, you won't recognize PG County in the next five years.
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