Prince George’s County officials are beaming over the announcement that it had successfully lured a company out of Virginia into Prince George’s as Coastal International Security announced the opening of its new headquarters in Upper Marlboro.
“We stole a business from Virginia and we’re willing to admit that in public,” Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker joked.
Virginia State University grad Curtis Wrenn, president of Coastal, said it wasn’t that the county stole his company from Virginia, but it was how diligently the county worked to make the process of moving easier.
“It wasn’t so much of Prince George’s stealing as it was of them enticing and establishing a business-friendly community,” Wrenn said.
The Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation’s (EDC) business development staff assisted Coastal in qualifying for the state’s Job Creation Tax Credit Program, which will allow it to get a credit of $1,000 per full-time employee who works at that location for one year.
Gwen McCall, president of the EDC, said the work her organization did on behalf of Coastal in getting it through the permitting process and finding those tax credits will be the blueprint for how the county now handles business.
“This will be the future of Prince George’s County Economic Development efforts,” McCall said.
Coastal, which had two locations in Lorton and Alexandria, is consolidating operations in Prince George’s County. The space, a former shipping warehouse for Airborne Express and DHL, will be converted into an office, training facility and shooting range for Coastal, its employees and other law enforcement and security agencies who’d like to take advantage of Coastal’s resources.
The facility move is expected to bring 45-50 jobs to the facility with the possibility of 15-20 additional new hires. The renovation of the facility is expected to create more than 100 construction jobs.
Coastal officials admitted to wanting those new jobs to go to Prince George’s residents and even floated the possibility of some employees relocating to the county as well. With employees living as far away as Fredericksburg, Va., officials say there’s the possibility of having to replace some employees as well. Wrenn hopes those employees are local as he wants to build a long-lasting relationship with the county.
“We look forward to being a part of the fabric of the Prince George’s County community,” he said.
County officials see the relocation as a possible harbinger of things to come. With base realignment and closure transferring jobs and personnel to Joint Base Andrews, county officials think Prince George’s could become the home to the security industry in the National Capital area.
“We want security to be a niche industry for Prince George’s County,” said Councilman Mel Franklin, D.-Dist. 9, in whose district the headquarters will be located. “We’re going to be a regional leader in the security industry.”
Coastal International Security has over 2,300 employees globally and has annual revenues of $140 million. Coastal’s agents provide security for federal buildings, presidential cabinet members and the U.S. military.