Hyde Airport to be redeveloped for businesses, housing
Airport officials blame declining profits on no-fly zone
Hyde Field Airport in Clinton is planning to permanently shut down its facilities and use the land for businesses and houses, due to gradually declining profits airport officials say are the result of the federal government's post-9/11 expansion of restricted airspace around Washington, D.C.
The Hyde Field Airport is proposed to close in mid-2011, allowing developers to build commercial and office space and homes on the more than 400-acre lot near the intersection of Stead and Piscataway roads, said Steve Wenderoth, a spokesman for the development company, Faison Enterprises.
Business has been down considerably since 2002 in the three small airports inside restricted airspace around Washington— the Hyde Field Airport, Freeway Airport in Bowie and College Park Airport in College Park.
The federal government instituted a no-fly zone around Washington in February 2003 as a post-Sept. 11, 2001 security measure. The restricted zone was simplified and made smaller in 2007 and now extends in a 30-nautical-mile radius from Washington.
"The security environment has made it tough to run an airport…really tough," said Stan Fetter, Hyde Field Airport's manager and a partner in the redevelopment. "The feds have imposed operating restrictions that make it more complex to get out of this airspace," Fetter said. "That puts us at a competitive disadvantage."
Fetter could not estimate how many planes fly in or out of the airport each day but said the facility sees 8,000 flights per year.
The Hyde Field Airport redevelopment project will launch in multiple phases, with a total of 2,000 residential units, 250,000 square feet of commercial units and up to 600,000 square feet of office space.
Wenderoth said retailers, such as department and grocery stores, have contacted Faison Enterprises for available slots, but he declined to confirm which stores have signed on.
Fetter said the redevelopment stands on many levels of approval and will take a few years before all the permits have been approved and they are ready to break ground.
"Nothing is set in stone," Fetter said.
But several local residents have already begun opposing the project.
Claude Bogan, a member and former president of the Clinton View Civic Association, said the area for the proposed redevelopment is already congested with traffic.
The area's schools and roads are already overcrowded, and the addition of 2,000 homes could be "detrimental," Bogan said.
Faison Enterprises is scheduled to meet with the Prince George's County Planning Board in December to discuss the development plans.
The redevelopment will be merged with subregion 5 master plan re-zoning, which the Prince George's County Council is scheduled to discuss in 2009. The master plan provides guidelines for future development. Traffic patterns and other infrastructure would be discussed when the plans are brought to the council for discussion and approval in December, Wenderoth said.
Both Fetter and Wenderoth agreed the airport would stay open until the latest possible date, probably six months before the Bethesda-based development company is ready to break ground.
Faison Enterprises will be handling the commercial aspect of the redevelopment. Nabil Asterbadi, who has owned Hyde Field Airport for more than a decade, will handle residential redevelopment.
Asterbadi was not available for an interview by press time and deferred his comments to Fetter.