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GREENBELT, MD-The developers behind a $1-billion mixed-use development in Greenbelt, MD, have made it clear that they can swap the plan suited for Nordstrom’s for a complex of industrial tenants and big-box retailers like Wal-Mart. That’s prompting alarm among business and government officials who have long wanted upscale retail in the 240-acre Prince George’s County site.

Metroland Developers, a partnership of Clark Realty, A.H. Smith & Associates and Petrie Dierman and Kugh, has already filed plans for the big-box alternative. With zoning in its favor and already owning 170 acres on the site, it could go forward with the plan local officials say they don’t want.

The project has long been embroiled in politics since it was first announced two years ago. Opposition from environmentalists and the city led developers to trim the scope of the 1.4-million-sf project down to a town center. A Reston-style town center remains one approach the developers hold open, besides the big-box option.

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