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Lake Arbor, Maryland

Full nameLake Arbor, Maryland
Official nameLake Arbor, Maryland
Settlement typeCDP
CountryUnited States
CountyPrince George's
Total Area3.2 sq mi (8.3 km2)
Land Area3.1 sq mi (8 km2)
Water Area0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)
Elevation167 ft (50.9 m)
Total Population8533 (2000)
Density (pop.)1062.1/km2 (2751.6/sq mi)
Other information
Time zoneEastern (EST) (UTC-5)
- Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
FIPS code24-44817
GNIS feature ID1852596

     Home | Settlement L | Lake Arbor, Maryland

Lake Arbor is an unincorporated area and census-designated place (CDP) in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States. It is also known as Mitchellville. The population was 8,533 at the 2000 census. It is one of the nation's most affluent African-American communities. Lake Arbor was originally known as Newbridge, a development of Levitt & Sons, developers of the early planned communities of Levittown in Pennsylvania and Long Island, New York, respectively. When the project went bankrupt in the mid-seventies after selling only 41 houses, Manufacturer's Hanover Trust acquired the debt and held it as REO (real estate owned) for approximately 10 years until a limited partnership composed of David A. Gitlitz, Alvin Dworman, Phillip Abrahms, Phillip D. Winn, and Gary S. Lachman acquired it. Under the visionary direction of Gitlitz, and with technical engineering assistance from Abrahms, Lachman changed the name of the property to Lake Arbor and developed it into the master planned community it is today.

The story of Lake Arbor is emblematic of the socio-economic and demographic evolution of Prince George's County that occurred in the mid-1980s. Against the strong resistance of many large national builders who perceived Prince George’s County as a price-sensitive retreat for urban African Americans who neither wanted nor could afford upscale amenities for their homes, Gary S. Lachman contractually required features like two car garages, brick, and elaborate landscaping from builders who purchased lots in this community. To the pleasant surprise of the builders, buyers rushed to embrace (and pay for) these features. Firmly demonstrating both the sophisticated tastes and buying power of the predominantly African American market, as well as codifying architectural standards requested (but not mandated) by County Executives such as Winnie Kelly and Governor Parris Glendenning, Lake Arbor established Prince George’s County as the most desirable destination for young, affluent African American families moving from Washington, DC for a suburban lifestyle.

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