Less than three weeks ago, we reported that the White Flint Mall in North Bethesda, Maryland, would be torn down and replaced, according to developer Lerner Enterprises, with "a town."
Now another group of companies has announced that it will demolish another mall in the Washington suburbs and "build a 'town center' development in its place." That's the Laurel Mall on US 1 in Prince George's County, Maryland.
The Washington Post reports that the Laurel Mall, created in 1979 by linking a Montgomery Ward store to an existing shopping center, will be replaced by 400 multifamily housing units and 400,000 square feet of retail, restaurants, and entertainment venues. The plans were announced by the development firm Greenberg Gibbons, Somera Capital Management, and AEW Capital Management.
Jesse Tron, a spokesman for the International Council of Shopping Centers, told The Post that since 2009, only one enclosed mall has been constructed in the US—Crystals at City Center in Las Vegas. One other is on the drawing boards at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. Otherwise, the mall-building era is over.
Laurel Mall has been in trouble for years. Wikipedia says that in 2006 the mall fell into receivership. General Growth Properties (GGP) made plans in 2007 to redesign it and rechristen it Laurel Commons." In March 2007, The Post reported on the extensive redevelopent ambitions of Somera, which was brought in by GGP to turn around the mall.
But General Growth later went into bankruptcy protection. As a consequence, says Wikipedia, Greenberg Gibbons Commercial (GGC) took partial ownership and began managing the mall last March.
For people in Prince George's, the mall's redevelopment is a long time coming.
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