On February 28th, WRS Inc., a real estate investment firm based out of South Carolina, purchased Lakeforest Mall’s four anchor sites. The firm previously purchased the core, ponds, and forest conservation of the mall back in 2019. Last week, Gaithersburg’s Office of Economic Development released the dollar amount the properties were acquired for, per Maryland Land Records.
- In 2019, the core/ponds/forest conservation was purchased for $22.5 million.
- On February 28th, 2022, the former Sears location was purchased for $20.5 million.
- On February 28th, 2022, the former J.C.Penney location was purchased for $6 million.
- On February 28th, 2022, the former Lord & Taylor location was purchased for $12 million.
- On February 28th, 2022, the former Macy’s location was purchased for $14 million.
A total of $75 million was paid to acquire Lakeforest Mall.
Redevelopment of the mall could not begin until all four owners of the anchor stores and the owner of the mall’s core came to an agreement, which stalled potential redevelopment of the mall for years. WRS finalized the purchase on Monday, February 28th.
The Gaithersburg Mayor and City Council adopted the Lakeforest Mall Master Plan amendments, MP-1-21 and MP-2-21, back on August 16, 2021. At the time, Gaithersburg Mayor Judd Ashman said, “a lot of things have to come together for a redevelopment to happen, but what we’re doing with this Master Plan update is laying the groundwork for it,” said Gaithersburg Mayor Jud Ashman. “When someone does come in, who is able to acquire all of the parcels and bring a plan to the table, they will have a much better sense of what the public envisions and we’ll be further along the path toward the Grade A redevelopment that our community expects and deserves.”
A copy of the adopted Master Plan is available on the “Future of Lakeforest” project page on the City’s website.
Earlier this week we provided an update on what’s still open, what’s new, and what’s closing in Lakeforest Mall.