The City of Gaithersburg Joint Planning Commission/Mayor and City Council Hearing on the Lakeforest redevelopment plan is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023 at City Hall, 31 S. Summit Avenue, Gaithersburg, MD 20877.
WRS Inc., the company redeveloping the mall, held an informational meeting on October 20 at the mall and additional meetings in the area since providing information on its plan. WRS purchased the core, ponds, and forest conservation of the mall back in 2019 and added the four anchor sites earlier this year, spending a total of $75 million to acquire Lakeforest Mall. In October they announced that they have worked with the City of Gaithersburg since March and plan to submit their zoning application and sketch plan in the next couple weeks. The target date for demolition of the mall and the start of new construction is currently 2024, with a more specific date to come after the approval of sketch plans. The sketch plan requires at least 35% “green space” and WRS stated that initial sketches are currently at a little more than 35%. Green space is defined as trees, grass, walking/biking areas, etc.
The current retention pond will be “cleaned up” and a boardwalk is in the plans for a dining experience on the water that was described as being similar to what is available at nearby Rio Lakefront. WRS has also heard from several different movie theaters that are geared towards adults with food offerings and a bar, mentioning one that has a very robust civic program that would allow community groups to use one theater per week for their own functions. No specific names were given and it was noted that a discussion “doesn’t mean it’ll happen.”