Lakeforest Mall Closes Permanently on Friday, March 31

by MCS Staff

Lakeforest Mall will close to the public on Friday, March 31st (video of Lakeforest through the years available below). The Gaithersburg Planning Commission gave a recommendation of approval for redevelopment plans on March 1, 2023. The Gaithersburg Mayor and City Council will have a Policy Discussion April 17, 2023, where a final decision is expected to be made. No public testimony will be taken on April 17.

Lakeforest Mall first opened on September 12, 1978. At that time, the mall’s anchor stores were JCPenney, Sears, Woodward & Lothrop, and Hecht’s. The mall was one of the first in the United States to feature an indoor ice skating rink on the lower level, in the “H section”, along with being the biggest indoor shopping mall in the county at the time of grand opening. The ice skating rink was replaced by a NTI Theaters movie theater in 1984, later renamed Cineplex Odeon Lakeforest 5, then by a food court, which now occupies the space. The mall was built on top of Lake Walker, a park on the property prior. The mall opened with approximately 30-50 stores, with some of the first stores being relocated from the then nearby indoor Village Mall (now an outdoor strip mall called Montgomery Village Center since 1991) and absorbed onto the property.


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