WRS Inc. has submitted Zoning Map Amendment application Z-9444-2022 that proposes to rezone the Lakeforest Mall from the current C-2 (general commercial) to the MXD Zone (mixed-use) zone. The application includes a sketch plan requesting up to approximately 1.2 million square feet of non-residential uses and up to 1,600 dwelling units on 102 acres of land. A Joint Public Hearing is scheduled for January 17, 2023.
WRS is proposing a full redevelopment of the Lakeforest Mall to allow for a multi- stage, mixed-use community with up to:
• 1,600 dwelling units comprised of multi-family (rental and ownership), townhomes, and GAP housing (2over2, triplex, et al.)
• 750,000 square feet of employment uses (hereinafter defined to include professional office, financial institutions and banks, medical office, life sciences, research and development, and integrated light manufacturing uses
• 250,000 square feet of large format retail uses
• 220,000 square feet of neighborhood scaled commercial and entertainment/amusement
Further, the Sketch Plan proposes to accommodate MCDOT’s desire to re-locate and enhance the Lakeforest Transit Center, improving the future operation of Bus Rapid Transit along Frederick Avenue. The plan proposes dividing the redeveloped Mall into 16 blocks, A through P:
• Block A is a community park
• Blocks C, B, D and E, will define the commercial core of the Property
• Block F is the location of the relocated Lakeforest Transit Center
• Block J is identified as a community green space and amenity location
• Blocks G through P, comprising the southern portion of the Property is envisioned to be a mix of townhouse, Gap housing, and multi-family condominium units.
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, WRS held an informational meeting on Thursday evening to share some early plans for what will take the place of the mall. Per that meeting, the target date for demolition of the mall and the start of new construction is currently 2024,