The Future of Lakeforest Mall, Revisited

The Future of Lakeforest Mall, Revisited

Yesterday, on August 17, the Gaithersburg Mayor and City Council passed a resolution to declare a one-year moratorium on development at Lakeforest Mall.

The decision comes from the expiration of development agreements with WRS Inc., the new owner of the mall. It was the second extension of the City’s initial plans with WRS.

WRS has not acquired any of the mall’s four anchor properties since their initial purchase of other parts of the mall last year. The four anchor properties are still owned by the parent companies of Sears, Lord & Taylor, J.C. Penney, and Macy’s.

During the moratorium, the City plans to conduct studies and public engagement in order to assess the best path for redevelopment moving forward. The moratorium is set to expire on August 18, 2021.

For more information, check out the resolution here: 

By Nyrene Monforte

21 Comments on "The Future of Lakeforest Mall, Revisited"

  1. Tear it down ready! Demolition is better than letting it sit. This property has done nothing but fester crime.

  2. I prefer to keep this Lakeforest mall because I won’t have to drive to Montgomery mall in Bethesda, Wheaton mall in Silver Spring, Clarksburg Outfit and FSK mall in Frederick. We can go Lakeforest mall for Christmas shopping or walking exercise or good for kids there.

    • I agree with Laura but want more franchise stores fewer unique one off with questionable quality, not something can send items with gift receipt & expect they can exchange if need. Maybe give good space to a theater like one there recently. Allow Gaithersburg choir to meet in theater space or other for few hours a week. Try turn in to customers. Try adding an urgent care, dentist, optometrist, physical therapy, chiropractor.. Get some highly desirable restaurants like cheesecake factory & P F Chang’s. A place with live music – even a piano bar. A dance studio!

      • Remember how beautiful it was when it first opened? People loved shopping there. I guess what killed it, besides crime and neglect, was the Internet, Amazon, Walmart, Costco, and Target. Or maybe it died first and then crime and neglect moved in. I don’t remember hearing about crime when it first opened but then the bus depot wasn’t built yet. So, I’m saying it can never be a nice vibrant place to shop because times have changed. Brick and mortar shops can’t survive.

  3. How about using the smaller storefronts for expansion space to make smaller, Covid-safe classrooms for Montgomery county? Great space for pod and virtual learning!

  4. Muthuraman Nallasamy | August 19, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Reply

    I vote for restoring Lake Forest Mall..Tearing it will disappoint thousands of shoppers like me..we go there for almost all our purchases normally and tearing it down will increase the stress and crowd in I prefer shopping at lake forest mall with my family..

  5. Gnuser Killick | August 19, 2020 at 8:39 pm | Reply

    Is this a fantasy? Expand the Red Line Metro out to LF. Demolish the mall. Make 1/2 of it basketball courts and soccer fields. Put a HUGE parking garage underneath. Build retail on the ground level and put apartments and condos upstairs.

    • Jeffrey Schwartz | August 20, 2020 at 12:45 am | Reply

      Any idea of how to pay for the expansion of the red line? The purple line costs ~$5.6 Billion. The easiest way would be to follow the MARC line but that would not take it that close to the mall. Unless you can get the 4 anchor stores to sell you will end up with something like White Flint.

      Turning it into something like Downtown Crown or Kentlands will be more practical. Just need to get the anchors to sell.

    • Riiiiiight, and increase the traffic along 124, 355, and I-270, along with increasing the crime rate and overloading the schools and public services…

  6. Yes can they build restaurants and something for entertainment like skating ring or laser shooting movie theater

  7. All the mall is known for now is sex trafficking, prostitution, and drug dealers

    • I totally agree with K and people brake in all the time nothing but hoodlooms and gangs go there its a terrible place people dont go there much anymore they fear getting stabbed, robbed and shot….put something worth while there that will eliminate so much crime even a police station. I know i never wanted to be at the transit after dark with all the crimes in the area. Its better all that space make it open instead of closed in. Put a huge park there or something……just tear the damn thing down its not like it used to stores are gone now completely.

  8. It would be nice to keep the mall its convient for the people that live in the area, but more attractions would be nice ……it would be nice to have a roller skating ring not ice skating but roller skating also laser tag and bumper cars the area is large enough and movie theater just my opinion 😉

  9. Exactly make it a fun experience to visit the mall and you will bring hundreds of people there. The mall has become so bland there is no good reason for families to come there!

  10. Just look at the giant hole in the ground that is White Flint Mall…One anchor store held up the development there for years. Until they start building, I am assuming it will just be a giant hole in the ground.

  11. What about Costco taking it over and adding gas pumps?

  12. That mall help to senior citizens a lot there’s a lot of senior citizens in that area and they didn’t have to walk to stores or take buses they could just come across the street to get stuff but now there’s no stores around that to senior citizens can go to because they’re closing Lakeforest down please put more stores in so the senior citizens can have a place to go shopping and not have to travel to the buses there’s a lot of senior citizen buildings in the area and they need places that they can go to groceriesMy mom lives near there she’s a senior citizen and she has to use a walker to get places because she does not drive so they need shopping for senior citizens in that area so please put more stores thank you

  13. I recommend keeping the mall, hopefully the owner can purchase the anchors stores. I love the idea that someone mentioned about a roller rink (NOT ice rink). Sometimes when people get bored they get into trouble. A roller rink is great exercise and can be a fun family activity as well as adult. I go to Temple Hills since it’s the nearest one to the area. A mini-golf would be nice since the city one only opens for the summer months. Having a indoor shopping center is great especially during those hot summer and cold winter days. Getting public comment through a Gaithersburg survey is a great way to obtain input from local residents to see what is needed and wanted. There is no purpose to mimic/duplicate what’s already in the nearby areas. With Asbury being so close to the mall there needs to be consideration for the immediate nearby neighbours and how they are impacted. If there would be a BRT stop near the mall that would bring more customers to the mall. Times are changing and flexibility is the key to success of any business.

  14. I can understand why people don’t want them to tear it down but at this point, they might as well like most stores are sketchy and the other store’s people aren’t really interested in going, if they don’t tear it down at least put popular stores or just some stores that people actually wanna go to.

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