What’s Still Open Inside of Lakeforest Mall: Final Edition

by Patrick Herron

With Lakeforest Mall scheduled to close its doors at the end of March after 45 years, a handful of tenants remain open during its final days. Since our last update in January, Aeropostale, Bath & Body Works, Beautiful U, Champs Sports, Charly’s Cheesesteaks, and Finish Line have all closed.  Bath & Bodyworks recently opened a new location in Downtown Crown and Beautiful U has relocated to the Clarksburg Outlets. Below is a list of what was open when we stopped by on February 27:

The following businesses were not open when we stopped by, but had yet to clear their locations, so they may be open during limited hours:

  • Jackson Hewitt
  • JW Event Center
  • French Perfume
  • Melashops (relocating to Montgomery Mall)
  • Photo Forever
  • Z Planet

Below is a video of our very own Alex Tsironis discussing the future plans for the Lakeforest site:


January 17 Update: WRS, Inc. officially announced that Lakeforest Mall will be closing at the end of March, after almost 45 years in Gaithersburg. The closing of the mall aligns with the recently announced closing of Macy’s, the last of the remaining anchor stores at the mall. The announcement was made at a City of Gaithersburg Mayor and City Council meeting on Tuesday night. WRS plans to demolish “as soon as they can.” Financing requires the mall to remain as an option in case “things go really sideways”, which could cause WRS to have to look at re-tenanting the mall. It was made clear that WRS does not intend to do this, but needs to keep it as an option. Previously, WRS mentioned 2024 as a target date for demolition to occur and new construction to begin.

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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RENEE March 8, 2023 - 11:17 pm



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