First phase of new town center at former Laurel Mall site is set to open in March

January 28

The first portion of the $130 million redevelopment of the former Laurel Mall will open in March, the developer said Monday, announcing more than a dozen retailers and restaurants that will debut there this year.

A 70,000-square-foot Burlington Coat Factory will open in late March, kick-starting the grand opening of the Towne Centre at Laurel, just two years after the city in northern Prince George’s County said goodbye to the old enclosed mall.

Thomas M. Fitzpatrick, president and chief operating officer at Greenberg Gibbons, the Owings Mills, Md.-based developer, said the center on Route 1 is 85 percent leased.

Last year Greenberg Gibbons, which began tearing down Laurel Mall in August 2012, announced four prominent tenants for the new site: Harris Teeter, Regal Cinemas, Sports Authority and Burlington Coat Factory

Since then, 14 other tenants have signed leases and will open this year, Fitzpatrick said at the Laurel City Council meeting Monday night.


An artist’s rendering of the Towne Centre at Laurel. Seen here is view of the main street area. (Greenberg Gibbons)

Among the new tenants is BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, a California-based chain known for its deep-dish pizza and handcrafted beer. BJ’s will open its first restaurant in Prince George’s at the center this summer, Fitzgerald said.

Other dining options to open this year are Outback Steakhouse, Panera Bread, Subway, Blaze Pizza, BurgerFi, Noodles & Company and Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt.

Also coming to the town center are Old Navy, Party City, DTLR, Kay Jewelers, a spa and an urgent-care facility.

“Is it everything everyone wants? Probably not,” Mayor Craig A. Moe said. “It is development that will only enhance the rest of the city of Laurel and especially the commercial area. You are seeing other stores and shopping centers doing facelifts, some of them are bringing in new stores. I think it is generating a lot of excitement.”

For some city leaders and residents, the excitement is centered around having the county’s first Harris Teeter. The North Carolina-based grocer has opened stores in a number of emerging D.C. neighborhoods, and it is set to open the Laurel store in September, Fitzpatrick said.

“Oh, for goodness sake, we love Harris Teeter!” Laurel resident Stacey Robinson, 43, said as she heard the news of the opening this year. “It is one of my favorite places to shop. It is a great grocery store. Everybody is excited about the Harris Teeter.”

Residents said they also are looking forward to the transformation of the 31-year-old Laurel Mall into a vibrant town center. The new development is slated to have 400,000 square feet of retail space, as well as multifamily housing.

Regal Cinemas will open in November with a 12-screen theater and 2,000 seats, Fitzgerald said. He said the stores will create about 1,500 jobs. Greenberg Gibbons is marketing a parcel dedicated to multifamily housing, and company officials said they hope to develop the site into 300 apartments.

“It was a dilapidated, dying mall that they took, turned inside out pretty much and scrapped it all, and came up with a new town center that I think people are really going to enjoy,” Moe said.

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Luz Lazo writes about transportation and development. She has recently written about the challenges of bus commuting, Metro’s dark stations, and the impact of sequestration on air travel.
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