Laurel Lakes Centre, with more than 50 stores and several major discount operations, is set to open along the Route 1 corridor in Laurel next Thursday.
The shopping center is the anchor for a planned 275-acre commercial, office, retail and residential complex on land assembled by Maryland developer Michael T. Rose.
Pence-Petrie Properties Inc. of McLean built the shopping center, an uncovered mall housing small shops and such major discount stores as Kids 'R Us, T. J. Maxx, Bradlees and an Evans catalogue outlet.
The shopping center also will feature an art deco theater with eight screens, according to Walter Petrie of Pence-Petrie Properties.
The shopping center, designed by James P. Ryan Associates of Southfield, Mich., looks like a regional mall, but Petrie described it as "a neighborhood shopping center built with California architectural flair."
A Hechinger hardware outlet and a large Safeway supermarket already have opened at the shopping center.
Hechinger's abandoned its traditional blue and white design and agreed to abide by the architectural motif at Laurel Lakes, Petrie said.
The acreage for the center, and for other parts of the Laurel Lakes complex, was annexed from Prince George's County by Laurel more than a year ago to help ensure that the land was zoned for the mixed-use project, according to Laurel Lakes' developers. Petrie said the area was "ripe" for the shopping center and further development.
Construction is under way on all segments of the residential plan originally approved by Laurel officials. Detached and attached housing units, as well as condominiums, are to be included. Several residential builders, including Rose, are constructing various sections.
The John G. Georgelas & Sons Development Co. of McLean plans to build "a major hotel" at Laurel Lakes near the corner of Route 1 and Cherry Lane. However, developers said no deal has been struck with a particular hotel chain.
Laurel is about midway between Baltimore and Washington along the Route 1 corridor between Interstate 95 and Fort Meade. The new shopping center is about 10 miles north of the Capital Beltway.
When completed, Laurel Lakes will contain 2,100 housing units; 450,000 square feet of general office space and a hotel site; 450,000 square feet of retail space, and 400,000 square feet of research and development space.