Gaithersburg city staff discuss redevelopment with Lakeforest mall owners -- Gazette.Net


Lakeforest mall in Gaithersburg could be on its way to redevelopment after the retail center’s owners announced Thursday that they met with city staff to begin discussing long-term ideas.

Five Mile Capital Partners LLC, which owns the mall, met with Gaithersburg staff along with Hines, an international real estate firm, to talk about possible plans for operation, improvement and redevelopment, according to a news release.

“I would characterize the conversation as being exploratory for potential development options for the site,” said Tom Lonergan, the city’s director of economic development.

The meeting followed the mall’s $1.2 million renovation project announced in August, which includes an updated children’s play area, new food court seating and a reconfiguration of the center court area.

A Lakeforest spokesperson was not available for comment Tuesday.

The 35-year-old mall, with 1.1. million square feet of space, is on Russell Avenue, straddled by Montgomery Village Avenue and Md. 355.

Owned by Five Mile of Stamford, Conn., since 2012, the mall is managed by Urban Retail Properties LLC, headquartered in Chicago.

“Right now I would say the city is listening. We certainly have not been approached with anything formal,” Lonergan said. “It’s encouraging that Five Mile seems to have brought on such a well regarded development partner.”