GAITHERSBURG - The redevelopment of Lakeforest Mall is on the agenda for Monday's City Council meeting for a final vote on the city's master plan.
If you're unfamiliar with the MP-1-21 and the MP-2-2187, that's the city's Master Plan for the Lakeforest Mall property. It's an 84 page document. It's a decades-long plan to maybe, sort of do something at some point.
If the Plan is adopted, it doesn't actually do anything. The land is still owned by private property owners.
The City will help facilitate communication and coordination amongst Mall site owners to encourage that a single, holistic development application is submitted to avoid piecemeal or a disconnected implementation plan
That sounds like a pretty soft touch for such a critical piece of real estate in our city. It's 100 acres.
On Page 72 of the Plan, it spells out the reality, for anyone living near the mall, who may be thinking Lakeforest Mall isn't going to be an abandoned mall and a giant parking lot for the next several years, if not decades. That might be what we get.
The hope is that the Lakeforest Mall will be redeveloped under a single sketch plan from a single ownership/developer group or a consortium of owners. As with other large scale developments, the City looks forward to helping and working with entities to make this possible. However, due to ownership structures, financing, and construction costs and timing, master plans may take longer than the public hopes. While the optimism is that the Lakeforest Mall Master Plan will be implemented soon after its adoption, the reality is this may not be the case. The Plan acknowledges the likelihood that the mall will be redeveloped in phases, possibly over an extended time period.