City, Developer Agree to Work Together on Lakeforest Mall
Prior to WRS Inc.’s late July acquisition of the Lakeforest Mall core, the City of Gaithersburg initiated the special study area process to create a holistic vision for redevelopment of the mall. When the South Carolina-based commercial real estate company purchased the core area of the mall—Lakeforest’s four anchor departmentstores continue to own their own spaces—the city began discussions with them. This unfolding of events resulted in the consideration of dueling resolutions on the Sept. 16 Mayor & City Council agenda—delay redevelopment of the mall for 18 months while a special study area master plan is completed or work with WRS Inc. (dba Lakeforest Retail Investment, LLC) for a period of 150 days to develop an agreement for redevelopment of the property.
The Mayor and City Council voted unanimously to authorize City Manager Tony Tomasello to execute an agreement with Lakeforest Retail Investment, LLC related to the Lakeforest Mall properties.
In addition to working to acquire the four anchor department store spaces, Lakeforest Retail Investment, LLC will agree “not to file any new plans or zoning applications within the 150 days so that we can work cooperatively and craft and develop a plan that meets everyone’s needs,” Tomasello said. “They agree to work with us on the public outreach and the planning process and the public participation regarding redevelopment of the mall.”
Mayor Jud Ashman said, “I’m glad that we’ve reached an agreement to hold off on the special study area, which is the alternative here, in a good faith expectation that the new owner of the core will take the time to get everybody on board and
acquire all the properties and come back to the table with the ability to negotiate a development agreement that would be advantageous for everybody.”
City Creates Welcome Door
The City of Gaithersburg invited residents to express their sense of community by writing a message on its Welcome Door, located at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park, starting Sept. 9. Gaithersburg is joining Montgomery County and the nation in celebrating Welcoming Week Sept. 13 to 22.
“An open door is a great symbol of welcome,” said Mayor Jud Ashman. “In Gaithersburg, we actively foster the connections that are so important to making this an inclusive community, a place of acceptance for all.”
Chat With Elected Officials
Montgomery County Council Vice President Sidney Katz and Mayor of Gaithersburg Jud Ashman invite you to visit with them on Friday, Sept. 27, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Einstein’s Bagels, 531 Quince Orchard Road. Enjoy an informal chat about issues important to you—and coffee and bagels while supplies last. RSVP welcome but not required. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free Shredding Event Planned
Gaithersburg area residents are encouraged to bring paper and select electronics for secure shredding and disposal to a free Community Shredding and Electronics Recycling Event on Saturday, Nov. 2. It takes place from 9 a.m. to noon at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park, 506 S. Frederick Ave., in the parking lot next to the Skate Park and Water Park. The event is presented by the City of Gaithersburg in partnership with the Gaithersburg Environmental Affairs Committee, Clean Cut Shredding and eAsset Solutions. While the shredding services are free, food donations to support the efforts of the Gaithersburg HELP pantry would be very much appreciated.