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Lakeforest Mall Up For Sale

The sale is part of a larger trend of malls struggling in this difficult economy.

Lakeforest Mall has been put up for sale after falling behind on their loan payment, according to the Washington Post.

The shopping center, which is 25-percent owned by Simon Property Group and 75-percent by General Motors Asset Management, was opened in 1978, but has seen a decline in recent years, according to the Post.

The Wall Street Journal reports that when the mortgage came due in July, 2011, the owners "opted against using the one-year extension option it had available to it, according to a real-estate research division of Morningstar Inc."

The mall was appraised for $120 million in July, the Journal reports.

Les Morris, director of corporate public relations for Simon Property, said it was policy not to comment on any sales or acquisitions.

There are more than 100 shops in the 1-million-square-foot mall, including the four anchor stores, Macy's, JC Penny, Sears, and Lord & Taylor.

The anchors owns their own space, the Post reports, and therefore don't pay any rent.

Lakeforest has struggled recently with cash flow problems, the Post reported in 2010.

The mall property, as well as the County Fairgrounds, has come up as a major factor in discussions by Gaithersburg City planners about redevelopment plans for the Frederick Avenue corridor.

Sebastian Montes February 28, 2012 at 05:38 PM
"Neither wants to take time or believes it would be time well spent"? Utterly false.
Sharon February 28, 2012 at 06:02 PM
I worry more for those @ Asbury. Elderly residents (and their offspring, beneficiaries) have to sell their souls to be accepted @ that 'money market' facility.. And the security is purely aesthetics @ the entrance on Asbury Drive. They merely flag everybody and his brother onto campus grounds with no idea the real intent of 'visitors'...who could drive around & merely camp out till after dark in wait for an opportune moment. My concern has been for both residents (the vulnerable elderly) and the employees of Asbury. I sure would not want to spend a 'fortune' to purchase one of those newly-constructed residential homes on O'denhall or anywhere near Lost Knife!!!
anonymous February 28, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Gaithersburg City had to buy lost knife condominiums and level it up and build brand new condos. Lakeforest mall needs to be rebuild. Strict roles need to be applied to security of the mall and they need to grove some balls to stand up to the trouble makers not stand by and watch. Transit center bus stop needs to be moved. Better stores needs to be coming in and maybe then we can see better sale and new face.Otherwise level the mall and build new luxury townhouses. Heck I am going to Montgomery Mall for shopping.
Sharon February 28, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Since day one Transit Center was installed (actually 1st couple weeks watching the trouble-making hoardes just 'hanging out'), I have been trying to convince both County Council & City of Gaithersburg to dismantle that 'Party Room' they approved & built. Needless to say, went on deaf ears! Instead they spend money trying to resolve by 'building' senseless barracades around it. Like Dah! And our 6th District police force (bless their hearts) have more critical things to do than stand around & 'babysit/thugsit' @ that transit center.
Sharon February 28, 2012 at 06:26 PM
If utterly false, then what seems to be the holdup in gathering those statistics and writing an article! Such gathering shouldn't take three years or more, should it, since police reports are available to the 'press'! Rhetorical!
Sharon February 28, 2012 at 06:44 PM
I have saved communications as far back as August 2009 asking for article on Lost Knife for 'citizen awareness'. Actually, emails began before that but I have finally attacked my project of cleaning out emails where there was either no acknowledgement or no willingness by recipients (Gazette, County Council, City of Gaithersburg/City Hall) to pursue or, as we currently experience with that location, no resolve. If this comment screen allowed more room, this woman (who usually gets message that I have become Tolstoy...LOL!) would be only too happy to post. Hummm!
Sebastian Montes February 28, 2012 at 06:52 PM
The aspect that you're mischaracterizing is that there has been an unwillingness to spend the time or a lack of appreciation for how important an issue it is. Either of those claims are flat-out not true.
Bryan February 28, 2012 at 06:52 PM
I frequent the mall all the time and haven't witness any "thuggery."
Jeff Hawkins February 28, 2012 at 07:07 PM
@Bryan Bryan.....consider yourself "lucky"....in addition the issue is NOT just the physical Mall itself, but also the surrounding area. So yes, you may not see someone get jumped in JC Penney's or Sears, afterall the whole point of the crime is to NOT have "witnesses"! One website lists 127 crimes in that area since Feb. 1, 2012 to present....17 violent
Bob Hydorn February 28, 2012 at 07:07 PM
I shop there some and yes I as well have a tenant contract there.
Temperance Blalock February 28, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Malls used to be cyclic, and they would go through phases of being "the" place, and then slowly degenerating. I'm old enough to recall the early 70s when Montgomery Mall was becoming shabby and Congressional Plaza was dreadfully run-down, and then the late 70s when Rockville Mall was considered extremely dangerous (despite the fact that it contained a police station), and when White Flint was brand-new and "state of the art". However, the business model is now obsolete. It would be nice to think that the citizens and leaders of Gaithersburg would be brave and sensible enough to make good long-term plans to utilize the huge tracts of Lakeforest Mall and the fairgrounds for some decent urban planning, but I'm not holding my breath.
Bryan February 28, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Jeff, I've been here for three years. Considering myself lucky there would be like considering myself lucky in Rockville. Like I said, I frequent the mall often. No thuggery. I don't go traipsing around Cider Mill Apartments.
Jeff Hawkins February 28, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Great comment! Your historical facts are spot on and yes better use of the land is warranted.
jnrentz1 February 28, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Ms. Blalock, I am in agreement regarding the Lakeforest Mall, location, but know little about plans for the Fairgrounds. What is planned or suggested for the Fairgrounds?
Jeff Hawkins February 28, 2012 at 08:31 PM
@Bryan I've been here just a few years longer (think the Korean War) and as I said it's not only the Mall but the surrounding area. May I ask... why don't you hang around the Cider Mill apartments?
Sharon February 28, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Flat out wrong?! Then rather than generic discussion, opinions, few experiences from actual contributors of this comment thread, write an article that addresses the statistical nitty-gritty. Leave all we readers mind-boggled from undisputed 'facts' (criminal facts) that have 'graced' that area for at least past 5-10 years. That's all I'm sayin'!! And our 'love/hate relationship' seems to be showing when you choose to eagerly jump in whenever it is I who makes a comment. LOL!
Bryan February 28, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Because I don't live there. :) I know what you are saying and I agree with the outlying area, however I don't see signs of thuggery IN the mall. I do agree the transit center is probably one the worst ideas that I have seen.
Sharon February 28, 2012 at 09:14 PM
"The property is commonly known as the Montgomery County Fairgrounds (Parcels P700 and P616) in the City of Gaithersburg. SUMMARY OF PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT: This is an application to rezone 62.83 acres of land from the R-A (Low Density Residential) Zone and the I-1 (Light Industrial) Zone to the MXD (Mixed Use Development) Zone. The Sketch Plan proposes a mix of uses in a phased development comprised of residential, commercial, office, and public uses. The plan proposes a residential dwelling unit range between 1,100 and 1,350 units; nonresidential uses totaling no more than 1,400,000 square feet; and spaces dedicated to open space, both active and passive. Future development of this site could anticipate major infrastructure improvements, in aspects of both the vehicular and pedestrian nature." Last update to this proposal was 2/24/2011.
jnrentz1 February 28, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Ms. Adams, I will take the liberty of assuming that you responded to my earlier request regarding the Fairgrounds, and their future development. If so, thanks much. (smile face added) If you or anyone else knows, is there any proposal to close the Washington Grove MARC rail station and direct the passengers to Gaithersburg?
Sharon February 29, 2012 at 12:04 AM
You're welcome, JN! I can't find any mention or definitive plans to close Washington Grove MARC rail station to redirect passengers to G'burg. But I'll keep researching for ya! Have a great evening.
Sharon February 29, 2012 at 12:11 AM
JH, scroll down on following site to (G), page 1 & 2. Don't know if that answers your question. Appears last update to this PDF was 11/17/2011. http://www.marcriders.com/MARCRiders.com/Brunswick_Line_Service_Service_Cuts_Proposed_files/MRAC%20Schedule%20Change%20Comments%20PDF%20Final.pdf
Sharon February 29, 2012 at 01:08 AM
Sent: Tue, Aug 9, 2011 3:20 pm Subject: RE: Transit Center - Police Report Dear Sharon, I understand your anxiety over reports of crime at Lake Forest Mall. I am copying Sixth District Police Commander Willie Parker-Loan on this reply to find out how his office is coordinating efforts with the City of Gaithersburg to address these incidents. Best regards, George Leventhal, Montgomery County Councilmember Above was in response to 8/4/2011 email: "To the County Council AND the City of Gaithersburg/City Hall: How many emails, how many years and how many requests does it take for someone to have a light go off in their head that from day one that Transit Center has been nothing but problems & attraction to criminals and criminal behavior! Rhetorical! And you can install as many cameras and prison-looking fences that you want. These arrogant thugs 'pay no mind'. Blatant career thugs who are preying on the citizens of Gaithersburg & Montgomery Village & your Transit Center has provided them a party room & cover in bad weather. Tear it down! Sure beats adage "build it and they will come" which is exactly (historically) what happened. Sad but, instead of constructing wrought-iron fencing, you probably should have contemplated 'land mines'. Hummm!"
Sharon February 29, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Today's Gazette arrived. Excerpt from Police Report: "On Feb. 9 at approximately 1:45 a.m. at Lost Knife Road and Odend Hal Avenue in Gaithersburg. A 22-year-old man from Gaithersburg assaulted someone, took property and was arrested."
Cat February 29, 2012 at 06:27 PM
I worked in a coffee shop in LakeForest Mall about 14 years ago and it was a pretty nice place then, although there were some problems at the end of the mall closest to the transit stop. A couple of years ago I moved back to this area and was saddened to see how much it's gone downhill. Now it's all trashy stores and hoody kids. Rarely do I go in there and when I do I don't go farther than the large shoe store on the bottom floor. I think it's a great idea to knock it down and get rid of that transit station too (which I used when I worked there...now I'd be scared to go near it).
Cat February 29, 2012 at 06:29 PM
And now White Flint is to be knocked down and redeveloped. Hope the same is done to LakeForest Mall.
Cat February 29, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Last I heard, this plan referred to the redevelopment of the Dalamar Apartments back there, which is a large sort of projecty group of apartments tucked between the fairgrounds and 355.
Sharon March 01, 2012 at 09:58 PM
"A strong-arm robbery occurred in the parking lot of the Lakeforest Transit Center, 9650 Lost Knife Road in Gaithersburg, at around 10:45am on Tuesday, Feb. 14. On Feb. 21, police arrested Tyrone Eugene Douglas, 29, of the 18300 block of Streamside Drive in Gaithersburg and charged him with one count each of robbery, second-degree assault and theft less than $1,000."
Sharon March 01, 2012 at 10:02 PM
"A residential burglary occurred in the 18400 block of Lost Knife Circle—in the Cider Mill Apartments—between noon and 3 pm on Tuesday, Feb. 14. No forced entry; property taken." Can one imagine how eye popping it would be to see these reports listed one by one in this area for the past 3-5 years when just within the month of February there was enough 'action'! Rhetorical! Lost Knife is a 'war zone'!
MBakesCakes March 02, 2012 at 01:35 AM
It seems like you already have all the answers, so why go out of the way to post the facts? When the assumption is already made by people that an area is "bad" and "full of crime" does it really make a difference to post an article with the "criminal facts?" If the crime rate wasn't high enough, perhaps comments would be made that the press is just trying to cover up the "facts." And for the record, I live close to Asbury, and it is really not as bad as you think.
I Batman January 27, 2013 at 10:34 PM
I am from Chicago and years back in 2002-2004 I lived near the mall when it was a good area. I had federal projects and many friends. I am very saddened to hear of the mall's demise but that is an issue with many of them across the country unfortunately. Visiting the area recently I saw the blight and the riff-raff taking hold around the area. It seems the only decent shopping centers are at Montgomery, Tysons Corner and Pentagon City.

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