Development of the open-air Town Centre at Laurel is officially underway, starting with the demolition of the property's current occupant, Laurel Mall.
Today officials from the City of Laurel, Prince George’s County, and the state government joined the developers in a groundbreaking ceremony for the project.
“I have looked forward to this day for a long time,” said Laurel Mayor Craig Moe. “This has been a project with many challenges…revitalizing this property will create a” jumping off point for other development projects in the city, he said.
Laurel Mall officially shuttered in May leaving Burlington Coat Factory and the U.S. Post Office the only remaining stores open.
Greenberg Gibbons Commercial, which partnered with the site's owner, Somera Capital Management, to redevelop the mall, plans to demolish the current structure over the next five months beginning with the front parking lot.
The $130 million project is expected to create 1,500 jobs once completed, according to Brian Gibbons, chief executive officer of Greenberg Gibbons. Gibbons announced that the new center already attracted Regal Cinemas and Burlington Coat Factory, which will close its current location on the property once its new store is built. Regal Cinemas will build a 12-screen theatre to anchor the project.
“What we’re trying to do is create the true focal point” for the people of Laurel, Gibbons said.
Once completed, the project will boast more than 400,000 square feet of retail space and 435 residential units.
Elected leaders said the project is desperately needed throughout the Laurel area, which has demographics to support a large shopping center.
“I cannot wait until customers from Anne Arundel, Howard, Montgomery County and beyond come to the new center,” said Prince George’s County Councilwoman Mary A. Lehman (D-Dist. 1) of Laurel. “It’s really a gateway project.”
Tenants could move into the new center as soon as fall 2013, said Thomas Fitzpatrick, president of Greenberg Gibbons. He said that he hopes to have 50 to 70 percent of the project preleased by the end of the year.
“It’s a wonderful piece of property that needed to be redeveloped,” he said.