BUSINESS

Lakeforest Mall may be sold

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It was built in 1978, and at the time was the gem of Montgomery county, but today it looks like age and the times have caught up with Lakeforest Mall.

Some have complained that the mall is too rundown and it doesn’t have the shops customers are looking for, which means shoppers go to other malls in the area.

That competition has Lakeforest's owners looking for someone to take the mall off their hands. But some locals fear it will reduce their shopping options.

“We ain't gonna have no malls,” says shopper Jerri Costello. “(It’s) gonna be like the days when you had just department stores in the city.”

Lakeforest could meet the fate of two other local community malls built around the same time: White Flint in Rockville and Laurel Mall. Bigger malls with better stores eventually took all the business from the malls.

In the past few years, Laurel Mall has turned into a white elephant. With customers preferring to go elsewhere, it now sits nearly vacant waiting to be demolished.

“These, days they aren't making malls anymore,” says Shanikka Foster, a local shopper. “They are making town centers.”

And that's the plan for Laurel - an expansive town center is scheduled to evolve soon. Plans are also being discussed to demolish White Flint and turn it into a pedestrian friendly town center, a clear sign of an end of an era for the once great community mall.

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