Renee Leibman, manager of the new Annapolis Harbour Center, said she's not sure who at the Bethesda-based Lerner Enterprises made the decision to purchase their newest retail space.
In fact, Leibman said she's not even sure if the space was purchased with the intent of building a retail shopping mall.
But with the expansion of Patuxent Boulevard to Md. Route 50, whoever made the purchase appears to have made a wise choice.
The Annapolis Harbour Center is an outdoor retail shopping center at Md. Route 2 and Patuxent Boulevard. With its sea-blue and white color scheme, lighthouse, and its small-town harbor village design, the new center looks as if it were lifted from the original Annapolis dock area of years gone by.
A 280,000-square-foot shopping center, the outdoor mall was purposely designed to fit in with the traditional, bay-centered Annapolis style. It is that style that has been attracting the attention of many customers and businesses.
The Annapolis Harbour Center will have nine anchor stores and 50 specialty stores. While the mall is to have an official grand opening in mid-September, much of the space has been leased, and many of the stores are already open.
Ross Dress for Less was the first of the mall's stores to open in mid-March. Already, more than 80 percent of the mall's space has been leased, and the rest is expected to be filled by the grand opening.
A K/B Theatre 9-Plex movie house opened in late May. The art deco theater is billed as having a state-of-the-art sound system, six-track Dolby stereo in each of the nine theaters. Two of the nine theaters seat up to 500 people each.
Two of the newest tenants to open up shop at the Annapolis Harbour Center are Tower Records and restaurant T.G.I. Friday's.
Tower Records, a national chain that sells records, tapes, laser discs and videos, opened its store, the first in the Annapolis area, in July. The closest stores are in the Washington, D.C., area.
Paul Menkes, manager of Tower Records, said the store differs from other music-oriented stores in that it has the only full-line catalog in existence in the United States. In other words, Menkes said, the store carries any type of music.
"We tend to be a magnet for people who are searching for music other than that which is on the top 40 list," Menkes said. "We carry the latest music, too, but we also carry jazz, easy listening, New Age, country and international music."
Tower Records, which has leased 12,800 square feet in the mall, has a stock of 75,000 compact discs, 35,000 cassette tapes, 1,500 laser discs, and a small selection of 12- and 7-inch singles, Menkes said. In addition, the store also includes a separate shop for video tape purchases, all of which are under $30.