Big changes at Annapolis Mall Nordstrom, 50 other retailers are coming in.

August 07, 1991|By Kevin Thomas | Kevin Thomas,Evening Sun Staff

The Annapolis Mall, buoyed by a wealthier and growing customer base, is about to undergo major changes, including the addition of a Nordstrom department store and 50 other retailers.

The addition of a 150,000-square-foot Nordstrom's will be coupled with a 100,000-square-foot expansion of the mall to accommodate new stores, officials said yesterday. Also, the existing mall will undergo a major renovation that is intended to attract tonier tenants, officials said.

The project, expected to cost more than $50 million, reflects the demographic changes in the Annapolis area, said Randall Smith, director of communications for the May Centers Inc., the St. Louis firm that owns Annapolis Mall in partnership with RREEF Funds of San Francisco.

By 1995, the area from which the mall draws 80 percent of its customers is expected to have grown from 464,000 to 509,000 people, Smith said. Looking at residents' income growth over the past decade, he said the average household income in the area climbed from $29,015 in 1979 to $54,670 in 1990.

Smith categorized the trade area as "more than a middle-class market," and said the addition of Nordstrom will allow the mall to draw a more affluent clientele, which ultimately will affect the kinds of merchants the mall will attract.

Nordstrom is known for its upscale merchandise and personal customer service. The Annapolis Mall store will be its second in the Baltimore area. A Nordstrom store is currently under construction at Towson Town Center and is expected to open in the fall of 1992. In the Washington area, Nordstrom operates a store in Tyson's Corner, Va.

The Annapolis Mall renovations and additions are slated to begin in spring 1992 and be completed by fall 1993, officials said.

The mall is anchored by Hecht's, J.C. Penney, and Montgomery Ward department stores. Currently 120 specialty stores are in the mall, which is at the intersection of Md. 450 and Md. 178.

Smith said his company had been in discussions with Nordstrom for about two years, but that department store executives have expressed significant interest in an Annapolis location only in the past few months.

Nordstrom executives were drawn to the area by the demographics, the fact that a store in Annapolis would not compete with either the company's Virginia or Towson stores, and that no advertising would be required beyond the Baltimore and Washington markets, Smith said.

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