Annapolis Mall expands to fourth largest Lord & Taylor, other stores add 120,000 square feet

October 01, 1998|By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan | Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF

Annapolis Mall became the fourth-largest shopping center in Maryland yesterday, with the opening of a Lord & Taylor department store and other shops that tacked on 120,000 square feet of retail space and bumped it up from its previous tenth ranking.

The expansion increased the mall's retail space from 980,000 square feet to 1.11 million square feet -- a figure that helped it edge out Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg and Wheaton Plaza Regional Shopping Center, said Karen Killeen, spokeswoman for the New York City-based International Council of Shopping Centers, which tracks these rankings.

The expansion is bringing an estimated 200 jobs to the county and probably drawing shoppers from other areas to the mall.

"Certainly, someone who's a fan of [Lord & Taylor] might say 'Yes, I have a reason to come to Annapolis,' " said William A. Badger Jr., spokesman for the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp. "It can draw people into the area. And building a building of that size certainly increases the economic activity of the county because of employment of construction companies and the people who will work at that facility."

He said the mall's success helps him market the Annapolis area to businesses interested in expanding.

Mary Huber, assistant general manager at Annapolis Mall, said a flurry of "economic activity" in the new wing of the mall could be seen all day yesterday with "thousands" of people showing up to browse and shop. The four new stores are Wicks 'n' Sticks, Waves Music, Sentiments Hallmark and Travel 2000 Travel Gear.

"Mobs," she said, struggling to describe the shopping climate in the expanded area yesterday. "Mobs. It's been very busy. We're very pleased."

The latest expansion was the third since Annapolis Mall officially opened in 1980, Huber said. The mall began in 1970 with a lone, freestanding Montgomery Ward department store. Ten years later, a Hecht department store and about 50 other stores were added, and it was named Annapolis Mall.

"It was advertised as being air-conditioned," Huber said. "It must have been rare at that time. And the prediction was that 'Women would drive as much as 45 minutes to reach it and spend a half a day shopping.' "

In 1983, the mall was expanded to include a J. C. Penney's and about 50 other stores, and then in March 1994, it was expanded again to include a Nordstrom's and 50 more stores. After its last expansion, mall managers reported the average daily vehicle count in the mall parking lot increased by nearly 5,000 cars a day and sales increased by 13.5 percent that year.

Huber said that she did not have any projections for this expansion.

But she said she hopes the new stores will increase customer visits to the mall.

"Hopefully, if they came once a week before, they'll now come twice a week, and that definitely adds more to the business of the other stores," Huber said. "Anytime you put another person in the mall, we hope they'll walk by other stores and stop in. Generally speaking, that's what happens."

10 largest shopping centers in Maryland

ZTC ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... Retail space (square feet), Year opened

Landover Mall, Landover ..... ..... 1.3 million, 1972

Montgomery Mall, Bethesda ... ..... 1.25 million, 1968

White Marsh Mall, White Marsh ..... 1.17 million, 1981

Annapolis Mall, Annapolis ......... 1.11 million*, 1980

Wheaton Plaza Regional Shopping

Center, Wheaton ................... 1.1 million, 1960

Lakeforest Mall, Gaithersburg ..... 1.1 million, 1978

Security Square Mall, Woodlawn .... 1.03 million, 1972

Beltway Plaza, Greenbelt .......... 1 million, 1961

St. Charles Town Center, Waldorf... 1 million, 1990

Milestone Center, Germantown ...... 1 million, 1997

* -- was 980,000 square feet

SOURCE: International Council of Shopping Centers

Pub Date: 10/01/98

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