At present, the expansion is set to include a new 70,000 square foot multiplex movie theater, an overhauled 20,000 square foot food court, a “fashion wing” devoted to high-end apparel and two new five-story parking garages.
According to the Australia-based Westfield (who also happens to be one of the largest retail property holders on the planet), the “$19 million redevelopment will result in May Company [Macy’s] expanding and remodeling its existing store through the acquisition of the top level of the JC Penny department store. The lower level of the JC Penny store will be utilized to create 5,900 square meters of mall space, including an Old Navy store.” Once completed, the mall is expected to grow to roughly 1.8 million square feet.
The mall’s epically frustrating parking lots, which lure some 11 million visitors to the Montgomery County fortress-like shopping destination each year, will also go under the knife for a transit-friendly makeover. Along with a relocated Sears Auto Center, a new “six-bay bus transit center” will be constructed along the mall’s rear, giving the heavily traversed junction of Democracy Boulevard and Old Georgetown Road a new commuter destination (and for local high schools students to smoke between trips to Sbarro.)
Construction is currently planned to occur in three phases, with the transit center and fashion wing slated to go up first. Whiting Turner will be serving as general contractor.