LAUREL, Md. (AP) — Prince George’s County officials are planning to demolish a dilapidated mall in Laurel to make way for a new town center.

The Washington Examiner reports that developer Greenberg Gibbons plans to tear down Laurel Mall on Route 1 and rebuild it as retail and residential development similar to the Annapolis Towne Centre and Hunt Valley Towne Centre.

The mall, which opened in 1979, has been losing business and tenants to nearby Columbia Mall and Arundel Mills Mall.

Laurel Mayor Craig Moe says developers plan to unveil designs for the center early next year. Moe says two national chains have signed on as tenants at the new center.

The mayor says developers have the permits needed to begin demolishing parts of the mall in the next three to four weeks.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (11)
  1. Leah C says:

    I worked in that mall for many years and watched as new stores moved in that catered to the “urban youth”, bringing with them theft, carjacking and other crimes. The regular clientele started shopping at Columbia Mall and Arundel Mills to avoid the problems.

    On top of that, the structure of the mall itself has declined, and management has not cared enough to fix the problems. Laurel Mall used to be a great mall to shop and work at. Now, it’s a shell of what it once was.

    I look forward to seeing the new Towne Center and what it can do for Laurel.

  2. the truth says:

    Blame the decline on the government. Low class blacks & hispanics moved in with section 8 vouchers & bad attitudes of give it to me or I’ll steal it are main problems. White tax payers moved out & into Howard co & better areas with newer malls. Now the cancer is creeping again into such places as Towsontown ctr & Whitemarsh. Section 8 is to blame.

  3. TJN72 says:

    You can build a new center.But untill you resolve the core problems it will Fail

  4. Grammy says:

    The first two comments are racist and have prejudice overtones in them. You want to blame Black & Hispanics and/or cultural ways of our society today. Most ethic backgrounds embrace the urban youth, simply because it generates money. This urban culture crosses ALL ethic backgrounds and it DOES NOT mean they are the cause and problem for a business decline. As for as referencing low class Blacks & Hispanics comments, it is obvious that this person who identifies him or herself as “the truth” has without a doubt prejudice issues. The problem with the Laurel Mall over the years comes from POOR MANAGEMENT. The owners of the mall had poor management in place for years and they did not keep up with the changing retail environment and being competitive with the surrounding communities and counties. Don’t blame the urban youth or Blacks or Hispanics. We are a world that is made up of many races and colors and gov’t programs to help EVERYONE. I say to anyone who doesn’t like it…… Then there is always the moon to move to! You will have nobody but yourself.

  5. Leah C says:

    Grammy, my comment was not meant as a racist or prejudice one- I wasn’t raised to think that way. It was a fact. The more the stores that were geared toward the young urban folks moved into the mall, the more the clientele at JCPenney (where I worked), Hecht’s, etc., moved to the “safer” malls. At Penney’s, our security people started to catch more shoplifters after those stores moved in than before.

    But I agree with you that mall management was to blame, partially at least.

  6. Grammy says:

    Thanks Leah C for further clarity on your comment, however, you have to recognize that you are still making a “classification”… you said “urban folks “. Moved to “safer” malls? What makes up urban folks? Primarily it is of those who make up the black and Hispanic race. I do believe you when you said your comment was not made to be racist or prejudice. Your insight is a good one, however the decay and problems of the Laurel Mall rest on the shoulders of many, regardless of their age and race. The Mayor of Laurel is included.
    Let’s just leave it as Crime/Theft/Poor Management is the blame.
    Have a great day!

  7. the truth says:

    Silver Spring, Cheverly, Mt Rainer etc all once good neighborhoods until the section 8 blacks & hispanics showed up. Now they are on the way to ruining Towson, Whitemarsh. They f…….k’d up Columbia, Security sq,, Mondawmin & Laurel. Poor management was a small part, demographics & low class bring crime & cancer.

  8. whitest guy in laurel says:

    I have prejudice issues. I really have prejudice issues, my god I have overwhelming prejudice issues, and for my own protection Long may I continue with my prejudices.

  9. NC Transplant *still retains Laurel and Maryland pride* says:

    As a kid growing up in Laurel (’81 – ’04), I have fond memories of the mall. I also remember it falling into disrepair. Some of these more prejudiced/racist people can allocate it simply to race but it’s funny that they talk about the poor black and hispanic people and yet somehow completely forget to talk about the hoodlum white kids. You can judge what culture they were trying to emulate, but you can’t disregard that fact. The problem was more economically linked than racially linked, especially considering the fact that PGC has one of (if not THE) most affluent black communities in America. You had folks coming in from DC because Laurel was “nice” in comparison to Beltway Plaza (?)… there weren’t many other shopping locations up Route 1 from DC. Did management draw these people in from DC by their tenant choices? Absolutely. But to “the ‘truth'”, you place the blame in the wrong place. You blame the people who were marketed to (a small portion of whom actually did anything wrong while at the mall), while you place no blame on the people who brought them there by choosing to have “urban youth” stores. I think you really to get yourself checked for dementia or some other disease of the brain because your focus on section 8 black and hispanics is borderline obsessive. Keep up with the whole racial-pride thing. Because trailer parks and low income whites have never ruined an area before, right? Oh wait, Maryland City… North Laurel… gtfo here with your racial bs. Go beat off to Michele Bachmann and Norman Rockwell images.

    A white kid who grew up in Laurel but knows better than to oversimplify problems like “the truth” has. [Who’s got $5 on his/her response saying something a) about me being brainwashed by the “lamestream media” and/or b) more focus on Section 8 blacks and hispanics (brainwashing me)]

  10. Leah C says:

    NC Transplant- I ALSO grew up in Laurel (since the age of 12) and STILL live in Laurel! So, I’ve been around here (never really left) and still maintain my Laurel pride. I live in N. Laurel! Did you ever work in the mall? I’m speaking from experience and knowledge. You’re just speaking from idiocy. There is no racial bs in my words. You don’t know me. I just noticed a pattern with the stores that came in, and the clientele that STOPPED shopping in my Penney’s (and told me why there were going elsewhere).

    So before you start passing judgement, you need to check YOURSELF.

  11. NC Transplant says:

    Leah C, my comments weren’t directed at you, so check YOURSELF… into a reading comprehension class. My comments were directed at the overtly racist “the truth” and “whitest guy in laurel” who specifically blamed blacks and hispanics. My comments about North Laurel didn’t encompass ALL of it; there are certainly some nice spots. I was thinking about the areas near Route 1 and some of the other rural areas that have had their fair share of problems. I was trying to make “the truth” and “whitest guy” understand that it’s not just black or hispanic people but it’s just poor people in general that can bring an area down.

    Just because I don’t live in Laurel anymore doesn’t mean I don’t still love the area. I left for grad school and found work down here in NC.

    I shopped in Laurel Mall fair frequently and my family and I used to do dinner there at least once a month for a convenient meal when we were all busy. I saw the mall decline with my own eyes regardless of if I worked there or not.

    Shoot, I stopped shopping at Laurel Mall because I didn’t wear FUBU or any of ther other urban brands. The socioeconomic standing of the youth coming into Laurel Mall significantly decreased and with them came crime. I agree with you on that fact actually.

    We are actually standing on a lot of common ground here, so there was no need to get so defensive.

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