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Westfield Plans To Build 670 Apartments At Montgomery Mall After Sears Closes

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Westfield Montgomery Mall Woonerf
A rendering of the woonerf and new retail planned to replace Sears at the Westfield Montgomery mall

The Sears at the Westfield Montgomery Mall is expected to close next year, and the mall owner is looking to launch a major mixed-use development on its piece of the property. 

Westfield presented plans to the community Wednesday to build 670 apartments and 300K SF of new retail and hotel space on the 28-acre site now occupied by the Sears and the surrounding parking lot, Bethesda Magazine reports

The developer plans to create a woonerf, a pedestrian-friendly, shared street running through the site. The development would be built on the northern portion of the mall property along Westlake Terrace. 

The project would be built in phases. Westfield tells Bethesda Magazine it plans to close the Sears, which it bought last year, in March and begin work on the first phase later next year. The first phase, expected to be completed by 2022, would demolish the Sears property and create 170K SF of new retail space with 350 to 360 apartments above, plus a health club. After that, Westfield would build an additional 300 units and 130K SF of retail and hotel space. 

Westfield hopes to bring high-end retail and fine dining to the new retail space. The mall owner in recent years has completed a $90M expansion, adding a Lucky Strike bowling alley and an ArcLight Cinemas and renovating its food court. 

On the other side of Westlake Terrace, Foulger-Pratt is planning to build a 340-unit development with 50K SF of retail on the Ourisman Ford site.  

Sears has closed hundreds of stores across the U.S. amid financial struggles, and many mall owners have taken the opportunity to redevelop the properties into more modern, mixed-use environments.