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Outdoor shopping center coming to Laurel

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Photo by Sarah Hainesworth. Construction has begun on a new open-air town center in Laurel. It is set to open spring 2014.

Photo by Sarah Hainesworth. Construction has begun on a new open-air town center in Laurel. It is set to open spring 2014.

Published on: Wednesday, September 26, 2012

By Sarah Hainesworth

Laurel shoppers will soon have a new mall to visit — an open-air shopping plaza called the Towne Center at Laurel.

Greenberg Gibbons — developer of the Annapolis Towne Centre and Waugh Chapel Towne Centre — broke ground on the Laurel project Aug. 14

Gone are the days of traveling to Columbia, Greenbelt or Bowie to see a movie. The Towne Center at Laurel will include a Regal Cinema.

“We are looking forward to the project, and we have signed on for a 12-screen cinema,” said Russ Nunley, Regal vice president of marketing and communications. “It’s a great development. I believe that the community will really embrace it.”

The town center will also feature retailer Burlington Coat Factory, which will remain open during some of the construction process and a Harris Teeter grocery store. The mixed-use development also will include residential property, dining, entertainment and other retail stores.

It seems that residents of Laurel are excited for the long awaited change.

Laurel resident Susan Soldavin said on behalf of herself and her daughter, “We’re looking forward to it. We hope everything is on track this time, and we are looking forward to the new development going through.”

Local shopper Darryl Greene said, “Sounds good, there was nothing there before.”

Another shopper at the Laurel Shopping Center said, “If it’s going to benefit the neighborhood and make it better, I think it’s a fine idea.”

Val Kaplan has lived in Laurel since 1968 and on the new mall joked, “I should live so long!”

Kaplan is looking forward to having a movie theater again and the new look of the open-air mall.

She added, “I like the idea of mixed use with more housing. I love that Harris Teeter is coming, it will be good for competition and shape Giant up.”

Another shopper said, “It should be exciting. It’s about time! We can’t wait for it to open. I work at Olive Garden, and we expect business to pop from there.”

The expected opening date for the town center is spring 2014.

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