The recent sale of the Wildewood Center in California at a price of $28.4m indicates that commercial developers are still willing to continue investing in the region.The center was sold through Scheer Partners, by SJS Wildewood LP, to Finmarc Management of Bethesda. The mall was opened during 1989, renovated during 1998 and offers in excess of 50 restaurants and stores on 292000ft².
Presently, it is 95% leased with stores including Cheeseburger in Paradise, Outback Steakhouse, DSW Shoe Warehouse, Bed Bath & Beyond, Belk and JC Penney. The center has remained a stable and diverse mall with strong anchors and stores which support the needs of both the business and residential consumer.
The new Lexington Exchange shopping center is placed across Route 235. A new innovative 2400-seat, 12-screen movie theater is being erected there which is due to open next spring or summer. It is due to be joined by an Aldi grocery store. Lexington Exchange sits on 146 acres, with a total of 902820ft² available for office and commercial space.
The First Colony Center was recently obtained by RioCan of Toronto, a group which owns commercial assets in the US and Canada. First Colony in California opened during 2000 with tenants such as Pier 1, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Giant, Target and Lowe’s Home Improvement. It offers commercial space measuring around 357383ft².
Lexington Village based in Lexington Park offers 159947ft² of space to tenants including Kohl’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods. The center was opened about four years ago, but the developer was forced into foreclosure not long after the opening. It was subsequently purchased by Echo Realty from Pennsylvania and appears to be doing fairly well.
Another shopping center due to open shortly will be based at St. Andre’s Church Road and the northwest corner of Route 235. The project is due to include 91000ft² of building on 14 acres and is owned by Investors Acquisition Group.
Although California continues to be a target area for new shopping centers, Lexington Park is not sharing in the growth. When McKay’s grocery store moved from Great Mills Road, it left a single grocery store in Lexington Park, namely the Food Lion which is placed in St Mary’s Square shopping center, which first opened during 1973.
Residents generally welcome new shopping areas, but there is an effect on traditional shopping areas. To meet the demand, St Mary’s County has zoned the entire length of Three Notch Road for commercial development and developers are jumping on-board to construct to the maximum that they are allowed.
Slightly north of the Lexington Park Development District is the Hollywood Town Center, which has seen growth. A Tractor Supply Co. opened in the area about 12 months ago.