Rendering of the new exterior and Jumbotron planned for Ellsworth Place at the corner of Fenton Street and Ellsworth Drive, via Petrie Richardson Ventures
The “grand reopening” of the former City Place mall in downtown Silver Spring won’t happen until spring 2016, according to the developer putting it through a $45 million facelift.
Walt Petrie, chairman of Petrie Richardson Ventures, told the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board Monday that the reopening planned for the fall will have to wait for a few of the big-name new tenants to open and some of the existing tenants to move into expanded spaces.
That includes Dave & Buster’s, the restaurant and entertainment chain set to open in March 2016 on the building’s fifth level. It also includes Michaels, the arts and craft store planning to open next spring on the first level.
Sharing the first level will be department store T.J. Maxx, set to open in the fall, and a new sitting area with phone charging stations, a coffee kiosk and a playground area for children.
City Place opened in 1992, but its popularity gradually declined as the rest of downtown Silver Spring grew around it. Petrie Richardson is rebranding it as Ellsworth Place with the renovations and “re-tenanting.”
Rendering of new signage and entrance to Ellsworth Place along Ellsworth Drive, via Petrie Richardson Ventures
Petrie said Monday he still thinks the completely enclosed, climate-controlled shopping mall has a place in the community, even next door to the outdoor shopping and restaurant promenade that’s come to define downtown Silver Spring.
The company is focusing its attention on fashion retailers to fill out the remaining vacant spaces.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Petrie said of the renovation. “City Place has had its ups and downs.”
The Dave & Buster’s will move into the former space of an AMC movie theater on the fifth floor. That theater closed in 2004 not long after the Regal Majestic Stadium 20 & IMAX theater opened across the street at Ellsworth Drive and Fenton Street.
Petrie said Dave & Buster’s and fashion retailer Forever 21 are expected to sign their leases in the next couple of weeks.
The 40,000-square-foot Dave & Buster’s space will be accompanied on the fifth floor by a revamped Burlington Coat Factory, which is spending $2 million to retrofit its store.
Work to the exterior of the Ellsworth Place building will include the installation of two Jumbotron screens. One will be above the corner of Colesville Road and Fenton Street. The other will go above the corner of Fenton Street and Ellsworth Drive.
Petrie said it took about a year to get the Jumbotrons approved by Montgomery County’s Sign Review Board. The screens should be up and running by the end of October and will carry mostly advertisements, though five minutes out of every hour will be dedicated to public announcements.
The Not Your Average Joe’s restaurant that recently signed a lease at Ellsworth Place is aiming for a spring 2016 opening. It will have 206 seats in its 6,500-square-foot space at the corner of Colesville Road and Fenton Street, plus another 68 seats outdoors along the edge of the building.
Discount department store Ross, a former tenant of City Place, will return to Ellsworth Place in a fourth-floor space. The store is also planning a spring 2016 opening.
Rendering of new Ellsworth Place entrance along Fenton Street, via Petrie Richardson Ventures