A major redevelopment is being proposed at Westfield Montgomery mall in Bethesda, including adding hundreds of apartments, a fitness center, parking garage and hotel rooms.
The shopping center’s owner, the global developer Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, is asking the Montgomery County Planning Board to approve a four-phase, multi-year project on about a third of the mall’s 59-acre property at Democracy Boulevard, Interstate 270 and the Capital Beltway, according to Planning Board documents.
The project plans, released months after the Paris-based commercial real estate company bought Westfield, would continue renovations that started a half-decade ago and include a 50,000-square-foot extension of Macy’s department store.
The first phase, driven by the anticipated closing of the mall’s two-story Sears department store, includes demolishing the building to make space for 213,018 square feet of ground-level retail and restaurant space with a five-story building with 369 residences. Fifty-six residences would be moderately priced dwelling units. Half of the units would be two-bedroom apartments, 43 percent would be one-bedroom units and 7 percent would have three bedrooms.
A second phase includes a four-level, 150,000-square-foot fitness center with a pool. A standalone 516-space parking garage would be east of the fitness center.
The third phase calls for a seven-floor mixed-used building with 240 one- and two-bedroom residential units.
A 12-story, 261-room hotel and residential building would be constructed in the final phase. Hotel rooms would be on the first seven floors with 108 residential units on floors eight through 12.
In 2013 and 2014, Westfield Montgomery underwent an interior renovation and expansion project that included construction of a two-level dining terrace and the 16-screen Arclight Cinema. Additionally, several restaurants, including the Cheesecake Factory and Crave, were added with exterior-facing facades.
The mall’s owners built a bus transit center to improve transit circulation in the area in 2016.