Construction will start next week on a planned expansion at The Mall in Columbia. Plans call for a 70,000-square-foot Main Street-style addition featuring an open-air plaza with two restaurants, two cafes and eight to 10 stores.
Mall managers plan to break ground on the project Tuesday. Mall owner General Growth Properties has not announced any retail or restaurant tenants.
The Howard County Planning Board approved plans in December to demolish the mall’s free-standing L.L. Bean store to make way for the expansion, which will add 40,000 square feet to the 1.6 million square-foot-center.
The Sun reported in December that L.L. Bean is scheduled to close in May, with the bulk of construction starting in June.
The expansion will be one of the first new projects under the recently approved Downtown Columbia 30-year Master Plan. That plan calls fro 13 million square feet of new development, including shops, offices, housing, hotels and cultural attractions.