Construction crews were already at work yesterday as owners of Glen Burnie Mall announced the addition of two stores and a face lift for the 32-year-old shopping center.
The new stores -- Dick's Clothing & Sporting Goods and ImagiMAZE Family Fun Center -- are scheduled to open by fall.
The remodeling of the 414,469-square-foot mall is expected to be finished for the Christmas shopping season.
The mall is owned by Youngstown, Ohio-based DeBartolo Realty Corp., a real estate investment trust. The Glen Burnie project is part of the company's plan to renovate and expand five other properties, from Seattle to Coral Springs, Fla., said Kenneth H. Lokiec, vice president of shopping center operations.
"It's just making better use of what we already have instead of building new," Mr. Lokiec said.
DeBartolo's properties include 51 super-regional and regional malls. Glen Burnie Mall is the only mall it owns in Maryland.
M. Joan Post, general manager of the mall, said the arrival of Best Buy in November increased traffic at the mall.
Mall officials said they have high hopes that the two new stores will do the same. This will be the first store in Maryland for Coraopolis, Pa.-based Dick's Clothing & Sporting Goods.
The retailer will occupy 61,000 square feet left empty about a year ago by G. C. Murphy Co.
Dick's, a fast-growing 22-chain store that builds large sports equipment stores, is known for letting customers test merchandise at its stores. A store at Buckland Hills Mall in Hartford, Conn., features an indoor track in the footwear department, which displays more than 400 styles of shoes.
Dick's is expected to compete for customers with the Sports Authority store on Ordnance Road.
A local couple, Daniel and Lori Russell, will open the first Maryland franchise of Meadville, Pa.-based ImagiMAZE in 11,400-square feet of space. An A&P; grocery store once took up some of that space, but it has has been vacant for about 14 years.
The mall, anchored by Montgomery Ward, Toys 'R' Us and Best Buy, has 40 stores and averages sales of $250 per square foot, the owners said.
"This is a property that has always been a pretty solid performer," said Robert Seawright, a leasing associate for DeBartolo.
"I can see the upcoming holiday season, Thanksgiving and Christmas as just being not necessarily a record-breaker but a substantially very good sales performer for this property," said Mr. Seawright.
The addition of the stores at the mall leave only a couple of vacancies, said mall officials, who plan to erect new signs and improve landscaping and indoor and outdoor lighting.
Merchants welcomed the news.
"I'm real excited about the change at the mall. It's been a long time coming, and I think it's going to help all our businesses," said Michael Woerner, president of the mall's merchants association.