Iverson Mall had a previous reputation where teenagers and young adults would purchase high-end sneakers, hang out and sometimes eat cookies.
The developer of the nearly 50-year-old mall now called The Shops at Iverson will begin a $30 million project to renovate one of the D.C. area’s first enclosed shopping centers. To help spruce the project, Prince George’s County officials announced Friday outside the mall’s front entrance that $4 million will come from the county’s Economic Development Incentive fund, the biggest investment ever for a local business.
“Getting a $4 million investment from the county and believing in our redevelopment as much as we do is really encouraging and a feeling we are not in this by ourselves,” said Tim Donovan, development director of America’s Realty of Pikesville, Maryland, that brought the property two years ago.
While discussions are underway with Chipotle, Donovan said the façade would be refurbished with patio seating outside with four restaurants. The business also seeks to put an anchor store near the front such as a grocery store.
One of the mall’s most popular eateries, The Great Cookie, would remain there when renovations begin within the next six to eight weeks.
The 650,000-square-foot property sits along Branch Avenue, a major thoroughfare about a mile north of the District border and another mile west from another major project showcased as an effort to revitalize the Suitland area.
The Towne Square at Suitland Federal Center at Silver Hill and Suitland roads will feature about 1,120 apartments, townhouses and single-family homes. In addition to a senior-citizen building, retail and other businesses would occupy the development near the U.S. Census Bureau.
A unique feature for the $360 million project will be the county’s Redevelopment Authority acting as a developer along with Cober, Johnson and Romney, a consulting firm headquartered in northwest D.C. The county will invest at least $60 million toward this project.
Howard Ways, executive director of the Redevelopment Authority, said the 219 townhouses would be the first units built. He said the project expects to break ground next year and construction to start in 2018.
Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III said the Suitland area will not only boost development along the Metro’s Green Line, but improve the entire county.
“We know this is the hottest area,” he said. “We will act as the master developer and we see interest. We believe this is going to take off.”