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ANNAPOLIS, MD-With Anne Arundel County’s initial approval of the plans, an expansion of Westfield Shoppingtown Annapolis has moved a step closer to reality. International shopping center group Westfield is planning to make an approximately 300,000-sf addition to the regional center, bringing its total size up to 1.5 million-sf. Westfield will spend an estimated $300 million on the endeavor that will make the mall the largest in the county, surpassing Arundel Mills mall, which also features 1.2 million sf of retail.

Formerly known as Annapolis Mall, Westfield Shoppingtown Annapolis sits on Defense Hwy., just off Rte. 50 and near I-97. Westfield has been the full owner of the property since it added the remaining 70% interest in the mall to its 30% holdings in 1997. If all goes as planned, the updated version will feature a two-story Dick’s Sporting Goods store as an addition to the list of anchors, which currently includes Hecht’s, JCPenney, Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom and Sears; Dick’s will be 75,000 sf in size and carry a price tag of $100 million. The expansion would also bring two new parking facilities to the property.

Westfield first brought its proposal to increase the size of the Annapolis retail site to county officials in February, but the company has petitioned local government in the past for expansion endeavors. After gaining necessary approval, the company replaced an older theater with an 11-screen Cineplex, added 16,000 sf of shopping space and reconfigured an additional 18,000 sf in 2000 at a cost of approximately $23 million. Construction on this latest expansion is scheduled to get under way in March.

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