Campus Village Shoppes closing at the end of September
By Elizabeth Shirley
Route 1 will soon be facing more construction as the Campus Village Shoppes strip mall is closing down to be replaced with student housing.
On Aug. 1 more than a dozen local businesses were given notice to move within 60 days. Two of the businesses — College Park Liquors and Pandora’s Cube — have been tenants of the strip mall for over 26 years.
More than half of the retailers were uncertain if they would reopen after vacating the Campus Village Shoppes location, citing high rent costs along Route 1.
The notice to vacate was not unexpected, as LV Collective purchased the strip mall last year with the intention of building mixed-use student housing. A manager from one of the shops, who asked to remain anonymous, said “we kind of knew it was coming along” but that they had not expected the notice to come so soon. All previous discussions they had about the strip mall closing suggested that the change would happen in 2024.
Vladimir Cruz said he had worked at College Park Liquors for only about a year but has seen ample community support for the store, including from students returning to the area. “It’s nice to have them say they miss the store,” he said.
College Park Liquors will be unable to relocate in the immediate neighborhood, due to high rental costs in the area. The shop is promoting a GoFundMe at their checkout counter in order to raise funds to stay in business elsewhere. “We will dearly miss you, the Lakeland Community and all of our loyal customers. Thank you for all your support through the years, you are ‘Simply the Best,’’’ the site says. As of press time, the GoFundMe had received just over $1,000 of the $100,000 goal.
Locals voiced support online of Hanami, the Japanese restaurant which has been at the location since 2005. In the Facebook group “Support Prince George’s County Restaurants,” Corey Slavitt posted that they were “stunned” to hear about the closures, and Maria Paoletti expressed her disappointment. “Hanami and several other restaurants there are beloved mainstays,” she wrote. The Diamondback included Hanami in a list of the best sushi and Japanese food locations in College Park.
The closure will result in a significant loss of local business representation on Route 1. The tenants of Campus Village Shoppes have until the end of September to move, and some, including Pupuseria La Familiar, plan to stay open until the very last day.