News & Politics

Lakeforest Mall Is Selling Some Strange Things at Its Liquidation Auction

You can buy a creepy giant teddy bear or a Dairy Queen ice cream machine.

Lakeforest Mall is auctioning off this oversized stuffed bear. Photograph courtesy of Capital Online Auctions.

Do you have fond memories of hanging out at Lakeforest Mall? Are they so fond that you might like to take home—for example—the entire contents of its old Dippin’ Dots store? Or a sign from the mall’s food court?

Gaithersburg’s behemoth shopping center, which closed in March after more than four decades, is holding a liquidation auction to get rid of all the random junk left inside after the stores moved out—signage, kiosks, decor, and some mysterious items, like a creepy giant stuffed bear. Bidding, which is open now through early July, starts at $1 for anything. 

The auction includes some practical commercial items such as shelving, tools, and tables. But many feel like oddball impulse buys. Maybe you could fall in love with Dairy Queen’s old ice cream machine, or a Statue of Liberty replica. There are also fake potted plants, the guts of abandoned stores including Claire’s and Macy’s, and an enormous cache of the mall’s holiday decor, including oversized Christmas trees—all being sold in one lot.

Lakeforest Mall is auctioning off a huge lot of its holiday decorations. Photograph courtesy of Capital Online Auctions.

The most elaborate lot consists of an entire kids’ play area with fiberglass cars, a tree-shaped play structure, and whimsical themed carpeting. 

“We expect people to buy things for commercial spaces, for their homes, offices, garages,” says Mitch Rotker, whose company, Capitol Online Auctions, is running the auction. “The bidding starts at $1 for each lot so hopefully most will sell. We are hoping to keep the assets out of landfills.”

You could bid on the contents of an old shoe repair store. Photograph courtesy of Capital Online Auctions.

Abandoned malls have a particular kind of melancholy. In its prime, Lakeforest was once home to a skating rink, theaters, and the long-gone Hecht’s department store.

Ike Allen
Assistant Editor