December 6, 2022

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What Happened to the DC Area’s Buying Malls?

Mazza Gallerie. Photograph by Wikimedia person Mx. Granger

Even right before e-commerce and on-line purchasing received traction amongst American customers for the duration of the pandemic, many purchasing malls and department shops were being dying. Retail analytics agency Coresight Investigation estimates that 25 p.c of malls in the US will near in just five many years. Some malls and procuring centers in big cities and wealthy suburbs are going through a comeback, but lots of of the malls close to Washington have adopted considerably less delighted timelines—since 2012, practically 50 % of the malls close to DC have shut.

Listed here are five buying malls around DC that didn’t endure the retail apocalypse.

Mazza Gallerie

Mazza Gallerie in Friendship Heights is a single of DC’s past malls and the most current to go out of small business. Developer Tishman Speyer announced on Tuesday that it had obtained Mazza Gallerie and will change the partly abandoned retail centre into flats although maintaining some of the retail place and underground parking garage intact. Designed in 1979, Mazza Gallerie was when a browsing and eating very hot spot for Washingtonians but sooner or later missing numerous of its key tenants, this sort of as the AMC Mazza Gallerie film theaters and Neiman Marcus.

White Flint in 2013. Photograph by Dan Reed.

White Flint Shopping mall

When it opened in 1977, White Flint Mall was a rarity in the Maryland suburbs. Dotted with luxurious section stores these kinds of as I. Magnin and Bloomingdale’s, White Flint was a put the place customers could feel a subtle vibe with out making the journey into the District. Even so, like several shopping malls soon after the 2008 recession, the range of suppliers at White Flint retained dwindling until the shopping mall was permanently closed and demolished in 2015. The original website of White Flint was on the brief checklist to turn into the location of Amazon’s HQ2 right before the firm chose Crystal Metropolis in 2018. Now, the homeowners have plans to create the land into business office structures, retail room, residences, and a lodge.

The previous pedestrian bridge to Ballston Common in 2003. Image by Ben Schumin.

Ballston Common Shopping mall

The shopping mall now recognized as Ballston Quarter has gone as a result of numerous transformations in its lifetime. It designed its debut as the Parkington Buying Heart in 1951. Parkington was a person of the first important suburban purchasing centers in the region, as properly as the most significant browsing shopping mall on the East Coastline at the time of its opening. Soon after at last staying renovated in 1986, Parkington turned Ballston Prevalent Shopping mall and at some point the dwelling to the Kettler Capitals Iceplex (now the MedStar Capitals Iceplex), where the Washington Capitals observe their backhand pictures and saucer passes. Following a lot of of its organization closed for renovations among 2016 and 2019, Ballston Frequent reopened as Ballston Quarter and is now house to a wide range of eating, shopping, and leisure choices.

A scene from Surprise Female 1984 established in Landmark Mall. Photograph courtesy Warner Bros.

Landmark Mall

Landmark Shopping mall could be familiar to you if you viewed Ponder Female 1984. The mall, which experienced closed by the time the movie filmed, was prominently featured as a thriving Reagan-era procuring center. At its primary in the late ’60s and ’70s, Landmark Shopping mall was the center of the retail industry in Alexandria. But in 1982, an electrical hearth presaged the mall’s decline, which marched forward regardless of years of renovations. It lastly shut in 2017.  The mall is currently set to be redeveloped into a new Inova Alexandria Clinic.

2003 Photograph by Ben Schumin.

The Stores at National Area

Opened in 1984,  the Outlets at Nationwide Area was a large, splashy searching mall meant by then-DC mayor Marion Barry to support make downtown DC a retail and social hub. But whilst downtown has flourished because, the Outlets struggled to survive the 2008 economic downturn and shut down. On the other hand, the mall’s food courtroom, Consume at Countrywide Position, stayed opened until eventually 2020. The shopping mall is now deserted.

Damare Baker