Landover Mall

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Landover Mall
Landovermalllogo.jpg
The logo to the former mall, which was displayed on the mall entrance signs outside of MD 202 and Interstates 95 and 495
Location Landover, Maryland
Opening date May 11, 1972[1]
Closing date May 19, 2002[2]
Owner Lerner Enterprises
No. of anchor tenants 7
Total retail floor area 110 acres (0.45 km2; 0.17 sq mi)[2]

Landover Mall was a large shopping mall located in Landover, Maryland, directly across from FedEx Field, off MD 202 and Interstates 95 and 495. The mall was built by Sonny Abramson and Ted Lerner of Lerner Enterprises, and opened in 1972. Like its neighbor Capital Plaza Mall, it was a major attraction through its opening years in Prince George's County. The mall featured many anchors and smaller tenants; however, upon the decline and closing of its major anchors, the mall itself entered a state of decline. Finally, in 2002, the mall's doors were closed and it ultimately was demolished in 2006. Sears remained open because it owned the land beneath the store. Sears later sold the land underneath its store to Lerner. In January 2014 Sears announced that it would close in March.[3]

History[edit]

Fountains[edit]

The mall had three fountains, one adjacent to Hecht's, Sears, and in center court. According to an article in the Washington Post published the day of the mall's grand opening, the Hecht's "The water display consists of seven 3" geysers that are programmed in continuously changing programs of water height (3' to 15') for the perimeter nozzles, and the center nozzle can push the water to a height of 30' if desirable. All splash will be contained in the perimeter six geysers." The main fountain in the mall contained three circular platforms, each representing a loop within the Capital Beltway interchange at Landover Road. During the holiday season the center ring fountains would be shut off and replaced with its annual secular Holiday displays, which featured gingerbread house, fairies, candy canes, snowmen, reindeer, sleigh ride, doves and a "Cupcake Boat Ride", but no Santa or explicit references to Christmas. [4] Toys For Tots once did a charity event where they would go fishing in the fountain.

Prime and downfall[edit]

The grounds of the mall in its current state; Sears is visible in the far right.
The current state of the main entrance sign to the mall.

In its prime, the Landover had three local department store anchors: Hecht's, Garfinckel's, Woodward & Lothrop (Woodies), and one national chain, Sears. There was a six-screen theater in the basement, which had its own escalators, but it closed in 1991. In 1990, Garfinckel's filed for bankruptcy and went out of business. The former Garfinckel's anchor store was never replaced. Five years later, Woodies went out of business. JCPenney moved into the former Woodies location but found business unprofitable. The store was converted to a JCPenney outlet location in fall 1998 and was closed altogether in early 2001. In early 2002, Hecht's closed its doors after opening a new store at Bowie Town Center in nearby Bowie, Maryland.

Closure and demolition[edit]

After the closure of the main anchors to the mall, Ted Lerner decided to shut the mall down completely. The mall's doors were sealed shut with cinder blocks, although the Sears store remained open.

Demolition began in 2006, and was completed in early 2007. The entire mall was demolished, and its aftermath was recycled. Sears was the only store that remained open after the mall's closure because it owned the land on which the building stood. However, its former entrances to the mall were sealed shut on both its levels. Sears subsequently sold the land underneath the store to Lerner. In January 2014 Sears announced that it would not renew its lease with Lerner and closed its store in March.

In 2014 the FBI announced they were looking at possibly purchasing the land for a future FBI Headquarters after the acquisition of Sears land.

Demolition aftermath[edit]

The mall before it was demolished in 2002

Sears was tentatively planning on relocating to the Ritchie Station Marketplace shopping center on Ritchie Road near Capitol Heights, Maryland.[5] The area of the former mall and most of its parking lot is now fenced off and barricaded with cement blocks. Landover Mall's main entrance sign is covered with a tarp, and the message board reads "Sears - Sears Open Daily and Sunday 10:00 - 9:30pm." During the games of the Washington Redskins in nearby FedEx Field, the available open parking lots on the mall grounds are used to house cars during the games.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°55′12″N 76°51′22″W / 38.92000°N 76.85611°W / 38.92000; -76.85611