The mall opened in 1977 and was initially anchored by Bloomingdale's, Lord & Taylor, and I. Magnin. Borders Books and Music took over the I. Magnin location in 1992; it closed in 2011. The inside of the mall was made up of themed districts; the faux city streets of Georgetown and an Italian marketplace known as Via Rialto which ran beneath I. Magnin from the main entrance to the center court where Bertucci's and Cheesecake Factory later stood. Many restaurants and fast food vendors populated the mall including the food court The Eatery which went through multiple changes as well as the third floor loft overlooking the center court. White Flint was the first mall to issues its own credit card to frequent shoppers. The fountain under the mirrored escalators in the Via Rialto was removed after the closing of I. Magnin. The last two fountains, which were located in front of the Otis inground glass hydraulic elevators, were removed during a 2004 center court facelift. One oddity about the closure of Borders is the sign left in front of the escalator leading to its shuttered entrance warning mall patrons "Temporarily Out of Service" although it is obviously permanent. Over the years major celebrities have appeared at the mall like Donna Karan and Elizabeth Taylor, the cast of MTV's The Real World: D.C.,Brigitte Burdine, Andrea Mitchell and Paula Marshall.
In November 2011, Lerner Enterprises announced plans to deconstruct the 850,000-square-foot mall and its large parking deck and replace it with four office buildings, a 300-room hotel, 1 million square feet of retail and restaurant space, and 12 apartment buildings consisting of a total of 2,500 residences. The developers expected construction to begin two years following approval. The project would take approximately 25 years to be fully completed.
Shuttered Storefronts at White Flint Mall
On January 5, 2012, Macy's Inc. announced that the mall's Bloomingdale's store would close in March 2012.  Bloomingdale's closed on March 14 2012, and the building it occupied was demolished in 2013 prior to the mall's closure.
Lerner Enterprises revived its plans for redevelopment in late 2013. By year's end, the mall had lost more than three-fourths of its stores.