White Flint Mall

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White Flint Mall
Location North Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.
Address 11301 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda, MD 20895
Opening date March 7, 1977
Closing date January 4, 2015
Developer Lerner Enterprises
Owner Lerner Enterprises
No. of stores and services 125 (124 vacant)
No. of anchor tenants 1 (2 vacant)
Total retail floor area 800,000 sq ft (74,000 m2)
No. of floors 3 of retail (Lord & Taylor on 2; former Bloomingdale's on 4)
Website http://www.shopwhiteflint.com/

White Flint Mall was a shopping mall located along Rockville Pike in Montgomery County, Maryland that closed in early 2015 and is scheduled for demolition.

History[edit]

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, and Restaurant Row, home to Intermission Nightclub and Dining Disco in the late 70s. Other restaurants and fast food vendors populated the mall including the food court The Eatery which went from a darker earth tone color motif to bright neon in the 80's as well as the third floor loft overlooking the center court.

The mall has found creative ways to promote itself over the years. White Flint was the first mall to issue its own credit card to frequent shoppers.[1] During an advertising campaign, a food stall once sold "Upside-down Flint Rubble Double Bubble Cake", named after an original dessert dish that was featured on an episode of The Flintstones.[citation needed] To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the mall released its own Monopoly game entitled "White Flint-opoly".[2]

Three decorative water features were located on the first level of the center. The largest was a fountain underneath and around the mirrored escalators, loosely based on the Rialto Bridge in Venice, in the Via Rialto mall within a mall and was also the first to be removed after I. Magnin closed. Two identical fountains were in center court, one in front of each Otis inground glass hydraulic elevator, and removed during a 2004 mall facelift. One oddity about the closure of Borders on April 17, 2011, was the sign that remained in front of the escalator leading to its permanently shuttered entrance that read "Temporarily Out of Service".[3] Over the years major celebrities have appeared at the mall like Donna Karan and Elizabeth Taylor, as well as minor and local stars like the cast of MTV's The Real World: D.C.,[4] Brigitte Burdine, Andrea Mitchell and Paula Marshall.[5]

The mall was served by the White Flint station on the Red Line of the Washington Metro since 1984.

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 and take approximately 25 years to be fully completed.[6]

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.[7] 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.[8][9]

On December 24, 2013, WJLA-TV reported that White Flint Mall would permanently close after nearly 37 years. On August 13, 2014, Dave & Busters was evicted. P. F. Chang's China Bistro closed January 4, 2015 along with the mall entrance, thus shuttering the mall for good.[10] Lord & Taylor is remaining through the redevelopment process.

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://scontent-b-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/t1.0-9/10341546_10152218713754285_5693025390947922065_n.jpg[dead link]
  2. ^ http://www.malls.com/us/malls/white-flint-mall.html White Flint Mall review
  3. ^ Escalator Temporarily Out of Service (Photograph). White Flint Mall. Retrieved February 27, 2015. Escalator Temporarily Out of Service. Please utilize the escalators located in the Lord & Taylor Wing or elevators in Centre Court. We apologize for any inconvenience. WHITE FLINT 
  4. ^ Zall, Barnaby (July 8, 2009). "MTV's "Real World" Comes to White Flint (no, really)". Friends of White Flint. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Paula Marshall, Class of 1982 ...again!". The Midnight Sun Online: Robert E. Peary H.S. - Rockville, MD. Midnight Sun Online. Archived from the original on November 20, 2011. 
  6. ^ Ruoff, Alex. "Plan envisions White Flint Mall becoming a "town"". North Bethesda development would create community of apartments, retail and more. gazette.net. Archived from the original on 2011-11-22. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  7. ^ "Closing: 5 Macy's And 4 Bloomingdale's Stores". AOL Jobs. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  8. ^ Chaney, Jen (December 22, 2013). "White Flint’s last Christmas: Closing of a past retail mecca hints at an American era’s end". Washington Post. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  9. ^ "Tales of the Dying Mall: White Flint Mall (Photo Gallery)". Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  10. ^ Robert Dyer. "Robert Dyer @ Bethesda Row". Retrieved 20 January 2015. 

External links[edit]