Ballston Quarter

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Ballston Quarter
Opening date 1951 (as Parkington Shopping Center)
Closing date May 31, 2016
Management Forest City Enterprises
No. of anchor tenants 1
Total retail floor area 580,000 square feet (54,000 m2)
No. of floors 4
Parking 3,000 spaces
Public transit access WMATA Orange.svg WMATA Silver.svg at Ballston–MU (Washington Metro)
Website Ballston Quarter

Ballston Quarter, formerly known as Ballston Common Mall, originally opened as Parkington Shopping Center in 1951, was one of the first major suburban shopping centers in the Washington, D.C., area. It was the first shopping center built around a multi-story parking garage in the United States.[1] It was located at the intersection of Glebe Road (Virginia State Route 120) and Wilson Boulevard in the Ballston neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia, two blocks from Ballston-MU Station on the Washington Metro's Orange and Silver lines. The Ballston Common mall opened on October 20, 1986, and was a $40 million replacement for the Parkington Shopping Center. The 530,000-square-foot (49,000 m2) center was developed in limited partnership with the May Centers, a subsidiary of the May Company who, at the time, also owned one of the anchors, Hecht's.[2]

On May 31, 2016, most businesses closed so the mall could be redeveloped into Ballston Quarter.


The former Ballston Common Mall from N. Glebe Road.

The $6.5 million Hecht's store opened in the Parkington Shopping Center on November 2, 1951.[3][4] At its opening, the five story, 300,000-square-foot (28,000 m2) store was the largest suburban department store on the East Coast.[5] A man was electrocuted during the construction of the store.[6] Over the years, the $15 million Parkington Shopping Center expanded to 30 stores including Giant Food, McCrory's, Hub Furniture, Crawford Clothes, Franc Jewelers, W.T. Grant, Wilbur-Rogers Women's Apparel, A.S. Beck Shoes, Brentano's Books, and Casual Corner.[7][8] In May 1974, J.C. Penney opened a 36,327-square-foot (3,374.9 m2) soft line merchandise and catalog store.[9]

By 1982, the 30-year-old Parkington Shopping Center was in need of a facelift.[10] Beginning that year, Arlington County and the May Centers embarked on a $100 million renovation project and expansion of the shopping center. Part of this was a contest among Arlington residents for a name for the new mall. That contest was how "Ballston Common" came to be the mall's name.[11] After some complications, the renovated and expanded shopping center opened in the fall of 1986. In the early 2000s, the mall became home to the Kettler Capitals Iceplex, headquarters and practice facility for the National Hockey League's Washington Capitals, as well as the DC location of the ComedySportz improvisational theatre organization.[12]

Redevelopment as Ballston Quarter[edit]

The owner of the mall, Forest City Washington, is planning to redevelop it.[13] In September 2013 they purchased the Macy's Furniture Store as part of the redevelopment plan.[14]

The mall's final day of operation was May 31, 2016. During the renovation, Macy's, 2 stores, a bank, the movie theaters, the Sport & Health Club, and the Kettler Capitals Iceplex will remain open. Pathways, more commonly known as "Habitrails (TM)", will be constructed to reach them during the construction.


  1. ^ Eno Transportation Foundation, "Parkington Shopping Center Design," Transportation Quarterly (1952, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 440–456.).
  2. ^ "Commercial Realty," The Washington Post Aug 4, 1986, p. WB38.
  3. ^ "Hecht Parkington Store Opens to 60,000 Shoppers," The Washington Post, Nov 3, 1951, p. 1.
  4. ^ "Hecht's New Virginia Shop Opens Today," The Washington Post, Nov 2, 1951, p. B1.
  5. ^ Display Ad for Hecht Company Parkington, The Washington Post and Times Herald, Jun 27, 1955, p. 40.
  6. ^ "Man Is Electrocuted, 2 Hurt, On Arlington Building Job," The Washington Post, Sep 15, 1951, p. B1.
  7. ^ "McCrory's to Be Fifth Store To Open Branch in Parkington," The Washington Post, Jun 19, 1952, p. 19.
  8. ^ Three New Stores Will Open On Thursday at Parkington, The Washington Post, Aug 6, 1952, p. 19.
  9. ^ Capital Commerce, by William H. Jones, The Washington Post, May 2, 1974, p. H12.
  10. ^ "Parkington Renewal Plan Unveiled," by Nancy Scannell, The Washington Post, Feb 18, 1982, p. B1.
  11. ^ "New Paint, More Space for Area Malls," by Alison O'Neill, The Washington Post, p. W1.
  12. ^ "'Limited Dreamer' Making BIG Impact", NOVA BIGS Online, Dec, 2004
  13. ^ "Forest City Washington planning Ballston Common mall redevelopment – Washington Business Journal". Washington Business Journal. 20 February 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  14. ^ "Ballston Mall Redevelopment Moves Forward". Retrieved 27 July 2015.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°52′45.6″N 77°6′39.6″W / 38.879333°N 77.111000°W / 38.879333; -77.111000