Potomac Mills

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Potomac Mills
The food court at Neighborhood 4
LocationWoodbridge, Virginia, United States
Address2700 Potomac Mills Cir
Opening dateSeptember 19, 1985; 37 years ago (September 19, 1985)
DeveloperMills Corporation
ManagementSimon Property Group
OwnerSimon Property Group (99.1%)
No. of stores and services225
No. of anchor tenants19
Total retail floor area1,540,304 sq ft (143,098.9 m2)
No. of floors1

Potomac Mills is a shopping mall located in Woodbridge, Virginia, in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. The first mall developed by the Mills Corporation, it was acquired in 2007 by Simon Property Group.

Simon claims it to be the largest outlet mall[1] in Virginia. It has also been claimed to be the top tourist attraction in Virginia,[2][3] but the commonwealth tourism board ranked it as tenth in 2004.[4]


The mall has over 225 retailers and an 18-screen AMC movie theater organized into five "neighborhoods."[3] Major tenants include Nordstrom Rack, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, Costco, Burlington, Marshalls & HomeGoods, Buy Buy Baby, AndThat!, JCPenney, American Freight, TJ Maxx, Bloomingdales Outlet, AMC Potomac Mills 18, The Children's Place, Nike Factory Outlet, Forever 21, Camille La Vie, H&M, ZavaZone, Five Below, IKEA, and Round 1 Bowling & Amusement.[1]


Real estate developer Herbert S. Miller and his Western Development Corporation developed Potomac Mills as a prototype for a shopping center which would combine elements of a regional mall with discount retail.[2] Originally called "Washington Outlet Mall" during planning stages, it was not planned to be enclosed until the last minute.[4]

The 130 acres selected for construction was mostly farmland and woods, although it included several homes and businesses. The Prince William Board of Supervisors approved the first of several rezonings for the mall on February 21, 1984, after a fight over the proposed 140 feet (43 m)-tall, 1,260 square feet (117 m2) illuminated sign.[3]

The first phase of the mall opened September 19, 1985. Comprising what are now neighborhoods 1 and 2, it occupied approximately 650,000 square feet (60,000 m2) and had parking for over 5,500 cars.[2] The next phase, completed in 1986, added another 550,000 square feet (51,000 m2) of retail space and the movie theater.

The third phase, completed in 1993, added 400,000 square feet (37,000 m2) of value-retail space. anchored by Marshalls and JCPenney Outlet Store, along with a Burlington Coat Factory.[5] Cohoes Fashions was also an early tenant and later closed in 1987, being replaced by a Woodward & Lothrop outlet store. Other original tenants included IKEA, Sears Outlet and Waccamaw Pottery.[6] The IKEA location at Potomac Mills was one of the company's earliest retail outlets in America, and proved so popular that it eventually required a new, dedicated building adjacent to the primary Potomac Mills complex.

The sign was damaged by high winds in 2011, and again in February 2018. The second incident bent and stressed its steel support poles, causing it to tilt precariously over Interstate 95, and forced the sign's dismantling.[7] Near the end of March 2019 a new sign was unveiled, featuring an updated design.[8]


  1. ^ a b "Center Information", Potomac Mills website, Simon Property Group, retrieved 2021-06-04
  2. ^ a b c "Project Information: Potomac Mills", Western Development Corporation website, retrieved 2021-06-04
  3. ^ a b c Snyder, Roger (April 10, 2019). "At Potomac Mills, the sign(s) of our times". Prince William Times. Retrieved 2019-05-16.
  4. ^ a b Flagg, Michael (October 7, 2004), At 19, Potomac Mills Mall 'Is What It Is', retrieved 2021-06-04
  5. ^ Mead, Eileen (September 29, 1993). "Potomac Mills going all out to toast addition of major retailers to mall". The Free Lance-Star - Google News Archive Search. Retrieved 2021-06-04.
  6. ^ "Cohoes Moving to Mall in Silver Spring". The Washington Post. May 16, 1988. Archived from the original on 9 April 2016. Retrieved 2021-06-04.
  7. ^ Cook, Gina. "Leaning Potomac Mills Mall Sign Taken Down". NBC4 Washington. Retrieved 2019-05-16.
  8. ^ Staff Reports. "'Reimagined' Potomac Mills sign nears completion". Prince William Times. Retrieved 2019-05-16.

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Coordinates: 38°38′36″N 77°17′43″W / 38.6434°N 77.2953°W / 38.6434; -77.2953