The Year of the Mall Redevelopment

  • December 23rd 2021

by Nena Perry-Brown

While the DC area continues to transition to a new pandemic-era status quo, the time has come once again for UrbanTurf to reflect on the state of real estate over the past year. This week, we refresh our collective memory with a 2021 Year-in-Review series.

Considering how much the brick-and-mortar retail industry has fallen off over the past several years, it comes as no surprise that a few mall redevelopments took a leap forward this year. 

In a move that came as a shot in the arm for the Friendship Heights neighborhood following a foreclosure sale on the Mazza Gallerie mall last year, news came in 2021 that the property would be redeveloped as a mix of housing and retail.

Proposals were also released for another of DC's few true enclosed malls, the Shops at Georgetown Park.

The parking garage entrance at Georgetown Park. Click to enlarge.

First, the owner of Georgetown Park applied to punch new windows out on the west side of the building in order to accommodate a potential conversion of over 128,000 square feet of retail and miscellaneous space into as many as 166 residential units. In September, the Old Georgetown Board expressed no objection to one of the proposed options. Not long after that, the building owner also filed for zoning approval to convert a long-vacant below-grade retail space into a 125-unit self-storage facility; a hearing is scheduled for February.

A similar, yet more ambitious proposal is further along the road to approval in Prince George's County, as the Planning Board approved a site plan amendment in October to create 90,000 square feet of below-grade self-storage space at The Mall at Prince George's.

Proposed Macy's redevelopment in Ballston. Click to enlarge.

Over in Arlington County, the recently-rechristened Ballston Quarter has undergone a renaissance and repositioning of its own, including with new housing, and the work is not yet done. In July, plans emerged to raze and replace the Macy's department store/office that once anchored the Ballston Mall with a two-phase, 16-story development, delivering 555 apartments and a grocery store. 

Building 1B at new entrance to Beltway Plaza. Click to enlarge.

Some of the most massive plans to emerge for an area mall lately are back in Prince George’s County, however, at Beltway Plaza in Greenbelt.

Redevelopment plans have been progressing for the past few years to deliver 2,500 residential units and 700,000 square feet of reconfigured commercial space to the 54-acre site. This September, the county Planning Board voted to approve the site plan application for the first phase of the project, which would add 750 apartments, 92 hotel rooms, and open space and plazas to the surface parking north of the mall.

Considering that 3 million square feet of development was also approved last year for the site of Montgomery Mall, and that plans have long been up in the air to restore and reconfigure Union Station, it seems unlikely that the mall makeover momentum will lose steam next year.

See other articles related to: year in review 2021

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the-year-of-the-mall-redevelopment/19066.

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