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Capital Business
Posted at 11:59 AM ET, 10/27/2011

What to do with White Flint Mall?

As we detail at length here, the redevelopment of White Flint has begun and there is much more coming.

White Flint’s major commercial property owners are local, well-capitalized and share a vision for a more urban Rockville Pike. They own large plots of land, which negates the expensive and time-consuming task of buying and assembling smaller lots.

But there is still White Flint Mall, the largest property in White Flint, owned by Lerner Enterprises and the Tower Cos.

Built in 1977 and renovated in 2004, White Flint Mall remains one of the top shopping attractions in the region, with 800,000 square feet of offerings located along a major corridor in a very wealthy county. It has Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor, The Gap, Banana Republic, Williams-Sonoma, Dave & Busters and an AMC Loews movie theater. CoStar lists it as 100 percent leased and don’t you dare try to get into The Cheesecake Factory on a Saturday without a reservation.

The mall is surrounded, however, by surface parking lots, which are of increasing value as development sites as White Flint urbanizes. Other owners nearby, particularly Federal Realty Investment Trust and JBG Rosenfeld Retail, are already gearing up development plans that will work on a grid of streets — which don’t work with a mall.

Redeveloping the mall itself is made difficult by the fact that Bloomingdale’s and Lord & Taylor own their spaces. But as shown in these images from the White Flint Sector Plan(one with the existing site and one with potential future uses) buildings as high as 250 feet are envisioned for area adjacent to the mall, as well as new streets and possibly an elementary school or a park. We should know more in coming months, when Lerner and Tower are expected to submit a sketch plan to the county.

By  |  11:59 AM ET, 10/27/2011

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