Once the economic juggernaut of suburbia, enclosed malls are slowly dying all across America. The Washington region is no exception.
I set out to map all the malls in the D.C. area. In so doing, I discovered that 17 out of the region’s 42 malls are either closed or in the process of closing. That’s 40 percent.
The reasons so many malls have closed vary as much as the malls themselves. Some closed because they were housed in cheap buildings that simply reached the end of their intended lifespans, while others couldn’t compete with the mixed-use town center developments that have become common in recent years.
Geography seems to be unimportant in whether a mall lives or dies. Closed malls cover every corner of the region, regardless of wealth.
One thing that does seem to make a difference is size. Larger malls that draw from a wider area seem more likely to thrive than smaller ones.
For a peak at the map showing all 42 malls, click through to my blog, BeyondDC.
Dan Malouff is an Arlington County transportation planner who blogs independently at BeyondDC.com. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.