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Which Store Will Be Last To Leave White Flint Mall?

More small shops eye possible exits; Bruno Cipriani may move to Chevy Chase.

First it was of its bankruptcy filing. Then , the classy Italian menswear firm, announced its plans to close and move to a new location. Then disclosed in January that White Flint was on its list of planned closures. But, more store have started leaving including most recently, .

Which will be the next store to pull out of the White Flint Mall, scheduled to close in 2014 for a total ‘revamp’ and re-creation as a multi-use town center?

When walking through White Flint these days, there's an increasing number of vacant storefronts and seemingly a smaller number of customers.

Bruno Cipriani remains open, but will close its White Flint store within the next few months and move to a new location in Chevy Chase, retail sources told Patch.

Godiva Chocolate has closed along with , , , , and the

In all fairness, many stores look likely to stay.

H&M, the trendy Swedish retailer, plans to open three new stores: in Chevy Chase (Friendship Heights), downtown Silver Spring and on King Street in Alexandria in October. But it plans to remain at White Flint, according to the store manager.

consolidated at White Flint early this year after closing its store at the Chevy Chase Pavilion in Friendship Heights, so a quick exit there appears unlikely.

Asked to provide an exact number of vacancies at the mall, spokeswoman Karen Doyne, of Burson-Marsteller for Lerner Enterprises, responded with a general comment on the forthcoming transition process.

“The redevelopment of the mall requires an extended planning and approval process,” Doyne stated in an e-mail to Patch Thursday evening.  “As such we don’t have a specific timetable for the transition.

“We will continue to manage and operate a first class, high fashion, regional shopping mall,” she added.                          

Plans for the future of White Flint have been presented in outline form.  They appear intriguing, though they are difficult to envision given the current look and feel of the place.

In a nutshell, .

The revamped site will cover 52 million square feet and include commercial buildings, a 300-room hotel and residential buildings. Urban planners suggest the area will look more like Bethesda 15 to 20 years from now. 

The existing mall is on three levels and covers 800,000 square feet, so much of the new development will be in what now are the mall's parking lots.

What do you think?  Will these grandiose plans work?  Or is this pie-in-the sky?  And which will be the next store to pull out of White Flint? And the last to turn out the lights?         

andrea October 11, 2013 at 09:16 PM
What's old is new again. I recall back in the early 80's the trend in some areas locally to build 'mews', little alley ways w/ boutique type shops to put out that nostalgic quaint feeling. Yup, that lasted until peopel realized they couldn't just pull their car up to the storefront but needed to walk. Inclement weather, ah - not thanks. Fast forward - now shopping online is on the increase - saves times, gas on many items and seems this area is just over retailed with more of the same onslaught coming. Rockville Pike's plan with a vast introduction of re-development moving in the direction of up up up - the vertical in lieu of horizontal brings denser living, more traffic and of course more revenue. Hello Montgomery County! Honestly the people that are put into position to make these life altering decisions for the future and tie in projects w/ developers boggles the mind. I cannot fathom how Rockville Pike will be able to accomodate even more traffic as it doesn't appear it could handle much more unless it was a double decker roadway. The people I know that live in Rockville Town Center, where apartments rent for $3,000 a month where parking is a premium and noise levels are deafening is not some place I want to live. I grew up in old, little suburban community to DC, Bethesda. Don't even know where I am when I get there - and there's usually a parking ticket involved. No thanks.
Vijay Umesh Tonse December 23, 2013 at 08:58 AM
Whatever is proposed will work only if, in addition to free parking or affordable parking, frequent transit services ( Ride On or Shuttles or whatever ) also connect the White Flint Mall ( present and future ) with the White Flint Metro Station and with all the Office areas within at least a 5 mile ( and probably a 10 mile ) radius of the White Flint Mall. You need foot traffic ? It should be easy for people on foot to get to the White Flint Mall and back in the area I have just described, comfortably, efficiently, and either free of charge or very inexpensively, regardless of the Weather conditions. From areas further away, they will come by bus and Metro Rail. The shuttle from the White Flint Metro Station ( and from all the Offices and homes in the area I have described above ), should take visitors to the Mall right up to the Main Entrance ( and /or a similarly convenient entrance ) so that the weather conditions should not matter. A small, electric vehicle service, such as with a Golf Cart or two, should connect the Bus Stop ( Ride On or Metro or whatever ) on Rockville Pike to one or more covered, comfortable entrances to the Mall. One large , and rapidly growing market worth looking into : Baby Boomers, many of whom have some difficulty in walking about in large Malls. Relatively inexpensive mobility scooters such as exist at the Newseum ( go there to find out about them ), some of which also have shopping baskets attached, as found in some grocery stores, will make the Baby Boomers and a lot of disabled people love White Flint Mall. Remember, a lot of Baby Boomers are also getting Social Security and Pensions, 401k distributions etc. in addition to any other incomes they may have from any present occupations. Many of these people have already finished spending their basic commitments on children ( College, weddings, etc., ) and also have some disposable income. Baby Boomers ( as also persons with disabilities ) also tend to have more time on their hands and many would love the opportunity to socialize and hang out with similar people, maybe indulge in some hobbies !! Even much more so if they find that it is easy to get to the Mall and to move around in it to all the floors, without any hassles. I myself am currently 67 1/2 years old, overweight ( although I am working on this!) and hobble around with a cane. However, I am also an Engineer and a Professional Materials Manager by original training and have several years experience in one branch or the other of the Materials Management and Transportation industry and retired from Ride On at the end of November 2012. I live in Kensington Maryland ( about 5-10 minutes from the White Flint Mall, depending on Traffic and Weather ) and also have a Post Retirement Occupation as a Substitute Teacher with Montgomery County Public Schools and would be happy to be of assistance to the Authorities of White Flint Mall and /or the Lerner Group in developing suitable Transit and Mobility plans which will endear such Malls to large numbers of people, in a manner which will be relatively inexpensive. I may be contacted at vijay.tonse@gmail.com.
Marty Chase December 29, 2013 at 09:14 AM
I wrote this article nearly two years ago, so it is obviously completely out of date. In addition, the editing was badly botched and never corrected. I have made numerous pleas to various Patch editors to update and correct the editing errors. All have been ignored. If you want to read an even older story on White Flint, see 'From Magnin, to Borders, to Vacant' which ran on Kensington Patch early in 2011 when Patch actually tried to cover the news!
donna smith December 30, 2013 at 01:27 PM
perhaps the article was so badly written, the editing staff gave up!
Charles Roberts February 03, 2014 at 02:13 AM
I was safety officer for company pouring all the concrete for garage, floors, walls, etc. when built. If they intend to tear all this down it will be tough going. Who has the plans for the new part? I'd like to see what's going to be next.

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