Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Click here to read Part 1 of this series, featuring a White Flint Mall demolition photo gallery.

Is this a postapocalyptic movie set?

No, it's the last chapter of White Flint Mall, in Bethesda, Maryland.  These are the abandoned stores, corridors, and escalators of a thriving mall intentionally driven over the cliff by its ownership.

Empty spaces that represent many dozen lost jobs and dashed dreams in the Montgomery County we're told is "open for business."

And, as I mentioned yesterday, a perfectly good structure being demolished for the uncertain promise of bigger developer profits tomorrow. Greed is good.

"Enjoy" this photo tour of the dark side of the White Flint sector plan you don't hear about much from the local press.


Anonymous said...

Robert- have to disagree. WhiteFlint was a dumpy mall, with sub-par shops. The food court was terrible, movie theater atrocious, parking a nightmare. What's so great about trying to preserve a mall built in the late 70's and why is that something to rant about? Just b/c the building was not falling down, doesn't mean it was a good thing and replacing it with something walkable is not a vast improvement. Lost jobs? How about the many new jobs that will be created by the influx of new construction and then the eventual replacement of new stores and restaurants? Your implying they are tearing down a paradise to build a parking lot. No body goes to whiteflint b/c its a sub-oiptimal mall and stores came and went b/c of perpetual low-traffic. Lastly, free enterprise. The owners have a right to do what they want with their property as well. It's not like this was a civic park. Your coming across as anti-business and even if you disagree with that notion...the community is not better served by having a large sprawling outdated mall versus whatever else goes in its place.

Robert Dyer said...

I just personally think malls and suburbs are viable. I respect if other people feel differently. White Flint has a nice architectural design, and the overall aesthetic of the building and entrance off 355 really enhanced the White Flint area.

I've always been more of a Montgomery Mall person, but have been to WF quite a bit over the years. Westfield, Tysons and Simon at Arundel Mills have reinvested in their malls, and aren't giving up. Lerner is going with the trends, but what happens if there's a condo crash?

I doubt the many Bethesda businesses who get free exposure on my blog daily would describe me as anti-business. With the candidates county business groups have backed - and their massive tax and regulations records in office - "anti-business" is apparently a rewarding thing to be.

Ultimately, this is sort of a done deal, and I'm simply sharing some photos and my opinions on the end of a local mall. My preferences are not going to prevent the demolition. Thanks for sharing another perspective however. It certainly adds to the value of the discussion here.

Anonymous said...

yes, you are certainly not anti-business. i meant to say anti-development in some of your posts. though i have nothing to do with development in my career. i think tax breaks for businesses around here are critical and healthy. lets face it- MD is so anti-business friendly as to hamper the growth of montgomery county compared to NoVA and DC.

Robert Dyer said...

Someone certainly could get that impression if they just drop in to a critical post. Taxes are one of those things related to development I've criticized - the council has been crushing businesses with the energy tax, but then give developers a $72M tax cut in White Flint. At the same time, I actually like the 3 JBG projects in White Flint architecturally.