Thursday, August 22, 2019

White Flint Mall site reclaimed by nature (Photos)

The Dark Side of White Flint, Part 44

Welcome to The Dark Side of White Flint, an ongoing series about the not-so-wonnerful, wonnerful, wonnerful side of urbanizing the suburbs of Montgomery County.

The former site of White Flint Mall has been reclaimed by nature. Several years have passed since the mall was demolished, and now it is an overgrown field guarded by hyperaggressive security. Perhaps they fear a giant rabbit may jump the fence and munch on the vegetation. The heady greed that led the owners to pull the plug on a fully-leased mall, with crowded parking lots and popular restaurants, has dissipated. Replacing it is stagnation and malaise. And lots of weeds.
An area touted as Montgomery County's answer to Tysons fell victim to MoCo's moribund economy, corrupt and incompetent County Council, and hostile business climate. Tysons is booming, while White Flint Mall's former site is only blooming with weeds and brush. Developers and investors have fled, abandoning or downsizing their plans. Only Federal Realty moved forward with a fully-realized development, leading their CEO, Don Wood, to criticize County officials for not delivering on their end of the bargain in White Flint.
The Montgomery County Council hasn't taken a single action to address our economic development crisis since taking office last December, as MoCo stagnates with the lowest-ranked economy in the region by every relevant measure. No major corporation has moved its headquarters to Montgomery County in over twenty years. County taxes are at an all-time high, but tax revenue is declining, as the ultra-rich flee to lower-tax jurisdictions in the region.

Yet our elected officials have decided to simply put a piece of carpet tape over the "Check Engine" light screaming at them from the civic dashboard. It's intriguing that Lerner is compelled to provide entertainment for the public on a future development site they own in bustling Tysons, but here the Council allows them to leave us an overgrown field. That says a lot about the difference between the two jurisdictions, and the competency of their respective leadership.

This stretch of Rockville Pike looks
exactly the same as it did over nine years
ago, when the White Flint sector plan passed

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your coverage of the County's economy, but I'd appreciate it more if you would try using synonyms for the overused "moribund", please. The "I told you so" vibe is strong here. We get it.

Tom Andrews said...

This would have been a good spot for pop up events, such as a temporary summer drive-in theater, Oktoberfest, etc.

Lerner and the local civic orgs should use some creativity given how long this open space has been there.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to Dyer's series on "The Dark Side of Landmark Mall".

Or "The Dark Side of Macy's at the Tysons Galleria".

Anonymous said...

8:53 AM Did anyone think they were going to keep two full Macy's operating in malls across the street from each other?

Anonymous said...

@ 8:59 AM -

Well, they managed to do just that, for 13 years.

Seems like it would have been better if they had moved Bloomingdales out of Tysons I to the Macy's site back then. It would have been a better fit for both malls.

Anonymous said...

9:02: STFU SOY BOY

Anonymous said...

9:04 AM Agree and yes, they've had this arrangement for awhile post Hecht Company being merged into Macy's. Made more sense when it was Hecht's in Tysons Corner Center and Macy's in Galleria.

Skippy said...

Meanwhile, Lord & Taylor continues to operate, even refreshing some of the departments recently.

Anonymous said...

@ 08:35 - Or "The Dark Side of Nordstrom's at Dulles Town Center".

Even being next to Dulles Airport is not enough to prevent moribundity.

Anonymous said...

Skippy -

The future of the entire Lord & Taylor's chain is very uncertain at this time. They recently sold their Fifth Avenue store to WeWork. The owner, Hudson's Bay Company, which also owns Saks Fifth Avenue, is exploring selling the chain.

And three stores in this region in particular are at risk of closure - the one in White Flint, the one in Chevy Chase DC (which is near the Saks Fifth Avenue store), and the one in Dulles Town Center. The store in Lakeforest will close on September 5.

I look forward to the closing of the White Flint store. It will be just desserts for their blocking the redevelopment of the mall site.

Anonymous said...

More green space! Yay!

Anonymous said...

A forest of beautiful trees would be perfect for the environment!

Anonymous said...

This was a Pizza Hut. Now it's all covered in daisies!

Anonymous said...

"It's intriguing that Lerner is compelled to provide entertainment for the public on a future development site they own in bustling Tysons."

Where does it say this in the article?

And what would you propose that the County do to remedy the situation at the White Flint Mall site? Evict Lord & Taylor?

However this was interesting:

"Michael Caplin, president of the Tysons Partnership, a marketing group formed by area developers, said it’s no surprise that the area is adding more attractions now that more people are living in Tysons. Three 400-unit apartment buildings opened in the past 18 months, bringing hundreds of new residents to the area."

Anonymous said...

@ 11:57 PM - You're thinking of Sbarro's (which was actually on the second floor), LOL. The Hut is over on Nicholson.

Anonymous said...

Tysons has Cirque du Soleil for a two month run; North Bethesda had a "one man circus" for two nights

Anonymous said...

Waiting for the Sierra Club to place an endangered bug/animal on the site like they did to delay the construction of the ICC. Wonder if Dyer is a member?

Anonymous said...

Just saw an ad for Uber on another Montgomery County blog. Love the way Robert spins the fact no business will buy ad space on his little blogs as a good thing.
Funny and pathetic all at the same time.

Anonymous said...

2:01pm When your content sucks, I guess you tout your banner ads instead. LOL

Anonymous said...

I got a Peloton ad, among others, when watching Dyer's Silver Diner Rio video.

Peloton sponsoring Dyer's video content makes sense given his coverage of Bethesda.

Anonymous said...

2:24 PM Great, and only, video first look. And sponsored by Peloton!

Anonymous said...

Yea 2:09 Robert’s content is a sack of shit

Anonymous said...

2:38 PM Try telling that to all of the adults he's inspired to spend so much time at mall food courts, driving up and down strip malls looking for signs, etc. LOL

Roald said...

No other local content creator has sponsors like Peloton. Robert is reaching their type of customer. No surprise given how affluent and active Dyer's readership is.

Anonymous said...

"No other local content creator has sponsors like Peloton. Robert is reaching their type of customer. No surprise given how affluent and active Dyer's readership is."

YouTube advertising sponsors and recipients don't necessarily choose each other. YouTube assigns them randomly. YouTube ads are primarily for the benefit of YouTube (i.e. Google).

And this still doesn't answer the question of why Dyer can't get any paid ads on any of his SNN blogs.

And there is no documentation of Dyer's readership numbers, let alone how Dyer "knows" that they are supposedly greater than other local sites. However based on Facebook activity, Dyer's readership appears to be in the low hundreds while other local news sites are mostly in the tens of thousands.

Anonymous said...

3:52pm YouTube sponsors are definitely not "random". Dyer has Peloton and others sponsoring his content.

These are premium brands.

Anonymous said...

Why would Peloton voluntarily support someone like Robert Dyer who has never exercised in his life and subsists on a diet of junk food?

Anonymous said...

4:13pm you made a bunch of inaccurate statements without evidence.

It's all about Dyer's premium content and premium audience for Peloton.

Anonymous said...

"Dyer's premium content"

Watching a partially-chewed chicken nugget fall out of Dyer's mouth as he babbles on his zero-affect, nasal monotone.

Anonymous said...

4:28pm we get it. You don't like the video and you've posted the same lame insults several times already this week.

But you're in the minority based in YouTube likes. And Silver Diner, Peloton, etc love it. Letting folks know about a new restaurant in MoCo.

Anonymous said...

YouTube is for illiterates.

Anonymous said...

"YouTube advertising sponsors and recipients don't necessarily choose each other. YouTube assigns them randomly. YouTube ads are primarily for the benefit of YouTube (i.e. Google)."

Not just sponsors and recipients, but viewers as well. Two people viewing the same video don't necessarily receive the same ads.

Anonymous said...

Again, YouTube ads are not "randomly" shown. Google does nothing "random" when it comes to ads. Location and who your audience is matters.

Anna said...

They are targeted based on your data. Everyone sees different ads and videos.

lilkunta said...

Dear 1058 Anonymous:
Skippy is right and I bet Lerner is kicking themselves

L&T didnt block the redevelopment.
Lerner could have redeveloped with L&T as anchor and refused!
Lerner made the contract in 1975 with L&T "to maintain a 1st class mall thru 2042" and Lerner didnt when Bloomingdales closed, DaveBuster was evicted, PFChang closed.

Lerner didnt even have guaranteed funding but wanted L&T to close!

And look at it now 4 years later NO CONSTRUCTION!
Lerner doesnt think the hotel, office buildings it wants to build, and the 2,500 apts it wants to build would enjoy shopping @ L&T?

Lerner fvked up. Both District and Circuit court correctly found in L&T's favour, thus Lerner having to pay L&T $31,000,000( 31 million $)!
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
10:58 AM Skippy -

The future of the entire Lord & Taylor's chain is very uncertain at this time. They recently sold their Fifth Avenue store to WeWork. The owner, Hudson's Bay Company, which also owns Saks Fifth Avenue, is exploring selling the chain.

And three stores in this region in particular are at risk of closure - the one in White Flint, the one in Chevy Chase DC (which is near the Saks Fifth Avenue store), and the one in Dulles Town Center. The store in Lakeforest will close on September 5.

I look forward to the closing of the White Flint store. It will be just desserts for their blocking the redevelopment of the mall site.