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               LANDMARK MALL: ALEXANDRIA, VA

Danny Fontana's Commentary:

Posted March 23, 2005 (user submitted)

Landmark is working with the city of Alexandria to create a new outdoor mall called Landmark Village where Landmark Mall is now. There is more information here (http://www.landmarkmall.com/html/EventDetail.asp?ecd=49299).

Basically the mall would be torn down (including Lord and Taylor, which doesn't see much business). Sear's and (probably) Hecht's will remain and an outdoor town-center will be built around them including stores, restaurants, and residences. Potentially this new development could be successful, yet I don't know how rebranding the mall again will bring more people into it.

The BIG problem that I see thwarting this is the recent buy of May Dept. Stores (owners of Hecht's and Lord and Taylor) by Federated Dept. Stores (owners of Macys and Bloomingdales). Word is that Hecht's will either become Macy's or Bloomingdales. Like many other DC area malls, Landmark Mall is in a real pickle. There is a Macy's a few miles north on I-395 at Pentagon City and there is another Macy's a few miles south on I-395 at Springfield Mall. Both of these locations pull in good business, so I doubt Macy's would pull out of either of those malls and a third Macy's along I-395 would probably siphon customers from the two established locations and not increase profits for the company.

Bloomingdales would be an unlikely choice because Landmark attempted to go upscale with Lord and Taylor and it bombed.

So, unless Federated keeps Hecht's as it is, this will probably be an empty anchor space for Landmark, leaving Sears as the only anchor as the mall is rebranded.

Danny Fontana's Commentary:

Posted May 10, 2004 (user submitted)

Landmark Mall is a three-story enclosed mall in Alexandria, Virginia at the major intersection of I-395 and VA 236 (Duke Street). It is anchored by Hecht's, Sears, and Lord and Taylor.

According to generalgrowth.com (the website of the mall's owner), the Landmark complex opened in 1965. I presume its anchors at the time were originally Hecht's, Sears, and Woodward and Lothrop (Woodie's). Originally called Landmark Center, the retail complex consisted of the three anchor stores and an outdoor mall in between the anchors (I believe it was only one level). Around 1990, extensive construction took place to change the outdoor mall into an enclosed 3-level mall. When construction was completed, the anchors remained the same, but there were two full levels of mall stores and the third level consisted mostly of a food court and a few stores like Waldenbooks. The interior is nice, bright, and white with lots of windows and fountains.

By the late 1990s, the mall started to lose a few tenants and Woodward and Lothrup went out of business. One of their final stores to close was the Landmark one because it was close to a Woodies warehouse about a mile down I-395. The 3-level Woodies was quickly replaced with a JCPenney (one of the only 3-level JCPenney's I have seen). I was surprised that JCPenney took the space since there was one only a few miles down the interstate at Springfield Mall. Not surprisingly the JCPenney pulled out rather quickly.

By 2001, a considerable amount of space in the 2nd floor Sears wing of the mall was converted into an Old Navy, and 2 of the 3 levels of the former JCPenney/Woodies became a Lord and Taylor. At this point vacancy was not too bad of a problem, and some independent stores took the vacant space.

I recently went to the mall in Spring 2004, and I was surprised to see what had changed in a short time. The Sears wing on both the first and second floors is virtually dead (very few stores, most store fronts covered with walls on the first floor in that wing, the Old Navy is gone too). The third floor food court is probably half-vacant, and about the only stores on that floor are a Waldenbooks and a Video game place. The third floor of the former Woodies is still vacant. In other places in the mall there are empty store fronts here and there. A Kay Bee Toys had recently closed and the sign was being taken down.

The Hecht's and Sears were still doing pretty good business, but Lord and Taylor seemed to not have many shoppers, and the mall itself wasn't too busy. Some mall chains still present included Limited Too (but no Limited, there used to be a Limited), Claires, FYE, Waldenbooks, American Eagle, Bath and Body Works, CVS, Victoria's Secret, Gap, Anne Taylor Loft, Hallmark and Lane Bryant. In the past, I have seen Limited, Express, Saturday Matinee, Tape World, Electronics Boutique, and more.

Landmark still has two full service restaurants, a Mozzerella's American Cafe and Ruby Tuesday. There are several not-traditional tenants such as the Alexandria Dept. of Public Safety and some doctors have offices too I think. I have a lot of happy memories of the mall and hope it doesn't go under. I think the Lord and Taylor might go soon as will the Ruby Tuesday as I've seen a lot of mall branches of Ruby Tuesday move to free-standing buildings. The mall is classy looking, modern, and logically should be healthy.

I guess what surprises me is why the mall is dying...

  • It's at a major intersection in Northern Virginia.
  • None of the anchors are duplicated at the two closest malls (Pentagon City and Springfield Mall).
  • The area/demographics have not gone down hill.
  • Hecht's and Sear's still attract a lot of business.

Maybe the strangest irony of this mall is that in this day of the popularity of "main street" town center type outdoor malls, there is a proposal to convert Landmark into this type of center, which is what Landmark was until 1990.

Photos:





Mall Info:

Landmark Mall
5801 Duke Street, Suite D-108
Alexandria, Virginia 22304
(703) 354-8405

Mall Hours:
Monday-Saturday: 10:00 am - 9:30 pm
Sunday: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm

Links:

www.LandMarkMall.com - mall's web site
Storetrax Site Plan










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