Dan Rosenbluth's Commentary

Posted January 7, 2013

The Frederick Towne Mall is about as close to death as a mall can get without actually being dead. The two anchors--Home Depot and Boscov's--are still alive, but the mall itself is kept open pretty much solely for the benefit of its one surviving store, a Hallmark store that's not even fully stocked these days (it's both sad and amusing to read the Web site, which is now more or less completely fictitious). The halls are run-down and filthy, with posters still in their frames advertising sales that expired years ago, and half of it has been blocked off from public access. For all intents and purposes, the mall is dead; the last I heard, the plan was to demolish it, although I have no idea what the owners plan to do with the real estate afterward.

Shane Shaffer's Commentary

Posted May 23, 2011 (user submitted July 7, 2003)

Located on "The Golden Mile", the formerly bustling strip of shopping center after shopping center has been showing a lot of corrosion for a while. The mall was the attraction at the end of the strip, but the first big blow came when Montgomery Wards closed (though I might argue it was never the same after the Woolworths closed in the 80s). Not long after, the JC Penneys transitioned their store to just being home furnishings and such, with the bulk of the business going to their long co-existing store at the cross-town Francis Scott Key Mall. That didn't last too long, as the JC Penneys eventually closed. The mall was partially renovated in 1995 and the lone remaining anchor Bon Ton renovated a few years later. Today the mall is pretty quiet when you visit, especially compared to the aforementioned other mall in town. The store directory (see below) is looking a bit slim to my eyes, with some of the stores listed being outparcels that I never really associated with the mall.

Brandon Magaha's Commentary

Posted May 23, 2011 (user submitted August 22, 2009)

This is a mall that is on its way out and it has been for years. I have been going to it for almost twenty years. Over that time I have seen an evolution of the town that seems to account for the downfall of the mall.

There are two malls in Frederick, MD and if someone would have asked ten years ago which one would have crumbled, I would have chosen the other one (the Francis Scott Key Mall) because the Frederick Towne Mall is located in the middle of a large shopping area called the Golden Mile. Frederick is about fifty miles from Washington D.C. and has become a favorite spot for people to live and commute to the capital for work. Due to this metropolitan sprawl, there has been extensive residential and commercial development in Western Maryland, Southern Pennsylvania and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.

There has been a great amount of development in Frederick but it has mainly happened in the area around the Francis Scott Key Mall. Over the past few years, that area has seen businesses like Wal Mart, Target, Borders, Best Buy, Kohls, a new movie theater, numerous restaurants and many others have sprung up. The Golden Mile area (around the Frederick Towne Mall) has seen some turn over but nothing as drastic as that on the other side of town. I hypothesize that this is the main reason that the Francis Scott Key Mall (while being rather small) has thrived while the Frederick Towne Mall has not.

The Frederick Towne Mall is at about half occupancy with about twenty stores. The lots that have vendors include a handful of chain stores like FYE, Payless shoes, Sub Way, GNC, Fashion Bug, Hallmark, CVS Pharmacy and Radio Shack. The other stores make up an eclectic blend of retailers such as an "As Seen on TV" merchandiser, discount product stores, a tailor, a hair salon, etc. There is also an old Hoyts Cinema and a Pocket Change arcade which formerly occupied a large store area but now has only a few machines in a corner store. The few machines are placed in front of old counters and cabinets that were never removed when the old renter vacated the space.

The mall was set up for three anchor stores. One is a Bon Ton that is split into two locations that are set up on both sides of the hallway in the center of the mall. One end of the mall had a Montgomery Wards that closed down several years ago. The area is now filled by a Home Depot and there is no longer access from inside the mall. The other end of the mall houses the structure's lone bright spot, a Boscov's department store that was built a few years. The Boscov's is large and still very new looking and is the complete opposite to the dreary, rundown appearance of the rest of the facility.

Its depressing to see a place that you have been going to for a number of years take a nose dive. The mall is still limping along even though it is a shell of its former self.

Jerry Nelson's Commentary

Posted May 23, 2011 (user submitted May 1, 2011)

I just visited this mall for the first time and it is near death. It is down to one Anchor store - Boscov's and two smaller stores - Radio Shack and Hallmark. That is all!

Bon-Tons just left in January 2011. They were there since 1972 - the year the mall opened.

Changing demographics, a poor economy, and competition with a nearby mall and box stores have sealed the fate of this mall. One worker said the owner kept it open for "tax write-offs", another was "bored". I should say so! This place is essentially an abandoned, large mall. It never had a food court. It seems dangerous and scary inside. So sad to see what was a nice mall fall into a dire state. One worker said it used to be packed with shoppers. I guess the economy was the final straw. The entire area seems depressed and unable to support a thriving mall.

Frederick Tone Mall will likely not survive much longer.

Links - Frederick Town Mall Official Web site - directory
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