Andrew Pakula's Commentary

Posted April 29, 2006 (user submitted)

Manassas Mall, located in the heart of Manassas Virginia, a suburb of Washington D.C. has been the annoying blight that refuses to die or adapt to the changing consumer landscape.

This one-level Mall opened in 1972 with a Montgomery Wards and Leggett as the main anchors along with an 8 screen cinema, it was renovated and an addition added on the western quadrant in 1986 for Sears and a Hecht's opened up on the eastern end; another renovation took place in 1997, things looked promising, and there were even rumors that management wanted to add a second story.

As the rumors persisted, the rent went up. Then the cinema went bust, and remainded boarded up for quite some time, eventually the space was chopped up and H&M moved in along with a couple other little stores. The interior is has failed to change though, sticking with the dreaded turquoise decor. When Montgomery Wards closed, the entire west wing of the mall was almost deserted after Sears relocated to the Wards space since it had the roadside appeal. The mall gained temporary new life with the addition of a Target to the mall, and recently the mall has been trying to woo Wal-Mart to demolish the west wing of the mall and put Supercenter Wal-Mart in its place. The mall still has 4 anchors, two of which are still in doubt, Target and Sears have no trouble getting customers with their proximity to the main drag Sudley Rd. While Hecht's and JC Penney's still have low sales, along with the interior stores who struggle to to just pay the monthly rent to the property management. The Supercenter Wal-Mart, if its coming will not be built until the summer of 2006/. Stores closings outnumber the new arrivals, as the mall is surrounded by outdoor strip malls with little to no vacancy issues and standalone box retailers closer to the interstate.

Viewing their website reveals the amount of vacant space, though not truly up to date, as when I last went through, I counted 26 empty store fronts and a sparsley populated food court. Even the customer service desk was dismantled along with most of the fountains and plant space, replaced by either tile floor or vending machines and kiddie quarter rides.

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