City Paper is not for tourists
Georgetown Dish says a number of retailers at the Shops at Georgetown Park being asked to vacate the 300,000 square foot mall in a hurry (including the National Pinball Museum, which had already lost its lease and is hoping to win an extra game in Baltimore):
“What’s the rush to get out? What’s the story?” asked one resident, worried at the prospect of an empty commercial space that could attract crime. “It will take six to eight months to get any plans through the ANC. Meanwhile, Vornado has told us nothing.”
One resident who had a storage area in the complex was told to clear out in two days.
Vornado also manages Springfield Mall, which Georgetown neighbors said has been plagued by crime.
While crime is a valid fear, the mall is already little more than a dark cavern these days. There’s now talk of Target leasing space in the mall, presumably after some renovation. Lydia DePillis wrote about the state of the shopping center, and Georgetown itself, last year:
When the elaborate retail palace opened in 1981, it pulled in dozens of stores that relocated from nearby sidewalks—which, in turn, brought the incongruous souvenir shops that still eke out a living in the new commercial landscape to M Street, replacing the shops that moved into the mall. In the 1980s, busloads of Japanese tourists used to pull up to the mall, unload en masse to shop, pile back in the bus, and leave.
Now, though, local landlord Richard Levy estimates the building needs to spend more than it’s even worth on deferred maintenance. A big anchor retailer like Bloomingdale’s, which was put off by the ongoing litigation, may not be willing to pay the kind of rents that would pay that back quickly. And perhaps more importantly, a huge indoor mall, in the middle of a dense urban neighborhood, is out of step with what shoppers want.
Photo by Saikofish via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License