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Home > General Discussion > What Up With Ballston Mall?…Well Whats Not Up with Ballston Mall

What Up With Ballston Mall?…Well Whats Not Up with Ballston Mall
  • MissKittenCat August 19, 2011 - 12:03 pm #44128 Reply

    Is anything going on with Ballston Mall? I went there to see Harry Potter with a few friends. Man Oh Man was that mall dry. It's dying  a slow deathCry. Are they planning to revamp it. I mean the bars/restaurants, Kettlers and the Movie theater are about the only thing worth going to. I think there are  about 5 ACTUAL stores inside the mall. Are the working on anything?Confused

    Bluemontsince1961 August 19, 2011 - 12:10 pm #44129 Reply

    It's that way much of the time.  The old Parkington Mall that was there years ago (I'm a native of Arlington) had a lot more overall activity.  I'd say that a majority of cars in the garage are commuters that park and ride Metro during the week or on weekends people who park and ride Metro to the city to see the museums, etc.  Ballston Common has been on life support for a long time.

    MissKittenCat August 19, 2011 - 12:14 pm #44130 Reply

    Thats a shame. I've lived here for 18 years now and the only thing i have seen going on at ballston is the college night and teenday I took my nephew to and the ABBA flash mob a few years ago.

    CrystalMikey August 19, 2011 - 12:36 pm #44131 Reply

    It's a shame it is the way it is.  Both it and Landmark in Alexandria are in prime locations, yet just sit there dying outside of the places you've mentioned (in Ballston's case at least).

    Bluemontsince1961 August 19, 2011 - 1:06 pm #44132 Reply

    I rarely shop at Ballston Common, unlike the old Parkington.  That's a shame in a way because that is the closest mall to me (Seven Corners a close second). I can walk to Ballston Commons from my house in Bluemont in about 20 minutes.  I sometimes go to Seven Corners for Barnes & Noble, Home Depot or Old Virginia tobacco, but most of the time I either go to Pentagon City or Tysons.  Since I work across from Tysons, that is convenient for me during my lunch hour.  Once in a while I go to Market Common in Clarendon for Joseph A. Bank (though the J.A. Bank in McLean is convenient for me during lunch time) or Barnes & Noble.  There was something posted sometime ago about possible renovations/updates to Ballston Common, if I recall. It is sad because the old Parkington had a lot more stores and until the last couple of years or so of its existence, it always seemed to be doing brisk business.

    Bluemontsince1961 August 19, 2011 - 1:07 pm #44133 Reply

    I used to shop and Landmark and Springfield Mall and back in the day, those were great.  Landmark is mostly a ghost town and Springfield Mall has a lot of problems with gangs – at least those are the reports on the 'net – and I haven't been there in many years.

    Aaron August 19, 2011 - 2:33 pm #44134 Reply

    When Macy's bought Hecht's, that was the death blow for BCM. Even before that, shopping at the Mall was unpleasant due to the fact that the overwhelming majority of the people at the Mall were just wandering around aimlessly with seemingly no intent to buy anything. 

     

    Now the non-shopping-related amenities are the only reason to go to Ballston over P-City. The mall's own anchor store would probably rather close down the location rather than contribute anything to revamping it.

    billj August 19, 2011 - 7:52 pm #44135 Reply

    I practically live across the street from the “dirt mall” and I can't remember the last time I stepped foot in there…  seriously.

    chipotle_addict August 21, 2011 - 9:00 pm #44136 Reply

    I like the Comedy Spot, and occasionally the theater has a movie showtime more convenient than other nearby movie theaters, but I'’d agree that the mall is useless otherwise.

    Penrosey August 22, 2011 - 1:45 pm #44137 Reply

    I still visit Ballston Common on occasion, usually to see a movie or visit Rock Bottom. On my very first visit to the mall, there was a stabbing which left a bloody trail all throughout the ground floor and up the escalator. I didn't see the blood until I almost stepped in it, at which point we all carefully walked around it, only to be yelled at by a security guard to stop “looking at it”. I have also seen a rather monstrous NYC-sized roach by the snack bar in the movie theatre. Fun times!

    JA4 August 24, 2011 - 3:30 pm #44138 Reply

    Ballston Commons used to be pretty badass back in the late 80s: Britches, American Eagle, Benetton, the Fudgery, Record Town, etc. It was also one of the first area malls to have a food court. Then Pentagon City opened a year or two after the Ballston renovation, and Tysons II opened. And Pentagon City and Tysons had movie theaters and free or really cheap parking…. Tysons had better sit-down restaurants (Shakey's, Farrell's, etc). So, Ballston Commons' decline was slow, but inevitable. Not even the addition of the then innovative movie theater with stadium seating or the Caps facility could save it.

    The Hechts and Penny's at Ballston were good mid-range dept stores but as Northern Va grew in affluence, Woodies, Nordstroms, L&Taylor, and even Macy's became the prerequisites for any viable mall. 

    Forest City should tear down the outdated mall and build a unique mixed-use neighborhood like that city-center DC development that is under construction at the old DC convention center site. And they need a team of architects and planners with vision. 

    PhilL August 29, 2011 - 9:01 am #44139 Reply

    John said:

    Ballston Commons used to be pretty badass back in the late 80s: Britches, American Eagle, Benetton, the Fudgery, Record Town, etc. It was also one of the first area malls to have a food court. Then Pentagon City opened a year or two after the Ballston renovation, and Tysons II opened. And Pentagon City and Tysons had movie theaters and free or really cheap parking…. Tysons had better sit-down restaurants (Shakey's, Farrell's, etc). So, Ballston Commons' decline was slow, but inevitable. Not even the addition of the then innovative movie theater with stadium seating or the Caps facility could save it.

    The Hechts and Penny's at Ballston were good mid-range dept stores but as Northern Va grew in affluence, Woodies, Nordstroms, L&Taylor, and even Macy's became the prerequisites for any viable mall. 

    Forest City should tear down the outdated mall and build a unique mixed-use neighborhood like that city-center DC development that is under construction at the old DC convention center site. And they need a team of architects and planners with vision. 

    They had a Britches, AND a Britches Great Outdoors.  Oh, those were the salad days.

    novasteve August 29, 2011 - 9:38 am #44140 Reply

    Is the problem more of its size? it's a really tiny mall. Even larger ones, i would think, probably are worse. Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg. Was pretty nice when I was growing up, now its, eh, not so nice.. I don't fear for my safety going to Ballston Mall. Even back in the early 1990s I knew people who ere not only attacked outside of Lakeforest, but inside. I can only imagine things are worse now.

    Rick August 29, 2011 - 10:31 am #44141 Reply

    I don't go in there without some form of self-defense mechanism on me after sundown. It's primary function is a lunch mall, yet they can't seem to keep basic pillars of mall food-courtery (like a pizza place) open for very long. Not really sure how that Auntie Annes stays afloat. Terrible CVS, and Baileys is the Double Deuce most nights. The Starbucks and Chick Fil A seem to keep that place alive by themselves. I think any renovations should involve street-facing restaurants along Wilson (not just crappy Chevys), with the stores inside. The Shops along Crystal Drive seem to have grasped this concept. No one would want to stop in there if they were driving down wilson and saw a shuttered spa, a cap one, cvs…. Light the street up. Neon, patios, outdoor bar maybe?

     

    Maybe some premium retailers incited with VERY cheap rent (Art of Shaving, Crabtree & Evelyn, Fossil etc) would help attract other premium retailers. The people living around there have plenty of money, and no problem driving somewhere else to spend it. Arlington should be more proactive in pushing renovations, its a big piece of non-tax revenue-generating land going to waste..

    Bluemontsince1961 August 29, 2011 - 11:40 am #44142 Reply

    novasteve said:

    Is the problem more of its size? it's a really tiny mall. Even larger ones, i would think, probably are worse. Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg. Was pretty nice when I was growing up, now its, eh, not so nice.. I don't fear for my safety going to Ballston Mall. Even back in the early 1990s I knew people who ere not only attacked outside of Lakeforest, but inside. I can only imagine things are worse now.

    Springfield Mall as the same problems as you mentioned for Lakeforest Mall.  I haven't shopped at Springfield Mall in many years, and probably a good thing – there are apparently many problems with gangs there and people that have been attacked and robbed both inside and outside. 

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