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Ballston Common Mall Asks: How Are We Doing?

by ARLnow.com March 14, 2011 at 10:10 am 6,197 157 Comments

The owners of Ballston Common Mall are asking customers what they think about the 25-year-old shopping center.

We reported in October that Ohio-based Forest City Enterprises was in the early planning stages of major renovations at the mall. Now, the company is conducting an online survey about operations there.

The survey asks questions about mall security, the mall’s parking lot and overall customer satisfaction. It also asks respondents to list any stores they would like to see added to the mall.

For their trouble, respondents are entered into a drawing for a $250 gift card.

Flickr pool photo by Tim Kelley

  • CW

    Well, if you really want to know, I’m sure some people will be more than happy to say how they feel…hope these guys have thick skin…

    • DudeGuy

      I agree, the only thing the mall has going for itself is the location, Chick-Fil-A and the CVS. I don’t think I have ever bought something from the other stores which includes “Fella’s Fashions”

      • JamesE

        The gamestop is good for when I don’t feel like driving to bestbuy, the FYE electronics store is atrocious.

        • DudeGuy

          AH! I forgot about Gamestop. Good point James. I think the only reason people go to this mall is to go to the bars and use the parking garage to get on the metro. $77 for monthly parking is a great deal.

          • Tabby

            Oh, I did not know that!

            I hate that garage though. Around and around we go, where we end up, no one know.

          • Eponymous Coward

            That garage was designed by the guy who built the Kryptos sculpture at CIA.

          • Lou

            The garage retained a lot of the structure from the original Parkington garage, including the spiral ramps. But not all of the entrance/exit ramps were retained, so the circulation had to be adapted and it is therefore a little awkward.

          • JamesE

            500 years from now someone will solve the garage

          • Arlingtonian

            Those are the exact reasons I go there … very occasionally I’ll go play some games in that tiny arcade (if that’s even still there).

    • SoCo Resident

      I agree. But, I assume that the owners know they have hit rock bottom in light of the wealth and comsumer spending of the neighborhood. Not as bad as Springfield or Landmark, but pretty bad. So, this is really positive that the owners are seeking out coummuntiy input for change. Yes. they will get an earful.

      • Pedro

        Actually Rock Bottom is one of the only reasons to go there. Good beer, especially on Wednesdays. Just ignore all the post-frat folks.

        • CW

          Rock Bottom has damn good food in my opinion…I love that place.

          • CW2

            Another shout out for RB. For a brewery, (most of) the food is quite good. Fire Chief Ale!

          • CW

            Titan Toothpicks and a couple pints of radio towers red make CW1 a happy boy.

          • borf

            That’s exactly what I would order too. Right now if I could.

        • Josh S

          Is that possible? (Ignoring the frat boy/sorority chick crowd, that is…)

  • Captain Obvious

    The survey is pretty worthless in this regard: It won’t let you participate if you haven’t gone there in 3 months. Shouldn’t they want to know why I haven’t gone there in 3 months, and where I have been going instead?

    • TMP

      Bingo! I haven’t been to the mall in over three months, maybe three years, because it’s an inconvenient dump without any stores I can’t shop at elsewhere. You’d think they’d want to talk more to the people who actively avoid it than are regular customers. I’m also not keen on paying for parking, especially if it means getting trapped in voluminous garages. Now that Crystal City has a Chick-fil-a with street parking out front, I have NO reason to go to Ballston.

    • SoCo Resident

      Captain Obvious has seen the obvious failures of this survey. It seems to conclude that the answer for the Parkington, er.. Balston, Mall is to simply ask regular shoppers what new stores they want, rather than taking a much widder view. From day one, there have been huge complaints about the design of the parking garage and the interior, multi-level layout. I can’t imagine anything working short of gutting it or demolishing it and starting all over.

  • AllenB

    I stopped at the first page when it was mandatory to enter my phone number to continue. I understand the email address, but no one gets my phone number… well, unless they’re hot.

    • charlie

      there is no requirement that you put in a correct number.
      If a firm asks for a number and I don’t want to give it, I usually just put their number in the field. They can robocall themselves.

      • charlie

        703-243-8088 is the mall number.

    • charlie

      You do NOT have to give your phone or email. NOT required, unless you want to in that $250 and they need to contact you.

      • AllenB

        The page says it is required but then I tried what you said and you’re right, it lets you proceed without it. Kinda dumb. It should say those fields are only required if you want a chance at the certificate. It’s not labeled correctly as is.

        • charlie

          par for course. They also call themselves a MALL — but that isn’t exactly true either.

  • Old-Timer

    “25-year-old shopping center”? You young’uns. Maybe 25 years in its current form or under its current name, but it first opened as Parkington Shopping Center in the ’50s. So it’s more like 60 years old. And it’s been far seedier than it is now!

    • Overgrown Bush

      I’d not mind having Parkington back. The Putt Putt either for that matter.

      • Overgrown Bush


      • Overgrown Bush

        Golf anyone?

        • John

          I recall the Putt Putt as a kid, i think. Was it across from the now-Macy’s parking log/office building and where a large condo stands?

          • Overgrown Bush

            It was nearly right across the street from the Bob Peck, which met a little more recent demise.

          • I remember “teeing off” on hole 18 into the garage lot.

          • Lou

            It sat almost exactly where the footprint of the second Rural Electric Coop building is. There were two 18 hole courses, one on the half closest to where The Westin is now, and one on the other side where the parking lot was (basically the lobby of the first Coop building)

          • Overgrown Bush

            A little better view.

      • dugs53

        I loved Parkington and the Hecht’s that was there for years!! And you’re right Overgrown Bush – the putt putt course was great for family entertainment. Would love to see something like that come back.

    • charlie

      and yet somehow the best places in the Mall are the same — Bratwurst Haus (Rock Bottom); South Pacific (Shiki Sushi Korean Japanese Fusion); Polish Bakery (Panera Bread); Radio Shack (a good lease?); Arlington Hobby Craft (precursor to Game Stop) McCrory’s (CVS) and Orange Bowl (irreplaceable).

      so it all changes yet never does, somehow.

      • Lou

        Call me when they get a pet store with a huge snake in the window.

        • charlie

          Feeding time was always so cool.
          although staring at the Parklane Hosiery signs was fun too.

        • Arlington, Northside

          Loved the pet shop, although I never did convince my parents to get me a puppy. Now that I have kids, I see their point! 😉

      • CW

        Wait – there was a place called Bratwurst Haus? I am imagining this, and if it is what I imagine it to be, please, for the sake of all that is right and good in this world, bring it back…

        • charlie

          hey CW, a teaser for you. but you can’t make out the sign. but the wood/stucco should convince you that it was something German. No one seems to remember the exact name but it included German Brat and Haus in some combo.

          • charlie


          • CW

            I like this already…I bet I’d like that decade’s prices to come back, too…

          • SoCo Resident

            I’m pretty sure it was the Bratwurst Haus and am certain that the Virginia Transit bus drivers drank there. I am uncertain whether they drank before or after going on duty.

    • SoCo Resident

      Only the Hecht-Macy’s building is 60 years old; the rest is about Metro opening time – late 70s. The original tubular escalator railings were just replaced. Seems like yesterday, I was buying stuff at the Hecht garden department.

    • ARLN8TIV

      Agreed +1,000

  • Mother

    Which areas of the shopping center did you visit? (Choose all that apply)
    * Children’s play area- I’m sorry, where exactly is children’s play area?

    • CW

      I always see kids playing in that central area of the food court where they put the Christmas tree…is that it?

      • Mother

        The last time I was in the food court, that was filled with tables.

  • I hope they don’t fix it up. I don’t want the cheap Chinese massage place to go out of business.

    • What are the prices like?

      • derpadoo

        so uh, my friend.. he uh, wants to know if uh… they…

        • borf

          “happy ending”

  • Tre

    Best things about Ballston Mall:
    1) ARBY’S!!! i’ll take a medium beef and cheddar with a side of potato cakes
    2) Coldstone
    3) Regal Cinemas – Convenient Theater
    4) The Barber Shop & Co. – been going there for years
    5) Panera – when I want to put my smugness on display

  • BTW, Garfinkels was far superior to Parkington. Garfinkel had a monkey and a waterfall

    • CW

      THERE WAS A MONKEY? What have I missed out on? I was born too late. STOP THE MADNESS!!!!

    • CrankyMom

      Kann’s (now George Mason School of Law) had a whole bunch of monkeys, in a big enclosure in the shoe department.

      • SoCo Resident

        Now, the George Mason School of Law has a whole bunch of monkeys. Surprised the old Kann’s building still stands.

      • Virginia^2

        The site messed up TGEoA’s link – the period at the end is part of it – but the law school moved out of the Kann’s building in 1999 and the Public Policy program just moved into the new building (“Founder’s Hall”) for this semester. The Kann’s building is slated to be demolished but I can’t find a timeline for that.

        Probably tons of asbestos –> really expensive to tear down?

  • Bender

    Ballston Mall today —–> What the entire Rosslyn to Ballston “smart growth” corridor will be like in 10-20 years.

    • South County

      Judging from your posts, it’s as if you’re rooting for failure. It must be awful to be so negative.

    • local

      The alternative was to be like Seven Corners though.

      • winner

        Bender – Really? Is there any way we can make a bet on that? I would like not to have to work any longer and you look like the type of person I can make a boat load of money betting against.

        • Agent Michael Scarn

          Can I get in on this too? And my entire family? I’m not a gambling person, but I really like these odds.

  • lost

    Too bad they can’t attract Target as an anchor. It would be nice to have a place on the orange line to pickup basic necessities.

    • Captain Obvious

      +1 re: a Target.

      • Tabby

        How about Wegmans?

        Or some sort of green space?

    • CW

      Hundreds of high-rise condo units filled with white-collar 20-somethings…what could Target ever expect to sell to them? Hmmm….

      Seriously though, this would be a no-brainer.

      • Agent Michael Scarn

        As one of the residents in these Ballston high-rise towers, I would LOVE to have a Target in the mall. Currently I have to (begrudgingly) drive to the chaos that is Seven Corners. A Target at the Ballston Mall is a slam dunk.

        • Arlington, Northside

          Would be a great idea, there is no way that the Macy Furnature store is covering their rent in that space. Problem is Target likes to build their own place from the ground up, look at the one on Rt50 where they knocked down the old Mongomery Ward bbox to put up their own Box.

          • Iknow

            Macy’s owns its building…plus the Baileys, Capitol One bank and the old salon…

            They could sell the space to Target if they wanted.

    • SoCo Resident

      Lost, you have probably hit the nail on the head in proposing Target. At the same time, Target is experimenting with smaller stores as is Walmart. But, what’s behind this is that consumers no longer want to visit huge stores or shopping malls because it is too difficult to park, enter, wander and get out of there quickly. Parkington, er…. Balston, has a HUGE design problem in this regard: very awkward parking garage, difficult entry and horrible interior layout. So, I’m guess Target and others will not find this desirable although they have been adventuresome in Columiba Heights and Skyline.

      • CW

        Right, all that is true if you don’t think outside of the suburban mental construct. But there are literally thousands of units of apartment/condo housing within probably a 1/2-mile radius. And those people have nowhere to go for basic goods without driving quite a ways (seven corners, etc.). Definitely enough to support a target. And that’s why Target and Wal-Mart (who is also welcome in my opinion) have been going for smaller stores – so they can fit them into more urban environments.

        To the people living nearby, it wouldn’t be Parkington, it would be Walkington. I lived three blocks away for two years and would have hit up a target all the time, no car needed. I’d rather lug my stuff for all of 5 minutes than drive through the mess down to seven corners.

        • NOVApologist

          Target is pretty much the only reason Springfield Mall gets any traffic at all these days. It’s not like anyone really shops at JC Penney, and there appears to be ~50 Macys in the region. Making Target the anchor at Ballston Mall would seem like a slam-dunk decision for the developers.

    • Clarendude

      I’d rather a Lowes. I’ve bought clothes at Target and never end up wearing them. They either don’t fit right or they are uncomfortable (yes, so why did I buy them – they were dirt cheap and I didn’t try them on!). It’s OK for some home stuff like cleaners or light bulbs but you can get that at Lowes.

      • South Arlington

        I’m sure everyone would be thrilled with the line of contractor trucks that line up at Home Depot everyday lining up on Glebe or Wilson to get into a Ballston Lowes.

      • Southeast Jerome

        I disagree on a Lowes. With all of the big ticket stuff at that type of store, it would be rare for people to walk there. Rather a Target you would definitely get more foot traffic, though that would compete almost directly with CVS.

        • CW

          Fine with me. The (sad) fact that people use CVS as a go-to for everyday items in Ballston (Where do you go when you need ____ right away? Insert: duct tape, batteries, light bulbs, etc.) is a testament to the need for a real multi-line retailer (Target) in the area.

          • Carmen

            I don’t know if CVS has duct tape but they definitely have light bulbs and batteries.

          • CW

            They have all three and fleece the hell out of you on price because they know there are very few other places to buy them nearby.

      • Josh S

        Can’t you get that stuff at the grocery store? Or a drug store? Why would you need a whole Lowes to get household cleaner? I’m not getting it.
        Also, a Lowes in an indoor mall? Huh? How am I supposed to get a sheet of plywood on the elevator?

      • local

        Would absolutely love a Lowes nearby so I can never ever ever go to the Falls Church Home Depot again, but Ballston isn’t the place for it.

  • outoftowner

    It blows my mind that there isn’t any reasonable retail in Ballston. A J. Crew, Brooks Brothers, Loft, etc. would do very well in this area.

    • Lou

      There is a J Crew in Arlington.

      • CW

        I don’t think that your response directly addresses the concerns raised.

        I think the R-B corridor could support, by my calculations, roughly one J. Crew every 8-10 blocks…

        • derpadoo

          hah. probably true.

          not sure what their real estate team’s quotient is but they’re probably like WFM used to be and have a radius that doesn’t really match up with the DC area environment.

        • Josh S

          **Rim shot**

          (Although I think J Crew is passe now.)

          • CW

            Agreed. J. Crew for some reason jumped ship on the preppiness and now all their products just like like a bunch of wrinkled trash that someone found in a dumpster somewhere.

          • Arlington, Northside

            They followed A-F down the rabbit hole.

  • The Dope of South Arlington

    That place is a Third World dump.

    It also asks respondents to list any stores they would like to see added to the mall.

    -> Ones that aren’t ghetto.

    • Southeast Jerome

      Seriously. This place reminds me of Georgetown Park mall.

      All the stores on the inside, how on earth are they in business?

      Fronts for money laundering/drug rings? Cant say I have seen enough traffic for them to make rent payments. So bizzare.

      • borf

        No, not seriously, Jerome. Dope’s post was a parody of dooshbagism. Which you embraced.

  • NewsyMom

    It’s great that they are doing a survey to get the community’s input, but I agree with the others, theirs seemed very low budget and amateurish (especially in this day and age when just about anyone can design a professional looking survey online). It almost had the same look/feel as the cheap, ghetto stores that the mall now seems to have in their majority. Ugh……I’m really curious now as to what they consider “major renovations”.

    • CW

      Major renovations in my book would include building a Chernobyl-style concrete sarcophagus over Bailey’s to keep the cigarette smoke inside. The whole first floor of the mall stinks like crap from that place.

      • Agent Michael Scarn

        +1, CW. Well put. Bailey’s is the only place in Ballston I haven’t eaten at for that exact reason.

        • BallstonDweller

          Agreed on Baileys…i went once in the three years i have lived across the street…fool me once,

  • Bender

    Ballston Mall was promoted as the next great development project 25 years ago. And now people are calling it a dump and want it replaced.

    I think the Mall is just fine (and I’m being the negative one), just as I think Arlington is just fine without all of this hyper-growth.

    Given how fickle people are, the hyper-development is folly. It will not be the paradise that “smart growth” advocates claim, but will be seen as old, obsolete, and boring within 10 years.

    • CW

      Constructive comment: I think that the mall structure itself is fine. I just think that we need stores that are better aligned with the demographic of the region, and that everyone will benefit from it.

      Sarcastic jerk comment: Oh, so smart growth will never work? I agree. Let’s just go with the development model they used in suburban California cities. And central florida, and phoenix, and las vegas, and…

  • Clarendude

    I miss the old escalators in Hechts/Macy’s. The ones with the corrogated tube for handrails.

    • Arlington, Northside


    • Overgrown Bush

      Cool memory. I don’t recall them breaking down either.

    • Tater Salad

      I liked the way they moved at a different speed than the steps themselves.

  • Modwop

    I’ve never understood why stores catering to the 20-something set couldn’t be convinced to come into that mall. Stores that have urban locations like H&M, American Apparel and Urban Outfitters would be perfect for that space and they’re not already in Pentagon City. Sure, the whole common area could use updating/face-lift and enhanced lighting – if you “build” it, they would come.

  • Old_Arlington

    They should just tear it down and create an open-air commercial street or alley, similar to the plan for the old DC Convention Center site. So sad…… I remember goin to the Fudgery (across from the elevator) as a little kid. It was one of those 80s, “Victorian” themed, family-friendly establishments like Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor (Tysons), or Shakey’s Pizza (Tysons). When the mall opened it was among the best in the region, with a Benetton, Britches and other similar stores, and it also helped to pioneer the food court concept. I always thought it was odd that Forest City did not include a movie theater in the original plans. If you lived in N. Arlington, you’d have to drive up 66 or Old Dominion to Tysons for movies.

    Parkington wasn’t that bad either. The Hecht Co. with its green brick facade and neon sign was a unique and colorful landmark unlike the current kitschy, stucco clad Macy’s. McCrory’s was no match for the Clarendon GC Murphys, but I think I remember shopping for toys there. And didn’t the basement at the Hecht co have a toys department? I also have vague memories of the Orange Bowl, a Polynesian themed restaurant, and the nearby Lums.

    • Arlington Native

      I doubt a developer could tear it down since there is an office tower already built on top of the mall.

      I remember shopping at Limited, Express, and Lerner when Ballston Commons first opened and during the late 80’s early 90’s. The current offering of stores is sadly lacking by comparison. I am amazed that there haven’t been any decent women’s clothing stores in there for several years (I am not counting the crappy teen hoochie places such as Wet Seal.)

      I still visit the Mall, but mainly for the CVS and some of the restaurants. Too bad… because I live a few blocks away and I’d prefer to walk to Ballson instead of drive to Pentagon City to shop.

  • Old_Arlington

    photo of Parkington sign in 1986 taken by J. Dunn in 1986 before demoltion.

    • Overgrown Bush

      Nice. Love the tube socks on the biker too.

  • Arlingtonian

    My very first memory of Ballston mall is walking back to the parking garage with a security guard yelling at us to “step away from the blood” (a long bloody trail leading from one end to the other after someone got stabbed)

    • Arlingtonian

      *one end of the mall to the other … not the parking garage*, and I think I did step in it before I saw it and probably tracked it everywhere. Ewwww

  • OX4

    Tear it down and put a park in its place.

    • OX4 is awesome

      Great idea, sir!

  • Pedro

    Give the County some credit–the Kettler Iceplex was a great idea and is always busy. Plus it’s pretty cool to have an NHL team based in Arlington, with most of the players living very close by.

    The movie theater is handy and Rock Bottom and Chik-fil-A are dependable.

    Don’t know what you do with the rest of the place though.

    • JamesE

      I do enjoy it when I see my man crush Ovechkin in his matte black mercedes.

    • Arlington, Northside

      It is a great rink, but from a marketing stand point they screwed up. It is too easy to get to the rink without passing a single other part of the Mall other than the parking kiosk.

      • Chief

        I think easy-in/easy-out is probably a critical thing for the rink that they got right. What they need, however, is an express elevator from the rink-level to the food court (and maybe M3). The elevators are too slow to just run down for something.

        • BallstonDweller

          I would agree. The rink is great–well done Arlington County. Whenever I am there, though, I see tons of parents looking bored and reading books. They could, if the mall were well-run, quickly pop downstairs and do some shopping. The only missing ingredient is 1) a quick way to get to the mall because of the awful and slow elevators 2) stores worth spending money in and 3) an inviting, well-lit modern environment. Where I grew up (Boston), the rinks were dingy and the malls were modern and clean. Ballston has turned my world upside down.

  • NorArl

    I think Ohio-based Forest City Enterprises should have a community forum and actually meet with people face to face to find better retail options. It blows my mind every time I go in to Ballston that about 75% of its contents is a waste of space. Last time I went we passed a children’s toy store that was half full of stock, like something out of 1980’s Soviet Russia. Out front they had a lone sad Bicycle Barbie riding in circles on display, which I think they should make the official mall mascot.

  • CW2

    I agree the Iceplex is FANTASTIC. It is a first class facility with 2 full size rinks that you rarely see in an inner suburb.
    Macy’s, Chick Fil A, nail salon, watch repair, cell phone case, perfume, are all reasons to go there.
    And the Target at 7 Corners is less than 2 miles away from Ballston – earlier posts made it sound like you had to drive forever – go down Carlin Springs to Route 50 and you are there.

    • LBSki

      2 miles is a long walk when you depend on metro. And 2 miles down that stretch of road is an even longer bus ride.

  • Dan

    Dump the old Macy’s and bring in a 2-story Target – that will revitalize it for sure.

  • Timmy B!!!

    Dave and Busters!!!

    • Arlington, Northside

      I have no doubt Dave and Busters would see it as a great site, after they clean out some of the second rate retail.

      • local

        I second that motion – Dave and Busters!

  • LaceyForester

    Let’s add a Target, a World Market, an Ann Taylor Loft, and a Barnes & Noble.

  • Henry Spencer

    Don’t get me started..any mall that has to post a sign saying “no gang colors” should be avoided.

  • R0bespierre

    How are you doing? I hope you are reading this. I live 1 metro stop away, and I still drive up to the ugly traffic snarl that is Tyson’s Corner when I need clothing. That’s how you’re doing. Ballston Commons is the worst excuse for a mall. Get some real stores.

  • Local Residentg

    Wow 114, pretty good, constructive comments/suggestions. I hope Forest City Enterprises reads this or can get a copy of this blog because they will learn a lot more by reading the comments than what the survey is going to tell them.

    Best ideas: Replace the Macy’s Furniture store side with a Targe. Upgrade the Macy’s to more than an “outlet like store” and implode Baileys for the cigarette smoke that comes out of there. It stinks up the whole mall.

    • CrankyMom

      and bring in some monkeys.

  • 22204

    I would love to see a Walmart. I don’t mind driving to the Target in Seven Corners. The main reason I stay away from Ballston is it is there are no stores that I like, it’s hard to get in and out of, the garage is SO DARK, and I don’t like paying for parking, but I would probably suffer those indignities to go to Walmart.

    • Richie Rich

      it’s only a dollar to park

  • Terry

    Really? A Wal-Mart in Arlington? Sorry, no thanks. Move to Prince William or some other sh*t cookie-cutter wasteland suburb if that’s your bag.

    • Arlington, Northside


    • Arlingtonian


  • Ohnohedidnt

    What we really need:

    Douchington–enclosed building with several bars, a liquor store, and a minimum-security jail for all the douches who end up breaking the law.

    And next door, in a separate building:

    Famlington: Putting greens, petting zoo, bowling alley, cooking school, yoga, Petsmart, Chuck-e-Cheese.

  • BallstonMallisGhetto

    Let’s see, how is BCM doing? I love BCM. Can’t think of a better place to eat crap food in a basement dungeon food court, buy plastic light-up crap accessories for my cellphone, get lost in the parking garage, get mugged on Randolph St., get drunk at one of it’s high-class douchebag bars, pass out puke and piss myself in front of CVS because I missed the last Metro and have no money for cab fare…. all in the same day!!

  • Josh

    I have a feeling a Wal-Mart would be shunned for a host of reasons. Target is a much better solution – but there currently aren’t any Targets in Arlington County – would the county try to block it because it’s big box?

    • BallstonMallisGhetto

      We have enough Target stores. 3 are along the County perimeter (Seven Corners, Baileys, and Potomac Yard) and a 4th is in Columbia Heights. I think we have more Target exposure than one can shake a stick at. Walmart is just white trash city. Whoever wishes a Walmart in Arlington is far out of place and lives in the wrong town.

  • John Andre

    NRECA is now where the Putt-Putt was…not some condo.

    Sure wish they’d reopen the Ballston Market buffet…I’m getting tired of fast food as the only food-court option!!!

  • derpadoo

    Would be amazing if they undertook a major renovation. Found a way to terminate all leases (except kettler, obviously) and redid the entire structure to be a more consumer friendly, aesthetically appealing, energy efficient and modern shopping experience. It’s dark, drab and generic eighties architecture, though it’ll probably be hard to convince a company from Ohio that there’s anything wrong with that.

    I’m not saying they have to demolish but…revamping the layout and interior appearance would be a huge plus. You’re not going to lose money investing in infrastructure in this area, especially when there’s so much room for improvement. There is easily the potential to attract 2x-3x as many customers, including a large number of people with significant amounts of disposable income who currently shun the place. (no, i’m not included in that group, tho i do shun it)

    Also, everyone who is clamoring for a target – it’d be nice to see them fix up the bailey’s crossroads and seven corners stores first… the bailey’s one especially is a dump – horrendously managed and brings down their brand.

    a couple ideas…some of which are repeats.
    1) a better electronics store
    2) a good deli
    3) an apple store?
    4) world market
    5) outdoor store
    6) more quality clothing stores.
    7) a good burger joint.
    8) organic grocery or perhaps a row of small farm to table shops like eastern market?

    I find the idea that this area is “over saturated” with these type of stores to be ignoring the ridiculous economic environment that is the DC area. Sure there might be some initial decline at the other local Apple or World Market stores due to overlapping markets, but the consistent growth will easily cover that difference within a few years.

    • Virginia^2

      The mall needs viable anchor stores; normally, Macy’s would probably qualify, but that location is an embarrassment. I’m sure when they renovate it they could squeeze in a furniture department to get rid of the other massive store, too.


      I’ve seen mice running around the street-level location on more than one occasion, which is probably off-putting to a lot of people, though I can’t say that it has kept me from enjoying $3 stiff margaritas and half-off flautas for happy hour at Chevy’s (the best anywhere?).

  • LuvDusty

    1) Get rid of the parking lot completely. There are enough residences within a walking distance to keep the mall populated.

    2) Now add stores the folks who live in that walking area want to shop in: Target, CVS, Best Busy, Whole Foods, etc etc..etc.

    3) Build a nice open like mall (with lots of greenery and a park and bike trails and place to park the bikes), where the parking lot used to be, and surround it with some nice mid-range restaurants that have lots of outdoor dining and some light retail (sort of like Pentagon Row but greener).

    That’s my 3 step plan.

    • borf

      The parking lot serves as a regional lot, not just for the mall. Metro users use it.

    • Arlington, Northside

      1) Are you nuts? Parking is required, it is a Mall and while the residential population in Ballston is dense, it is not THAT dense.

      2)Best Buy is not a place that folks repeatedly visit, is not going to work there. Whole Foods won’t cannabalize their store right down the street. CVS is already there. Target is a perfect match.

      3) The corner of Glebe and Randolph still has enough open space that they could add a half dozen small eateries with outdoor seating and no need to tear down the garage.

      • LinksMan

        They were supposed to put a putt-putt at Glebe and Randolph!

        • Arlington, Northside

          When? We have putt-putt a mile up Wilson Blvd at Upton Park. Mini Golf like the H Street Country Club would be fun, but as much as I miss the Putt-Putt of my childhood, it really is not a high priority for me in Ballston/Parkington.

          • Lou


            Putt Putt franchises follow specific design standards. There is a “hole book” of about 100 holes that you get to choose your course layout from. The holes are standardized, and built to very strict tolerances, so that if you visit a Putt Putt anywhere in the world you will find consistent hole designs. The “three hump” holes are the same. The “loop-de-loop” holes will always be the same. The hole where you hit up to an elevated platform and then into one of three holes to go down to the lower putting surface will always be the same, etc.

            The reason they have to be consistent is that there is a method to getting a hole in one on every Putt Putt hole. Sometimes it involves bouncing the ball ofF a rail at a certain point at a certain speed. All Putt Putt holes have rails, never stones or stupid stuff like mini golf. They hold professional tournaments on Putt Putt courses for this reason.

    • SD

      The garage is also where the businesses park- you know the ones above the mall, like E*Trade.

  • TuesdaysChild

    They should tear the entire complex down and rebuild it. Like they did at the rockville mall.

    • Arlington, Northside

      As mentioned earlier, Rockville Mall did not have 12 floors of occupied revenue generating office space above it.

  • BillGatesWannabe

    If I had a bilion dollars, I would turn it into a giant Torpedo Factory (the art-studio kind, not the weapon kind).

    • Arlington, Northside

      What do you have against Torpedos and weapons? If it was not for the defense industry, Arlington’s commercial tax coffers would be empty.

    • Kenmore Cougar

      The one you refer to was both.

  • AA Pretzel

    Auntie Anne’s Pretzel is AWESOME!!! Best Buy is perfect location in the Macy’s funiture store…..

    Smarty Pants

  • NewBallstoner

    That mall is a total crap. I’d rather to have it replaced by a new residential building with decent restuarants on the first floor. I only reason that I pass through the mall everyday is because I am taking the metro and need to pass through the mall to get home. I used to live close by Pentagon City mall, just imagine how upset I am passing through the crappy mall everyday!!!

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