Georgetown Park Mall, image by Ryan Guill.
Georgetown Park Mall may be redeveloped to house Bloomingdale’s and Target department stores.
This is great news, because frankly it’s offensive that there’s a suburban-style enclosed mall in an urban neighborhood like Georgetown. The idea made some sense when the mall opened 1981, when it seemed as though suburbanization was the only way to save the city from decline, but in the context of a basically healthy and walkable city, it’s absurd. The market reflects the mall’s basic absurdity, as its only desirable retail spaces are those that front the M Street sidewalk; the interior spaces are occupied by such glamorous retail offerings as the DC DMV.
On the other hand, I can’t think of a better use for a large enclosed space in Georgetown than a couple of department stores. Georgetown has long had an impressive collection of boutique shops, but it has also always lacked a major retail anchor. It’s always been cute, but from the perspective of pure shopping it has always been incomplete, and thus it has always lost customers to suburban options like Tysons Corner. The presence of Bloomingdale’s and Target in Georgetown will make it a more comprehensive and practical place for city residents to do their shopping. It will give us good places to buy oven mitts and underwear.
I hope the deal goes through.