The struggling Springfield Mall, near the interchange of Interstate 95 and the Washington Beltway in northern Virginia,"could soon be closed for good, its lofty redevelopment plans permanently shelved," says The Washington Post. "Or it could be destined for a multimillion-dollar Christmas gift, with new high-rise apartments, outdoor outlets and a hotel."
The Post says:
"If the mall closed, it would mark the end of a storied shopping destination that helped define Springfield for decades. It would also become the latest reminder that the ubiquitous indoor mall, a byproduct of 1950s consumerism and a hallmark of modern-day suburban life, is continuing its steady march toward obsolescence.
"'Many of these malls were struggling before the downturn, and they are still struggling today,' said Andrew Johns, a senior associate at Green Street Advisors, which tracks retail malls nationwide. 'It's a death spiral: The longer an indoor mall is failing, the harder it is for it to recover.'"
After Vornado Realty Trust bought the mall in 2006 for nearly $36 million, "Vornado agreed to invest an additional $100 million to turn the aging edifice into a 'lifestyle center,' with 1.1 million square feet of office space, a 225-room hotel and 2,200 apartments. County officials have called it the single most important project for deciding the future of Springfield, best known for its concrete Mixing Bowl interchange and aging strip malls."
At least a third of the mall's storefronts are vacant. It's gotten a reputation for crime.
"The Washington region has three malls with vacancy rates of more than 30 percent - Frederick Towne Mall, the Shops at Georgetown Park and Springfield Mall - when no other metro area has more than one, available data showed."