Unveiling the Secrets of Francis Scott Key Mall in Frederick, MD

The Historical Overview of Francis Scott Key Mall

The Francis Scott Key Mall opened its doors to the public in 1978, developed by Crown American. The mall quickly became a focal point for shopping and socializing in Frederick, Maryland. Original anchor stores included Gee Bee, Hess’s, and Sears, each attracting a different segment of shoppers.

Over the years, the mall has seen several changes in its tenant lineup. For instance, Leggett opened at the mall in 1991 and was sold to JCPenney in 1996. Woolworth, another original tenant, closed its doors in the mid-1990s, allowing smaller stores to fill the space.

The mall has also witnessed significant changes in ownership and management. It’s managed and owned by the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust. One of the most notable changes was the closure of Sears in January 2023. This marked the end of an era as it was the last Sears store to operate in Maryland. The space previously occupied by Sears is now under consideration for redevelopment, adding a layer of anticipation for what’s to come.

The Architectural Layout and Floor Plans

The mall spans a total retail floor area of 755,000 square feet, offering ample space for various stores and services. The layout is primarily a single floor, making it convenient for shoppers to navigate the mall. The only exception is JCPenney, which operates on two floors.

The mall’s design incorporates modern architectural elements while maintaining a comfortable and inviting atmosphere. The interior is well-lit, featuring contemporary fixtures that enhance the shopping experience.

Public transit is easily accessible, with TransIT bus routes 10 and 20 serving the mall. This makes it convenient for those who prefer not to drive or are looking for eco-friendly travel options. For those who drive, the mall offers abundant parking space. The well-designed parking lot ensures you’re never too far from the mall’s entrance.

Anchors – The Pillars of the Mall

Anchors are crucial in attracting foot traffic, and Francis Scott Key Mall is no exception. The mall is anchored by Macy’s, JCPenney, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Value City Furniture, DSW, and Barnes & Noble. Each store offers a unique shopping experience, catering to a wide range of consumer needs.

Macy’s and JCPenney have been long-standing anchors, offering everything from fashion to home goods. Dick’s Sporting Goods provides a haven for sports enthusiasts, while Value City Furniture attracts those looking to spruce up their living spaces.

DSW caters to the footwear needs of the community, offering a wide range of brands and styles. Barnes & Noble, on the other hand, Barnes & Noble serves as a sanctuary for book lovers and hosts community events like book signings and readings.

The anchors have evolved, adapting to consumer trends and preferences. For instance, Barnes & Noble added a café to its store, making it a perfect spot for book lovers to relax and unwind.

Other Tenants and Dining Options

Apart from the anchor stores, the mall houses many other tenants that cater to various needs. Fashion retailers like Aéropostale and American Eagle Outfitters offer trendy clothing options, while specialty stores like Yankee Candle provide unique gift ideas.

Bella Suen Spa and Belleza Salon and Day Spa offer various services for relaxation and self-care. Tech-savvy individuals can find solace in stores like Dr. Phone, which provides quick fixes to your gadgets.

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When it comes to dining, the mall doesn’t disappoint. With options like BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, there’s something for every palate. Quick bites are also available from places like Auntie Anne’s and Dairy Queen, perfect for those on the go.

The mall offers a well-rounded shopping experience, making it a one-stop destination for all your needs. It’s no wonder that when people think of things to do in Frederick, Maryland, a visit to Francis Scott Key Mall often tops the list.

Special Events and Community Engagement

The mall is more than just a shopping destination; it’s a community hub that hosts various events throughout the year. One such event is the Farmers Market, which runs every Saturday from now until November 18th. The market is located behind Macy’s and operates from 9 am to 2 pm.

The Farmers Market is a feast for the senses, offering fresh produce, locally baked goods, and artisanal products. On select dates, the market also features live music performances, adding a touch of entertainment to your shopping experience.

Community engagement doesn’t end with the Farmers Market. The mall also hosts seasonal events like holiday markets and back-to-school drives, fostering residents’ sense of community and belonging.

These events allow local vendors to showcase their products and offer a platform for community members to come together, socialize, and celebrate the local culture.

The Economic Impact on Frederick

Francis Scott Key Mall significantly impacts Frederick, contributing to job creation. The mall employs hundreds of people directly and indirectly through its various tenants and service providers.

The mall’s contribution to the local economy extends beyond employment. It also boosts Frederick’s tax revenue, thereby aiding in developing public infrastructure and services.

In terms of competition, the mall has managed to hold its ground against other shopping centers in the area. Its diverse range of tenants and community engagement initiatives give it an edge, making it a preferred shopping destination for many.

While online shopping poses a challenge to brick-and-mortar stores, the mall’s experiential offerings, like special events and dining options, provide a unique value proposition that keeps customers returning.

The Latest News and Future Prospects

The mall has been in the news recently due to the closure of Sears, which was the last Sears store in Maryland. This has sparked conversations about the mall’s future and what could fill the vacant space.

There are talks about possible redevelopment plans for Sears’s previously occupied space. While nothing is confirmed, the mall’s management is exploring various options, including adding new stores or overhauling that mall section.

Despite the retail industry’s challenges, the mall continues to adapt and evolve. New stores are frequently added to the tenant lineup, and renovations are carried out to improve the shopping experience.


Francis Scott Key Mall has stood the test of time, adapting to the ever-changing retail landscape while remaining a cornerstone in the Frederick community. Its diverse range of tenants, special events, and community engagement initiatives make it more than just a shopping destination.

The mall’s economic contributions to Frederick are noteworthy, providing jobs and boosting local tax revenue. Its adaptability and resilience in industry challenges have made it a promising entity for years.

As the mall continues to evolve, it remains a beloved part of the community, where memories are made and experiences are shared. So the next time you’re pondering what to do on a weekend, remember that Francis Scott Key Mall offers a little something for everyone.

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