The Mall at Prince George’s in Hyattsville, MD: A Blend of History and Modernity

The Historical Development of the Mall at Prince George’s

The Birth of a Shopping Center

In 1959, the open-air shopping center Prince George’s Plaza was opened in the heart of Hyattsville, Maryland.

This marked the beginning of a new era in the local retail scene, establishing a central hub for commerce and social gatherings in the region.

Grand Union Supermarket’s Unique Offerings

Before that, December 1958 saw the introduction of the Grand Union supermarket. Beyond just a grocery store, it featured innovative concepts like a “food-o-matic display” and a diverse gourmet foods department, enhancing the mall’s appeal as a varied shopping destination.

The Hecht Company’s Inaugural Impact

The Hecht Company store, opening on November 2, 1958, was a cornerstone of the mall’s early days.

Attracting around 3,000 attendees for its launch, it was a significant draw for the shopping center, occupying a substantial portion of its retail space and marking a new chapter in regional retail.

Transforming into an Enclosed Mall

By around 1977, Prince George’s Plaza underwent a significant transformation. The open-air structure was enclosed, aligning with the evolving preferences for indoor shopping experiences.

This change significantly enhanced the comfort and convenience of shoppers, regardless of weather conditions.

A New Name and Identity

On November 14, 2004, Prince George’s Plaza was renamed The Mall at Prince George’s, coinciding with an extensive renovation.

This rebranding was pivotal in the mall’s history, refreshing its image and redefining it as a contemporary shopping destination.

Adapting to Retail and Community Needs

The mall has seen numerous changes in its retail landscape over the years. From its initial days as Prince George’s Plaza to its current form as The Mall at Prince George’s, it has continuously evolved, reflecting the changing needs and preferences of its customers and the community.

This evolution underscores its significance as a vibrant retail and communal space in Hyattsville, Maryland.

Evolution of Retail Spaces and Anchor Stores

Raleigh Haberdasher’s Era

In 1965, Raleigh Haberdasher announced plans to open a store in the mall, which commenced in the spring of 1966. This addition brought a new dimension to the mall’s retail offerings.

However, after its closure in 1991, the space was divided into multiple retail units, showcasing the mall’s adaptability to changing retail trends.

Food-a-rama Takes Over Grand Union

By 1984, the local Baltimore chain Food-a-rama acquired the Grand Union store at Prince George’s Plaza. This acquisition led to significant changes, as the store was converted into a high-volume store.

Over the years, after the supermarket’s closure, the space was repurposed for various retailers, reflecting the dynamic nature of retail space utilization.

Rebirth of the Raleigh’s Space

The space formerly occupied by Raleigh Haberdasher underwent a significant transformation. It was demolished and rebuilt, paving the way for the opening of Target in late 2004.

This redevelopment was a strategic move, bringing in big-name retailers like Marshalls and Ross Dress for Less and further diversifying the mall’s retail mix.

The Transition from Hecht’s to Macy’s

2006, a significant retail shift occurred when the Hecht Company store at the Mall at Prince George’s was transformed into a Macy’s.

This change was part of a broader industry trend following the disbandment of Hecht’s, marking a new era for the mall’s retail landscape.

Adapting to Contemporary Demands

On June 23, 2020, JCPenney revealed plans to close its doors in October 2020, marking a significant shift in its nationwide strategy.

This closure was part of a broader initiative to shut down 13 stores nationwide. Part of the former JCPenney building was demolished following this departure in 2022. This demolition paved the way for a new phase of development, with plans in place to transform the site into an apartment complex.

The evolution of retail spaces and anchor stores at the Mall at Prince George’s reflects its ability to adapt to the changing retail environment.

From the transition of major stores like Hecht’s to Macy’s to the dynamic use of spaces like the former Grand Union and Raleigh Haberdasher locations, the mall has continuously evolved to meet contemporary retail demands and consumer preferences.

Renovations and Modernization Efforts

A Significant Revitalization Project

The Mall at Prince George’s embarked on a major transformation journey with a $30 million renovation project in 2017.

This significant investment was a strategic move to revitalize the mall, making it more appealing to modern shoppers.

The renovation was not just about aesthetic upgrades but a comprehensive effort to reposition the mall as a contemporary and vibrant shopping destination.

Introducing New Tenants and Big Names

As part of the renovation, the mall welcomed an array of new tenants, adding to its retail diversity. Brands like H&M, ULTA Beauty, and Designer Shoe Warehouse joined the mall’s lineup, bringing fresh energy and appeal.

These additions were crucial in attracting a broader demographic, catering to the varied tastes and preferences of the mall’s patrons.

The Outcome: A Boost in Sales and Traffic

The renovation efforts paid off handsomely for the mall. Following the modernization, there was a notable increase in sales and foot traffic.

The mall experienced a 23% increase in sales per square foot, indicating the project’s success. This resurgence in popularity underscored the importance of adapting to changing market conditions and consumer expectations.

Facing Future Challenges with Innovation

Despite the success of the renovations, the Mall at Prince George’s continues to face challenges, particularly from the rise of online shopping. To stay relevant, the mall needs to keep innovating and adapting.

Although it retains elements of traditional mall design, such as large parking lots, it must integrate more contemporary features that appeal to today’s consumers, ensuring its continued success in the competitive retail landscape.

The Unique Competitive Edge of the Mall at Prince George’s

In an era where many shopping malls struggle, the Mall at Prince George’s stands out with its unique competitive edge.

Unlike others facing closure, this mall thrives thanks to a combination of factors that set it apart. Its ability to stay relevant and appealing in a challenging retail environment is a testament to strategic planning and an understanding of market dynamics.

Strategic Location and Diverse Anchor Tenants

The mall benefits greatly from its strategic location. Unlike malls in purely suburban areas, the Mall at Prince George’s enjoys proximity to a metro station and is surrounded by apartments, including new high-end rentals.

This ensures steady foot traffic, which is vital for any retail center. Additionally, the mall boasts a range of anchor tenants, such as Macy’s and Target, alongside junior anchors like Ross Dress For Less, T.J. Maxx, and Marshall’s, providing various shopping experiences.

Standing Out in a Competitive Market

Another factor contributing to the mall’s success is its positioning relative to competitors. Neighboring malls, such as Beltway Plaza Mall and others in Wheaton and Bowie, cater to different market segments or are located farther away.

This allows the Mall at Prince George’s to capture a unique market share without direct competition from these nearby centers.

Adapting to Modern Retail Challenges

Despite its success, the Mall at Prince George’s must continue evolving to face modern retail challenges, particularly from online shopping.

The mall’s management recognizes the need for continuous innovation to maintain its edge. Balancing traditional retail elements with new, engaging experiences is key to keeping the mall an attractive destination for shoppers in the years to come.

Community Involvement and Event Hosting

A Hub for Community Engagement

The Mall at Prince George’s is not just a shopping destination; it’s a vibrant community hub. The mall is integral to the local community by hosting various free events and programs.

These activities are designed to engage families and community members, fostering a sense of belonging and togetherness.

Year-Round Activities for All Ages

Throughout the year, the mall organizes numerous events that cater to a diverse audience. From holiday celebrations to cultural festivals, these events provide entertainment and fun for people of all ages.

They are a crucial aspect of the mall’s strategy to remain a central gathering place in Hyattsville.

Enhancing the Shopping Experience with Events

By incorporating these community-focused events, the mall enhances the overall shopping experience. These events draw additional foot traffic, benefiting the retailers and restaurants within the mall.

More importantly, they create memorable visitor experiences, encouraging repeat visits and strengthening community ties.

Strengthening Community Bonds

The Mall at Prince George’s is committed to being more than just a retail space. By hosting these events and actively participating in community life, the mall cements its position as a key part of the social fabric of Hyattsville.

Its role in the community goes beyond commerce, contributing to the cultural and social enrichment of the area.

Current Retail and Dining Landscape

A Diverse Array of Retail Options

Today, the Mall at Prince George’s boasts an impressive range of retail stores. From fashion to electronics, the mall offers a comprehensive shopping experience.

Shoppers can explore top-tier retailers like Macy’s, T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Old Navy, and Target, alongside specialized stores like Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret, and Foot Locker.

This diversity ensures that the mall caters to various shopping needs and preferences.

Fashion and Beauty for All

The mall is a haven for fashion and beauty enthusiasts, featuring popular brands like H&M, ULTA Beauty, and DSW.

These stores, known for their trendy and affordable offerings, attract a younger demographic and keep the mall’s fashion offerings up-to-date with the latest styles.

Dining Delights for Every Taste

The Mall at Prince George’s also excels in its dining options. From quick bites at Chipotle and Five Guys to sit-down meals at Olive Garden and Outback Steakhouse, there’s something for everyone.

The variety of cuisines caters to diverse tastes and preferences, making the mall a popular destination for shopping and dining.

A Destination for Leisure and Shopping

The combination of extensive retail choices and many dining options makes the Mall at Prince George’s a complete leisure destination.

It’s not just a place for shopping; it’s a location where individuals and families can spend an entire day exploring, shopping, and dining, making it a key attraction in Hyattsville, Maryland.


The Mall at Prince George’s in Hyattsville, Maryland, has evolved significantly. From its origins as an open-air shopping center to its current status as a modern enclosed mall, it has continually adapted to changing retail trends and consumer needs.

The mall has maintained its relevance and appeal in a challenging retail environment with diverse retail and dining options, strategic renovations, and a focus on community engagement.

It is a testament to the dynamic nature of retail spaces and their ability to evolve and thrive in the face of change.

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