White Flint Mall in Rockville, MD – From Shopping Mecca to Redevelopment Hub

White Flint Mall, located in Rockville, MD, was once a bustling shopping destination that attracted locals and visitors alike. The mall opened in 1977 and was an essential part of the community for decades.

However, the mall experienced a decline in popularity and eventually closed in 2015. This article will explore the history of White Flint Mall, its significance to the community, and its future.

White Flint Mall’s Early Years

The construction of White Flint Mall began in the middle of 1970s and was completed in 1977. The mall was designed to be a modern, indoor shopping destination that would attract regional shoppers.

When it first opened, the mall had two anchor stores – Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor, and Sears, and four junior anchors – Loews Theatre, H&M, Borders Books and Music, and Dave & Buster’s.

White Flint Mall quickly became a popular destination for shoppers, and it played an essential role in the community by providing jobs and supporting local businesses.

White Flint Mall
White Flint Mall Sign” by dan reed! is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

White Flint Mall’s Later Years

White Flint Mall has become a trailblazer in shopping centers, showcasing its ingenuity in various ways. One of the mall’s pioneering feats was issuing its credit card to loyal shoppers, paving the way for other shopping centers to follow suit.

In celebration of its 25th anniversary, White Flint Mall elevated its creativity to a new level, releasing its version of Monopoly, aptly named “White Flint-opoly.” The board game, featuring the mall’s tenants as properties, became a collector’s item among enthusiasts and loyal patrons.

Apart from these innovative moves, the mall also boasts stunning decorative features. One of the most notable was a grand fountain on the first level, located underneath and around the mirrored escalators.

White Flint Mall
Inside White Flint Mall” by dan reed! is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The fountain’s design was loosely based on the picturesque Rialto Bridge and Grand Canal in Venice, lending an air of sophistication and elegance to the Via Rialto mall within the mall.

Over the years, ownership and management of White Flint Mall changed hands several times, and the mall began to experience a decline in popularity.

As other shopping destinations opened, foot traffic at the mall decreased. Additionally, some anchor stores closed, leaving empty storefronts throughout the mall.

Despite efforts to revitalize the mall, it continued to struggle, and in 2015, the decision was made to close the mall for good.

White Flint Mall
White Flint Mall” by MikeKalasnik is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Demolition and Redevelopment of White Flint Mall

In 2011, Lerner Enterprises announced plans to demolish the mall and replace it with a new mixed-use development. The plan called for four office buildings, a 300-room hotel, 1,000,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, and 12 apartment buildings comprising 2,500 residences.

Construction was expected to begin two years following approval and take approximately 25 years to complete.

However, a legal battle with Lord & Taylor, one of the mall’s former anchor stores, delayed the process. Eventually, the dispute was settled, and the deconstruction and construction process began.

Contractors began the exterior demolition of the mall in 2015, starting with the southeastern parking garage nearest to the former Bloomingdale store site. Demolition of the mall building and the remaining parking garages, except the one connected to Lord & Taylor, was completed in January 2016.

The site is now being developed into a mixed-use development, including residential and commercial spaces.

The Future of White Flint

The future of White Flint is bright, with plans for a new mixed-use development that will bring new life to the area.

The development will include residential units, retail spaces, and public spaces for the community to enjoy. The project is expected to significantly impact the community by providing jobs and supporting local businesses.

When completed, the development will be compared to similar developments, such as Pike & Rose and Bethesda Row areas.

While the closure of White Flint Mall was undoubtedly a disappointment for the local community, plans for a new mixed-use development offer hope for the future.

Lerner Enterprises is moving forward with its redevelopment plans. As a result, the area is expected to continue to thrive as a popular destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment.


White Flint Mall was a vital part of the Rockville community for decades, providing jobs and supporting local businesses.

Although the mall experienced a decline in popularity and eventually closed, plans for a new mixed-use development are underway. The new development will bring new life to the area and positively impact the community.

White Flint Mall may be gone, but it will not be forgotten. Instead, the history of White Flint Mall serves as a reminder of the importance of community spaces and their role in our lives.

Avatar of Spencer Walsh

I'm Spencer Walsh, a professional traveler who loves to help people discover new places and learn about different cultures. I've traveled worldwide, from Europe to Asia and Africa to South America. My favorite thing about traveling is getting lost because it allows me to discover unexpected gems—finding a hidden museum or stumbling upon a beautiful park in the middle of the city.

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