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Landmark Mall

On January 4, 2017, Macy's announced that it was closing 68 stores and cutting more than 10,000 jobs as national sales continue to decline.  The retailer's 201,000-square-foot outpost next to Alexandria's Landmark Mall -- which opened in 1965 and has 119 employees -- is the region's only store affected by the chain's cost-saving decision.

Several days later, on January 9th, The Howard Hughes Corporation, a publicly traded real estate development company based in Dallas, Texas, announced that it was purchasing the Macy's store and its adjacent parking lot as part of its comprehensive plan, first approved by the Alexandria city council in 2013, to redevelop Landmark Mall.  The shopping center has been in decay for at least the past decade and Howard Hughes purchased it in 2009 with a view toward its revitalization.  Howard Hughes proposes to tear down the existing three-story enclosed mall and build an open-air, mixed-use "urban village" with retail, residential and entertainment options, open public spaces, and a new transit hub (see photos above and below).  It's called The New Landmark.

Meanwhile, Sears announced on January 5th that it was closing an additional 41 Sears and 109 K-Mart stores, selling its iconic Craftsman tools brand to Stanley Black & Decker for a reported $900 million, and hoping to spin off more of its nearly 50 separate product lines in an ongoing but mostly futile attempt to stave off further financial hemorrhaging.  After the Macy's deal is completed, Sears will own the last remaining parcel at Landmark Mall not owned by Howard Hughes.  Landmark Mall and its 20 or so remaining small retailers shut down for good on January 31, 2017.  The Macy's store closed shortly thereafter.  The Sears store remains open for now.


On September 25, 2017, the Washington Business Journal reported on several developments regarding this redevelopment effort.  First, Howard Hughes has delayed the project's start until 2020 to allow time for more planning.  Second, Howard Hughes has "approached Seritage Growth Properties, the owner of the Landmark Mall Sears store, about incorporating the Sears site into the mall redevelopment plan."  Third, Howard Hughes is negotiating a lease with The Carpenter’s Shelter, which would allow the community services organization to continue operating its homeless shelter in part of the former Macy's store for about two years while it builds a new mixed-use facility (see image at left) at its current location on North Henry Street (U.S. Route 1 southbound) about a half-mile from Watergate. 

When completed in early 2020, the new homeless shelter will occupy the ground floor of a seven-story building, with 97 units of affordable and transitional housing on the upper levels.  Former Alexandria Mayor Kerry Donley, who is vice chair of The Carpenter's Shelter's board, is leading the lease negotiations.  The shelter would vacate the temporary premises at Macy's before demolition at Landmark Mall begins.



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