Once the economic juggernaut of suburbia, enclosed malls are slowly dying all across America. The Washington region is no exception.

This map shows 31 enclosed malls in the DC area, color-coded by status: green for malls that are still open, and red for malls that are closed or in the process of closing.




The 31 malls on the map range from small local ones like Fair City in Fairfax, to gargantuan super-regional ones like Tysons Corner. The only requirement to be on the map is that malls contain a common interior hallway lined with several shops.

Some, like Pentagon City, are chugging along as healthily as ever. Others, like Seven Corners Center, have been gone for years. Overall, more than 40% of the dots are red.

The reasons malls have closed vary as much as the malls themselves. Some closed because they were housed in cheap buildings that simply reached the end of their intended lifespans, while others couldn’t compete with the mixed-use town center developments that have become common in recent years.

Geography seems to be unimportant in whether a mall lives or dies. Red dots permeate all corners of the map, regardless of the wealth of the jurisdiction.

One thing that does seem to make a difference is size. Larger malls that draw from a wider area generally seem more likely to thrive than smaller ones. As the years go by and even more green dots turn to red, it’s likely the last hold outs will be the biggest and most famous.

Is this map comprehensive? Did I miss any malls? Let me know in the comments.

Cross-posted at BeyondDC.

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Tagged: malls, maps, retail

Dan Malouff is a transportation planner for Arlington and professor of geography at George Washington University, but blogs to express personal views. He has a degree in urban planning from the University of Colorado, and lives in NE DC. He runs BeyondDC and contributes to the Washington Post .