For years, the once iconic Landmark Mall has sat largely barren with only a few stores open and an increasingly desolate parking lot.
Macy's is the latest store to say goodbye to the mall as the department store chain struggles with slow sales and online competition. The Macy's at Landmark Mall is one of 65 locations that will close this year, Macy's announced Wednesday.
Stephanie Landrum, with the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, said the closure will not be as terrible for the mall as some may expect. The closure comes as Landmark Mall prepares for a major facelift.
“So, in many ways this closure kind of clears the path and makes the redevelopment of what’s a complicated site a little bit easier,” Landrum said.
More than three years ago, the Alexandria City Council approved redevelopment plans made by the Howard Hughes Corporation to transform the mall into a mixed-use property with apartments, shops and restaurants.
But Landrum said there have been delays in getting the redevelopment going.
"So, there's just been every possible complication you could imagine corporately and then you combine in there, sort of, the change of the market over the past 10 years," Landrum said.
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However, Landrum and Alexandria leaders said some changes will begin in 2017.
"I think there’s a great potential for this next generation to experience what the Howard Hughes and the partners have planned.”
“The designs are stunning, so it is very exciting and this is a top priority for me, and the council and for everyone at city hall,” said Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg.
Alexandria leaders expect a more detailed timeline to be announced "very soon."