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Get A Look at The New Springfield Town Center

Washington DC Retail

Springfield Mall was "the bomb" to any teen growing up in NoVa during the '80s and '90s. But things went downhill the last few years, with prime retailers leaving and crime increasing. With a new owner taking the lead, its fortunes are looking up.

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Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust has agreed to buy the property from Vornado, and at a press tour yesterday morning, said that the 1.3M SF retail project replacing the Springfield Mall will be a complete rebirth for the area. The REIT is renaming the project Springfield Town Center, and it's slated to open Oct. 17. Stores like Michael Kors and restaurants like Maggiano’s will bring in a new customer and a modern design will make it the gathering place it once was.

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PREIT CEO Joe Coradino stands in the future food court (even empty, we sort of expected free samples of chicken teryaki). PREIT agreed to buy Springfield Town Center from Vornado this year, having transformed a mall with similar crime problems in Cherry Hill, N.J. by bringing in better retailers. Coming here: Nordstrom Rack, Dick’s, The LOFT, and J.Crew. Restaurants Maggiano’s and Yard House will also join. Regal Cinemas is planning its first 1,200-seat, high-end theatre with power-reclined seats, cocktail lounge, and high-end food. UK-based TopShop will put in one of its only US stores, and H&M is experimenting with a new type of store. (If it's an H&M that has chicken teryaki, we're in.)

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Vornado project manager Bob Byrne says the mall will bring in more natural light and soft-seating lounge areas where people can charge their devices by just setting them on a table. The area around Springfield Town Center, a mix of old and new retail and office, will also likely see some redevelopment, says Bob. A proposed site for the FBI HQ is just to the south. Vornado spent $250M in new investment redeveloping Springfield Town Center and will transfer it to PREIT for $465M as part of a strategy to exit the regional shopping center business. (Whenever we exit malls, we have trouble finding our car. So if you spot Mitchell Schear's moped, let him know.)