Mall Set for Interior Overhaul
Published: Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 02:03
The Shops at Georgetown Park are set to undergo substantial interior renovations, including the demolition of the entire ground floor of the building.
Vornado Realty Trust and Angelo Gordon & Co., the mall’s owners, received permits from the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs this month allowing them to begin renovating the space.
The permits allow for interior non-structural demolition on the Canal, Wisconsin and M Street levels of the mall, as well as renovations to the lower, middle and upper levels of the parking garage. Only the topmost level of the mall will remain untouched.
Though work can start almost immediately according to DCRA spokesperson Helder Gil, there is no clear timeline for the renovations.
“They haven’t submitted permits yet for what they are planning on rebuilding in the space. That’s not something I think we know at this point,” he said.
Mitchell Shear, president of Vornado, had previously discussed the possibility of converting the many smaller spaces on the ground floor into fewer, larger stores.
“It’ll end up as a prime, large-format, street-driven retail mall with seven to a dozen stores as opposed to 60 or 80,” Shear told the Washington Business Journal in February.
The company has not applied for any permits to modify the exterior of the building. These permits are more difficult to obtain, as exterior renovations require approval from both the Citizens Association of Georgetown and the Commission of Fine Arts.
Only 12 stores remain open in the Shops at Georgetown Park, which once held more than 60 shops and businesses.
According to Robert Bellamy, assistant general manager at Washington Sports Club, the business has not been asked to leave the mall. WSC is located on the top level of the building, which is not slated for renovation.
“It will be open while things are under construction, while they’re making renovations,” Bellamy said.
Bellamy added that the arrival of a large department store would be good for the remaining businesses. Although WSC has not seen a decline in customers, Bellamy said, “It never hurts to have more awareness,” citing that a large store would increase traffic in the mall.
Since being forced to vacate the mall in Dec. 2011, several former occupants, including Fornash Designs and Total Party, have announced the opening of new locations across the Potomac at Ballston Common Mall in Arlington, Va.