Monday, March 13, 2006

Washington Post features front page article on City Place

The front page of today's Washington Post features an article on the failure of City Place mall despite the redevelopment of downtown Silver Spring.

(For those who weren't aware, City Place is often referred to derisively as "Shitty Place" by many, including myself. It is a well-deserved nickname and I will henceforth use it and the mall's "real" name interchangeably in future posts.)

When the City/Shitty Place mall was first announced, I thought this was going to be a great thing - no more having to go to Wheaton Plaza to shop. Boy, was I wrong. From the get-go, Shitty Place mall sucked, and it only went downhill from there. There weren't many decent stores at the start, and what there was soon packed their bags and left. The one good thing about Shitty Place was the theater, which at the time was really nice and had ten screens. (I actually worked at this theater one summer during high school.) The theater, too, eventually went dark. Who ever heard of a brand new state-of-the-art multiplex theater going out of business in just over ten years? The mall theater was so disrespected that it wasn't even considered competition when someone built a 20-screen theater across the street.

The parking situation was terrible, as they built that little garage on the side that was so narrow that one person pulling out of their spot would cause a backup all the way up to the top level. Thankfully, that garage eventually got the wrecking ball, but what a waste of money it was to build it in the first place.

The article quotes the owner of the Moroccan restaurant that now occupies the spot at the mall entrance at the corner of Colesville & Fenton:

When Abdelmoumen, who has run a restaurant in Arlington for years, opened Taste of Morocco last September, he thought the new place in Silver Spring would do brisk lunch business because of spillover from the mall. That hasn't happened. "We don't do anything at lunch," he said.
I genuinely feel bad for the guy, but he should have done his research. I swear there must have been 25 different restaurants there since the mall opened. Even Mohammed Ali's Rotisserie Chicken closed down! If the Champ can't make it in City Place, who can??

I worked in downtown Silver Spring for a couple years and the women in my company were genuinely afraid to venture into City Place. This is absurd, of course, but it really demonstrates the perception people have of the mall.

UPDATE: Apparently City Place did have one redeeming quality- the mall's arcade was the only place around to play Dance Dance Revolution... well at least until they took it away.

Also, I tried to find an official website for City Place, but was unsuccessful. What kind of mall doesn't even promote itself and its stores with a simple website? If someone was interested in checking the mall out, a website might provide them with some useful information. Then again, if they actually had a list of the crappy stores there, they might never go. If anyone knows of a website, please email me or post it in the comments. All I could find was a basic site for the management company.


groovything said...

It is a shitty mall, but I like to go for the cheaper clothing, like someone mentioned in the article. Silver Spring's retail clothing is pretty much limited to ATL and the more middle-aged stuff of the local businesses. And that Morroccan place -- the food sucks anyway and the whole belly-dancing thing could be cool if they didn't turn it into something kinda sleazy.

Sligo said...

What it needs is hookahs. Then again, they are probably illegal in MoCo.

the one who writes about science said...

There always seems to be a crowd in that Moroccan restaurant at dinner time, though - it's right on the outside (at the corner of Fenton & Colesville) so you don't feel like you're going *into* the mall. Or so I imagine. I admit I've never been. Yes, another Silver Springster who's abandoned City Place.

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