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Landover Regional Shopping Center: The Perceptions and Realities that Caused a Mall to Fall

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Title: Landover Regional Shopping Center: The Perceptions and Realities that Caused a Mall to Fall
Author: Leventhal, Alexis
Advisor: Stroud, Ellen
Department: Bryn Mawr College. Growth and Structure of Cities Program
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Running Time: 140441 bytes
Issue Date: 2007
Abstract: Built in 1972, the Landover Regional Shopping Center, located Southeast of Washington, D.C. in Prince George’s County, Maryland, was once the archetypal suburban shopping mall for the Washington, D.C. area. With four anchor stores, 1.3 million square feet, and a convenient location directly off the newly completed Capital Beltway, Landover mall was a retail force to be reckoned with. Filled with modern day amenities and high-end retailers, Landover mall was venerated by shoppers and envied by neighboring malls. By the mid-1980s, however, this image of Landover was replaced by a much darker one. Landover had lost much of its appeal as the structure was neglected and its high-end retailers moved out. By 2002, the mall had closed and was demolished a few years later. The transformation of Landover from a boom to a bust seemed to take place almost over night. But how was this possible? And why did it happen? The answer lies in another transformation that was taking place in the mall’s surrounding area: the composition of the county’s population from majority white to majority black. The coinciding of the changing population and the deterioration of Landover mall is no coincidence. This was due to strong, negative perceptions of African Americans and, in turn, the areas in which they live. This perception is one of crime and poverty and is a perception that can affect the economic viability of the area such as the stability of Landover mall. Landover mall fell victim to the unfair and unwarranted perception projected onto it by the surrounding population, despite the reality that the area was otherwise viable and desirable for retailers. Although other factors are at work in generating the mall’s premature decline, namely benefits from tax laws, perception was the major contributor and, more importantly, a factor that should not have contributed to Landover’s failure.
Subject: Landover Regional Shopping Center (Landover, Md.)
Subject: Shopping malls -- Maryland -- Landover
Subject: Shopping malls -- Social aspects
Subject: Shopping malls -- Public opinion
Access Restrictions: Open Access
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Leventhal, Alexis. "Landover Regional Shopping Center: The Perceptions and Realities that Caused a Mall to Fall". 2007. Available electronically from

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