Ballston Quarter facts for kids
Ballston Quarter, formerly known as Ballston Common Mall, originally opened as Parkington Shopping Center in 1951, and was one of the first major suburban shopping centers in the Washington, D.C., area. It was the first shopping center built around a multi-story parking garage in the United States. It is located at the intersection of Glebe Road (Virginia State Route 120) and Wilson Boulevard in the Ballston neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia, two blocks from Ballston-MU Station on the Washington Metro's Orange and Silver lines. The Ballston Common mall opened on October 20, 1986, and was a $40 million replacement for the Parkington Shopping Center. The 530,000-square-foot (49,000 m2) center was developed in limited partnership with the May Centers, a subsidiary of the May Company who, at the time, also owned one of the anchors, Hecht's.
On May 31, 2016, most businesses closed so the mall could be redeveloped into Ballston Quarter. It reopened officially in November 2018.
The $6.5 million Hecht's store opened in the Parkington Shopping Center on November 2, 1951. At its opening, the five story, 300,000-square-foot (28,000 m2) store was the largest suburban department store on the East Coast. A man was electrocuted during the construction of the store. Over the years, the $15 million Parkington Shopping Center expanded to 30 stores including Giant Food, McCrory's, Hub Furniture, Crawford Clothes, Franc Jewelers, W.T. Grant, Wilbur-Rogers Women's Apparel, A.S. Beck Shoes, Brentano's Books, and Casual Corner. In May 1974, J.C. Penney opened a 36,327-square-foot (3,374.9 m2) soft line merchandise and catalog store.
By 1982, the 30-year-old Parkington Shopping Center was in need of a facelift. Beginning that year, Arlington County and the May Centers embarked on a $100 million renovation project and expansion of the shopping center. Part of this was a contest among Arlington residents for a name for the new mall. That contest was how "Ballston Common" came to be the mall's name. After some complications, the renovated and expanded shopping center opened in the fall of 1986. In the early 2000s, the mall became home to the Kettler Capitals Iceplex, headquarters and practice facility for the National Hockey League's Washington Capitals, as well as the DC location of the ComedySportz improvisational theatre organization.
The owner of the mall started planning a redevelopment in 2013. In September 2013 Forest City Washington purchased the Macy's Furniture Store as part of that plan. The mall's final day of operation was May 31, 2016. A number of stores stayed open during the renovation.
Ballston Quarter Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.