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From the Galleria at Tysons II to Tysons Galleria

Address: 2001 International Drive, McLean, VA, 22102

Original Facility built: 1988

Construction Stage: 1996-97

New Facility opening: 1997

Known stores in former: Foot Locker, FAO Schwartz, Lane Bryant, Express, The Limited, County Seat, Accessory Lady

Current stores: Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue

Mall website: http://www.tysonsgalleria.com

News stories: None

Tysons Corner is the mall scenario that best matches what is going on at the Natick Mall. On one side of the street lies the Tysons Corner Mall, a middle-class mall that resembles the Natick Mall: a decent variety of anchors and mainstream retailers. On the other side lies the Tysons Galleria, a successful, upscale mall that boasts its own Ritz Carlton. But the situation wasn't always this way...

By the mid-1980s, the Tysons Corner area was booming, and plans were underway to construct a new upscale mall to compliment the existing Tysons Corner Mall. The mall secured Macy's, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue as anchor tenants, along with extensive marble and glass to bring forth the upscale feel. The project, known as The Galleria at Tysons II, opened in 1988.

But the facility wasn't a success from the get-go. Just as construction was completed, the luxury retailing sector plummeted. To ensure that the mall would not open with numerous vacancies, the mall's owners signed generic tenants like Sunglass Hut and Foot Locker to fill spaces in the mall. While adding basic tenants did fill vacancies, they caused an even bigger problem in that many tenants had locations directly across the street at the Tysons Corner Mall.

The problem needed to be resolved, but it wasn't going to happen all at once. In 1992, Homart Development gained control of the mall, and in 1995, made big plans for its future. This time, the timing was in the mall's favor, with the booming economy of the mid to late 90's in effect. First, the name was changed: from the long Galleria at Tysons II to the shorter Tysons Galleria. Homart planned to scrap nearly all of the repeat tenants, while bringing in new upscale retailers that were exclusive to the Washington area. At the same time, Homart planned to make the mall's massive facade more inviting by incorporating European styling to give the building an inviting look. Lastly, Homart planned to add Legal Sea Foods and Maggiano's Little Italy to the retail mix at the complex, giving shoppers reason to spend more time at the mall.

But despite Homart's intentions, the renovations were put on hold as the entire company was sold to (then) Des Moines, IA-based General Growth Properties in December 1995. General Growth fired the mall's general manager, and began to work on their own plan to redesign the mall. Eventually, it would be very similar: exterior renovations were made to the mall corridor, restaurants including P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Legal Sea Foods, Corner Bakery Cafe, Maggiano's Little Italy, and Daily Grill; and an exclusive, upscale lineup.

My Pictures: August 7, 2006

Legal's, mall entrance, and P.F. Chang's

The main entrance to Tysons Galleria. On the left of the entrance is Legal Sea Foods, to the right is P.F. Chang's China Bistro.

Another picture of the entrance

Another picture of the mall's entrance.


The Macy's anchor store. The store was built prior to the national expansion of the Macy's brand, thus the store was well respected when it opened in 1988.

Mall entrance and Saks Fifth Avenue

The large building in the middle would be Saks Fifth Avenue. Off to the end is Neiman Marcus.

Mall interior

Here's the mall's interior.


The entrance to the top floor of the mall's parking garage. Tysons Galleria was constructed around office buildings, giving it the feel of upscale centers like Newport Beach, CA's Fashion Island; not to mention numerous dining options for employees on a lunch break.


Saks at night, with a better view of Neiman Marcus off at the end.

Media: None

Related Links: Can General Growth Manage Luxury Malls?, General Growth Properties mall information


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