Lord & Taylor has sued the White Flint Mall to try to delay its redevelopment plans. The department story has occupied a spot at White Flint Mall since 1976, but the company says plans to redevelop the land are hurting business.
In a complaint filed this week, Lord & Taylor says plans to turn the shopping center into a 5.2 million square foot mixed-use development violate the original agreement between Lord & Taylor and White Flint Mall. They've asked the mall's ownership team to stop plans until the agreement expires in 2055.
According to court documents, the area was supposed to be used only "for the business of selling goods, wares, merchandise, and for offices and restaurants." But the mall's plans outline high rise residences, offices, even a hotel.
"Lord & Taylor seems always to be empty and there's a lot of sales there," says Yolanda Lee of Chevy Chase, D.C.
According to the complaint, many mall stores are vacant. Lord & Taylor says that goes against White Flint's promise to make the mall "a first high class fashion regional shopping center."
In the complaint, Lord & Taylor says White Flint told them they had no intention of violating the agreement. But the department store says if the plans go through, it will cause irreparable harm to Lord & Taylor's store and customer base.
Residents in the area say the damage might already be done.
"We don't even go to White Flint Mall anymore. And we live across the street. There's not really anything there that interests us. So we're looking forward to the redevelopment. Hopefully it will bring more stores and restaurants," says Jimmy Rafetto of Rockville.
Neither Lord & Taylor LLC nor its legal team responded to requests for comment. Lerner Enterprises and the Tower Companies own White Flint Mall and did not respond to requests for comment.