White Flint Mall getting a make-over

White Flint Mall, built back in the '70s, isn't what it used to be.

Age and competition have taken their toll. Mainstays like Borders are gone and the parking lot was half empty on Friday. Now the mall is set for a makeover.

Owner Lerner Enterprises wants to replace the mall with 21 buildings, a mix of retail and office space, apartments and a hotel centered around green space.

The project is part of an overhaul of Rockville Pike. Montgomery County changed the zoning last year to allow replacing the relentless low-slung strip malls with mixed-use developments up to 30 stories high. White Flint would be part of that.

Lord and Taylors and Bloomingdales, which owns its retail space, would stay, but other stores would go.

The biggest concern for many residents is traffic. The adjoining neighborhood of Garrett Park Estates is particularly affected and residents like Stephen Szara are bracing for things to get worse.

“During the rush hour and even in the middle of the day, traffic's stopping here, and going stop and go,” Szara said.