As 2022 ends, we’re sharing a few of our most-read stories of the year, from April 2022: In March of 2021, it was reported that Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) planned to sell all of it’s US holdings in 2022. This would include Montgomery Mall and Wheaton Mall (Westfield Montgomery and Westfield Wheaton), both located in Montgomery County. Chief Executive Jean-Marie Tritant told investors last week that Unibail wants to shed most of its U.S. properties by the end of 2023, according to a Wall Street Journal report, which pushes things back about a year.
Shopping malls, which were already hurting due to the rise of online shopping, were hit especially hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. Per the report, “Unibail’s exit from the U.S. after only four years shows that executives have concluded that even high-quality, marquee American malls aren’t worth holding on to as the Paris-based company works to slash its debt and to refocus on its flagship properties in Europe.” With White Flint gone and Lakeforest on its last legs, Montgomery, Wheaton and Ellsworth Place malls are the last three remaining in Montgomery County.