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Changing urban landscape

September 17, 2002

Photo by Doug Thompson

Photo by Doug Thompson

Shopping center developers nationwide are moving away from the sterile, cookie-cutter megamalls to “main street” developments in urban areas. Clarendon Market in Arlington County in suburban Washington is one of the latest examples of the trend, a manufacturered main street concept with stores clustered around a central plaza featuring a parklike atmosphere. “The idea is to create more of a neighborhood environment with a localized feel,” says developer Barry Weston. “The mix is both chain and local retailers with restaurants and living accomodations. Besides retail and restaurants, Clarendon Market also features upscale apartments and is one of 11 such “main streets” to open in the Washington area in the past 18 months.