GREENBELT, Md. (WUSA9) -- The remains of a once-proud and innovative shopping mall on Rockville Pike were derided by a New York-based architect as an "ugly", "beached whale" during a trial pitting a hold-out department store against the mall's owners who include the Lerner family of Washington.
The testimony by architect Gene Sisco came on the final day of a trial pitting hold-out department store Lord and Taylor against the owners of the '70's-vintage White Flint Mall, who seek to re-develop the 45 acre site into a mixed use development with more than 5-million square feet of retail, residential and office property.
The store continues to operate at White Flint, even as the rest of the mall has been abandoned and demolition has begun.
"It's like a ghost town here," said shopper Anne Jackson.
The Lerners and their partners are accused of "greed and arrogance" by attorneys for Lord and Taylor who are seeking $50 million in damages they claim was done when the owners decided to turn their backs on the mall in favor of redevelopment.
Lord and Taylor has a lease at the property until 2042. Redevelopment plans include Lord and Taylor at the site.
White Flint's lawyers argue Lord and Taylor only stands to benefit from redevelopment, which will bring at least 500 apartments and a 20-story hotel to the 45-acre site.
Montgomery County planning officials approved preliminary plans for the redevelopment in 2012.
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