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Posted at 3:32 PM ET, 01/13/2011

Potomac Mills slashes parking lot

By Jennifer Buske

A popular commuter lot in Prince William County is about to lose more than half its parking spaces.

Potomac Mills mall General Manager Mike Sullivan said the Woodbridge outlet shopping center will be reducing the number of commuter spaces in the roughly 1,000-space lot it provides down to 275 spaces Feb 14. Sullivan said the reduction is needed to make way for new commercial development.

"We had a business decision to make," Sullivan said. "This is private property, we run a business and we want to have enough parking for customers and employees. We've helped the county out over the years ... but it's the county's job to provide commuter lots."

Sullivan said the county requires Potomac Mills to provide 275 spaces. For the past 20-plus years, however, mall officials have provided upward of four to five times what the county required. Sullivan said they did so to give the county time to build its own lots.

According to the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission Web site, there are about 15 commuter lots across the county.

County officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Sullivan said he could not release the names of businesses that may come to the Potomac Mills development, but he is in negotiations with various retailers and restaurants, some of which are interested in building facilities in the parking lot at the mall. Sullivan said the expansion plans surfaced a few years ago, but were halted when the recession hit. Now, he said, businesses are ready to expand, and he needs to guarantee there is enough parking for both new and existing businesses.

"While we realize the impact that this change will have on commuters, as a private business, our first priority must be to provide for the needs of our loyal shoppers, retailers and employees," Sullivan said in a letter sent to The Washington Post. "We must also accommodate continued growth."

By Jennifer Buske  | January 13, 2011; 3:32 PM ET
Categories:  Commuting, Driving, Transportation News, Virginia  
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I have a question if you have people coming to your parking lot at least 4 or 5 days a week because that's where they commute from, how many times do you think they would be going into your establishment? Impulse shopping? Necessary purchses? I do not think that is taken into consideration though Sullivan is correct Potomac Mills is a private business. One that has to make money possibly from the commuters/shoppers who show up every morning.

Posted by: VAMacMal | January 13, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I bet that the new commuter parking lot will be here:

Posted by: MikeCinVA | January 13, 2011 6:09 PM | Report abuse

I bet that the new commuter parking lot will be here:

Posted by: MikeCinVA | January 13, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

"how many times do you think they would be going into your establishment? Impulse shopping? Necessary purchses?"

You make a good point. Personally, I probably wouldn't go into PM unless absolutely necessary, it's too big for a quick errand after work.

Might stop by one of the food places in the parking lot to grab a quick carry out dinner, but even that would be rare for me.

Posted by: BEEPEE | January 14, 2011 2:03 AM | Report abuse

If Prince William County wanted to solve the parking problem, they'd work harder on the employment problem. Service jobs are a dime a dozen South of the Occoquan, but professional jobs are scarce. Potomac Mills has every right to expand, but most of the money that spent at the mall and restaurants is earned outside the county.

Posted by: DirMktr | January 20, 2011 2:34 PM | Report abuse

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