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The Rouse Company ...

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Willard and James RouseThe Rouse Company, founded by "industry prophet" James W. Rouse (1914-1996) in 1939, was a publicly held shopping mall and community developer from 1956 until 2004, when General Growth Properties Inc. purchased the company.

The Rouse Company built some of the first enclosed shopping malls, and it pioneered the development of "festival marketplaces", such as Jacksonville Landing in Jacksonville, Faneuil Hall in Boston, South Street Seaport in New York City, Harborplace in Baltimore, and Bayside Marketplace in Miami. They also developed The Shops at National Place in downtown Washington, D.C. that opened in 1984-85.

Its community projects include the Village of Cross Keys in Baltimore and planned and created the entire city of Columbia, Maryland (where the Rouse Company was headquartered) using his "total city concept", Bridgeland Community, Texas, and Summerlin, Nevada. The Rouse Company was also an investor in the planned community of The Woodlands, Texas.
Brothers, Willard and James Rouse
on the Lakefront, Columbia, MD

Columbia Mall 1980sIn 1996, The Howard Hughes Corporation, which had extensive property and other business interests, became a subsidiary. On November 12, 2004, the Rouse Company was sold to Chicago-based General Growth Properties Inc., another shopping mall developer.

In 1983, ESF designed, developed, and validated a series of self-instructional programs to train the entry-level marketing and management personnel who were in training to become shopping center managers at affiliates and subsidiaries of The Rouse Company Shopping Centers throughout the United States. Peter and Mary Esseff lived and had their office in Columbia from 1975-1989. They and their children loved the concept of the "Planned Community" and actively participated in all the wonderful facilities the community had to offer, including hanging out at The Mall where, at that time, you knew everyone who passed by.

Above: The Fountain in center of
The Mall, Columbia, MD
People Tree, Columbia, MD

The Modules in the Mall Management Program included the following:

  • Consumer Research
  • Legal Requirements
  • Special Events
  • Risk Management
  • Financial
  • Accounting
  • Advertising
  • Marketing Plan
  • Publicity
  • Merchants' Association Communications

Above: The People Tree,
Lakefront, Columbia, MD