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Old September 23rd, 2007, 05:08 PM   #1
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Seattle-area retail discussion

Does Seattle have that many suburban shopping centers because whenever I am bored and decide to look at Seattle on maps.live.com, I never see as many shopping centers as other cities have.
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 09:32 PM   #2
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The interesting thing about Seattle's suburban (and inside Seattle) shopping centers is that most are densifying. Not in big ways like adding towers, but in still-important ways -- adding new wings, and doing so by replacing some surface parking with garages.

We don't build new regional malls, period. There is simply no land at the right price.

The last one was the Supermall in Auburn in the early 1990s or so. Actually it did poorly, at least it was doing poorly last we heard. The concept is low-priced stores and outlets rather than a mainstream lineup. The concept requires customers from all over the metro to work. It's tough to draw from all over the metro when traffic is like ours, and buses to the mall are basically pretty local and not regional.

But we do build lifestyle centers which generally have some sort of new urbanist idea. Redmond Town Center, Kent Station, The Landing (in Renton), and the upcoming Everett Riverfront project come to mind.

Another trend is the stacked big-box center. Northgate North is four acres, basically 1/8 the acreage typically used for that much retail. Next, we might get another stacked big-box center on the farthest southeast corner of greater Downtown on land that's owned by Goodwill -- they'd get a new store by allowing a developer to build lots of new housing and retail on their 10 acres.

The most notable trend of all is the supermarket with housing on top. Several of these have opened around Downtown and close-in neighborhoods in recent years, and a bunch more are planned. Actually, if you include smaller "supermarkets" like Trader Joe's and so on, I can think of at least 11 that have opened in the past decade, a few more u-c, and another dozen or so proposed, mostly in Seattle but also one u-c in Downtown Bellevue.
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 11:40 PM   #3
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I guess it is good they aren't building new malls like crazy. It saves some of the beautiful forested areas.
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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
The last one was the Supermall in Auburn in the early 1990s or so. Actually it did poorly, at least it was doing poorly last we heard. The concept is low-priced stores and outlets rather than a mainstream lineup. The concept requires customers from all over the metro to work. It's tough to draw from all over the metro when traffic is like ours, and buses to the mall are basically pretty local and not regional.
So you're saying that there isn't enough people in a specific suburban area to have a need for a huge mall?
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Another trend is the stacked big-box center.
Any photos?
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Old September 24th, 2007, 01:19 AM   #4
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Auburn might be a fine location for a regular mall. But the Supermall focuses on just certain product types, with the assumption that they'll draw from a much larger percentage of the entire metro area than a regular mall would.

I don't do photos. But here's a link with Northgate North on the lower left -- garage next to the stacked stores. To the left is a park-n-ride. Also you can see Northgate Mall, which has been adding stores along the right edge and recently built a parking garage to compensate at the far end. Just beyond the garage you see another park-n-ride, plus a 5-acre site that is currently getting 500 housing units, a multiplex, and the return of an old stream called Thorton Creek.

http://www.aerolistphoto.com/large/W...te/2007/0137/2

Plus another link with NN on the far left: http://www.aerolistphoto.com/large/W...te/2007/0140/2
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Old September 24th, 2007, 01:39 AM   #5
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So is trying to preserve forests and other natural beauty one of the reasons Seattle isn't building new malls?
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Old September 24th, 2007, 03:58 AM   #6
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Well, in suburbs north of Seattle, we tend to have more "power centers" than regional malls.

The only malls in Snohomish County are Alderwood and Everett Mall. More recently, Snohomish County has been focusing more on urban villages and power centers occupied by several big-box stores. Here's a list:

- Mill Creek Town Center
- Lakewood Crossing (Marysville)
- Frontier Village (Lake Stevens)
- Snohomish Station
- North Kelsey Development (Monroe)
- Quil Ceda Village (includes Wal-Mart Supercenter, Tulalip Casino, and Seattle Premium Outlets)
- Gateway Shopping Center (Marysville)
- Everett Riverfront
- Port Gardner Wharf (not really)
- Mukilteo Town Center (future)
- 128th Street Center (future)
- Edmonds International District (future)
- Mountlake Terrace Town Center (future)

Many more are planned, but malls..........no.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 04:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
So is trying to preserve forests and other natural beauty one of the reasons Seattle isn't building new malls?
Most malls around here weren't built on anything that looked like a pristine forest. Most were built on what used to be farmland. So no, it's not about saving trees.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 04:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Most malls around here weren't built on anything that looked like a pristine forest. Most were built on what used to be farmland. So no, it's not about saving trees.
Yea but land that would be used for new malls is probably forested, right? So not building the malls would be saving trees. Idk, you guys know more about that area than I do. I'm just guessing here.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 04:41 AM   #9
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Bond, do you have any photos?
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Old September 24th, 2007, 04:46 AM   #10
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In each county, we have a boundary outside of which growth is much more strictly regulated. The reason is to protect forests as well as agriculture and other rural uses.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 04:54 AM   #11
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Kevin_wk....the malls WE have so far in Seattle metro area is....starting from south to north.....Olympia Mall, Tacoma Mall, SeaTac Mall, Westfield shoppingtown (Southcenter mall), Factoria Mall, Bellevue Square, Crossroads Mall, Westlake Center, Pacific Place, Northgate Mall, Totem Lake Mall (almost dead), Alderwood Mall and Everett Mall Let me know if I missed any other malls....Supermall isn't really a true mall, it's more like a indoor factory outlets and they don't really have anything attractive.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 05:08 AM   #12
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You missed Lakewood Town Center and South Hill Mall in Puyallup.

Lakewood and Seatac seem pretty dead. Lakewood's turning into an outdoor mall. But I know Tacoma, Southcenter, and Bellevue are way above the national average in terms of sales per square foot. Something like $600sf+.

And I guess the Supermall is like the Premium Outlets in Marysville?
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Old September 24th, 2007, 05:31 AM   #13
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Yea but land that would be used for new malls is probably forested, right? So not building the malls would be saving trees. Idk, you guys know more about that area than I do. I'm just guessing here.
It's unlikely any new areas they built big malls would be on forested lots. Usually when they build a big mall they build it in an area that already has a big population. A regional mall needs a population of at least 100,000 to support it. You aren't going to find many areas with 100,000+ people with large forested areas.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 05:43 AM   #14
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Bond, do you have any photos?
Northgate mall, in north Seattle. This mall is now undergoing a big renovation:
http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v...9723&encType=1

Alderwood Mall, in Lynnwood (northern suburbs)
http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v...5743&encType=1

Everett Mall (smaller mall in Everett):
http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v...7449&encType=1

Redmond Town Center - not really a "mall" but it functions like one and has all the same kinds of stores that a mall has:
http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v...8505&encType=1

Bellevue Square - Seattle-area's ritziest mall in downtown Belleuve:
http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v...2534&encType=1

Factoria Square Mall. Small mall in south Bellevue. I personally don't even count it as one of Seattle's "malls."
http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v...1975&encType=1

Southcenter Mall, in Tukwila (southern suburbs). This is undergoing a huge expansion and renovation:
http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v...6714&encType=1

No WLL bird's-eye coverage for the Supermall in Auburn or SeaTac Mall in Federal. The Supermall is an outlet mall, and SeaTac Mall is sorta like the Everett Mall.

Down in Tacoma there's the Tacoma Mall:
http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v...6951&encType=1

Over on the west side of Puget Sound is the Kitsap Mall:
http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v...8501&encType=1

There's also a small mall in Olympia.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 07:38 AM   #15
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Let's not forget University Village located in the northeastern part of the city. It is not very large, but it deserves to be counted as a lifestyle center.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 08:29 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kub86 View Post
You missed Lakewood Town Center and South Hill Mall in Puyallup.

Lakewood and Seatac seem pretty dead. Lakewood's turning into an outdoor mall. But I know Tacoma, Southcenter, and Bellevue are way above the national average in terms of sales per square foot. Something like $600sf+.

And I guess the Supermall is like the Premium Outlets in Marysville?
Thanks for adding 2 more malls that I missed.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 10:26 AM   #17
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Not to mention the malls downtown: Pacific Place and Westlake Center.

I know that Northgate touts itself as America's first enclosed shopping mall, too.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 11:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bond James Bond View Post
It's unlikely any new areas they built big malls would be on forested lots. Usually when they build a big mall they build it in an area that already has a big population. A regional mall needs a population of at least 100,000 to support it. You aren't going to find many areas with 100,000+ people with large forested areas.
But there are suburban places in other parts of the country that have >1000 ppl that build malls. I guess new malls is not a Seattle thing huh?
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In each county, we have a boundary outside of which growth is much more strictly regulated. The reason is to protect forests as well as agriculture and other rural uses.
That's good. The forests and trees there are awesome. Even if the main reason for seattle not building new malls isn't to preserve forests, it is still good because it might actually be saving forests.
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Old September 25th, 2007, 04:47 AM   #19
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But there are suburban places in other parts of the country that have >1000 ppl that build malls. I guess new malls is not a Seattle thing huh?
No, I was talking *just* about building malls on forested lots. Around here, large forested lots are usually out in the boonies. Malls, needing a surrounding population base of at least 100,000, are extremely unlikely to be located out in the boonies. Thus, they are unlikely to be placed on forested lots.
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Old September 25th, 2007, 05:35 AM   #20
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lol. This kid is so confused.
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