LYNNWOOD – Construction at Alderwood Mall is kicking into high gear, with workers extending the shopping center on both its north and south sides.
On the north side is The Village, an open-air area with 165,000 square feet of space for upscale shops and restaurants.
The opposite corner of the mall is home to the new 24,000-square-foot Terraces area, which will feature a large fireplace and garden plaza, as well as shops and restaurants. Jamba Juice and a new Starbucks, the first two tenants in that area, could open by April.
The new shopping areas are scheduled to be done in time for a grand opening on the first weekend of November, according to Alderwood’s management office.
“Things are going to start progressing fairly rapidly,” mall spokesman Barry Bartlett said. “Once the site work is done, the buildings are going to start popping up. It will be an exciting evolution, I think, for shoppers to see.”
Already, in the past weeks, workers have erected steel girders to frame the first buildings for The Village, which will occupy the former Nordstrom site.
While last year’s construction of a new Nordstrom store and two parking garages significantly changed the mall’s footprint, the upcoming additions should change things even more.
Both The Terraces and The Village are considered “lifestyle centers,” places that include sitting areas, outdoor settings and other features to encourage shoppers to stay longer. The new areas also are attractive to retailers that may not like traditional malls.
Ravenna Gardens, a retail business specializing in garden-related gifts, will be one of the first tenants in The Village, which is scheduled to open this fall.
“For our business, it was extremely desirable,” said Cristopher Gunter, co-owner of the Seattle-based chain of four stores. “We’ve wanted to be up in Snohomish County for some time. But our business requires outdoor merchandising space, so it doesn’t work for a conventional mall.”
But for an open-air shopping area such as The Village, Ravenna Gardens is a good fit, said Gunter. The business’ first store opened in Seattle’s University Village, one of the best-known lifestyle centers, on which The Village and The Terraces are loosely based.
That’s not an accident. The mall’s owner, General Growth Properties, looked at ways to retain local shoppers who have been attracted by University Village’s atmosphere and the greater variety of national retail and restaurant chains at places such as Bellevue Square.
Based on the new tenants announced so far by Alderwood Mall’s management office, those national names are coming. Borders Books, Pottery Barn and trendy restaurant chains such as P.F. Chang’s China Bistro are among those leasing spaces in the new shopping areas. Romano’s Macaroni Grill, an Italian restaurant chain, will open its first Puget Sound location at Alderwood as well.
“We’re very happy with the progress we’re making” in signing tenants for the new areas, said Tamera Wachter, Alderwood’s director of marketing.
Another notable tenant for The Village is REI, which plans a 22,500-square-foot store with a 23-foot-tall climbing pinnacle to replace its existing store on Lynnwood’s 194th Street SW.
Still to come is a Loews Cineplex, a stadium-style movie theater with about 3,800 seats. That will be located on the mall’s south side, just beyond The Terraces.
The existing mall also has benefited from the two-year-long facelift and expansion.
National retail chains such as Aeropostale and Build-a-Bear Workshop have opened inside the remodeled space, and Limited Too and Brookstone are opening stores in the older portion this spring, Bartlett said. Other tenants, such as GameStop, Regis Salon and The Mariners Team Store, have either remodeled their spaces or moved to larger spots within Alderwood.
When the $50-million-plus expansion project is complete, the Alderwood Mall will total 1.4 million square feet, with more than 50 new retailers and restaurants. The added space will make Alderwood, already the county’s biggest retail hub, the state’s second-largest mall.
Reporter Eric Fetters: 425-339-3453 or email@example.com.