Shopping complex sold again

MARYSVILLE – A Los Angeles-based commercial property firm has purchased the Marysville Town Center shopping complex for more than $19 million.

Safco Capital Corp. is the fourth owner of the 227,000-square-foot shopping center since 1999.

John Safi, president and the sole shareholder in Safco, said he already owns a few other properties in Washington state, and he’s interested in buying more around the Puget Sound region.

The Town Center last sold in September 2002 to Kimco Realty of New York, which paid nearly $13 million to P.O’B. Apollo. That company had purchased the mall for $12.8 million in 1999.

Safco, which has no connection to the Seattle-based Safeco insurance and investment companies, paid $19.45 million for the retail center this time, according to the county assessor’s office. The assessed value of the property is $14.6 million.

The Marysville Town Center struggled in the early 1990s until it was remodeled in 1995. After that renovation, the center attracted Staples and J.C. Penney to join Albertsons, Gottschalks and other large retailers.

At present, only one 2,200-square-foot space is vacant in the center.

Safco takes over the Town Center at a time when Marysville residents have been focused on the future of the surrounding downtown district.

In two public forums earlier this year, residents suggested the center’s stores along First Street replace their blank walls with display windows or something more enticing to attract motorists passing on Highway 529. Others suggested doing something to improve the look of the large parking lot in front of the mall.

Many residents at the meetings also expressed support for extending Third Street or a pedestrian mall across the property, as well as a pedestrian access near J.C. Penney to the waterfront.

Safi said he and others from Safco have talked with Marysville municipal officials.

“They talked to us and welcomed us,” Safi said. “They talked about changes to the shopping center … to improve visibility and accessibility.”

Gloria Hirashima, Marysville’s community development director, said Safco seemed receptive to some of the ideas when she met with company representatives a few weeks ago.

“I think it was a good first introduction for them to what’s going on in Marysville,” she said, adding she’s hopeful that Safco intends to hold onto the Town Center for at least several years.

Reporter Eric Fetters: 425-339-3453 or

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