By Kailan Manandic / Bothell-Kenmore Reporter
BOTHELL — The beloved Country Village closed Sunday after 34 years.
The shopping center had been set to close for about two years. The Loveless family signed a letter of intent to sell the property to a townhouse developer in 2017. Locals gathered at the village on Sunday to say goodbye before the remaining shops closed.
The Loveless family began looking at selling the property in 2015. According to co-owner Leeann Tesorieri at the time, increasing property taxes forced them to sell six acres to housing developers. About 92 townhomes were constructed where the Iron Horse Railway, a novelty train track, once offered pony rides.
More townhomes and restaurants will soon replace Country Village itself and the 40 locally owned shops and restaurants it once hosted.
Numerous shops had already closed doors and moved out, but several shop owners decided to stay until the last day, including Victor Obrastoff with his pen shop, The Write Stuff, and Theresa Ankney with her home goods shop Cranberry Cottage, which recently opened at a new location in Bothell.
Teresa Howard and her Practical Sparrow Cafe, had planned to stay at the village until it closed, but a decline in business caused the cafe to close in December .
A potential auction to sell off some of the fixtures around the Country Village has been reported but unconfirmed.
This story originally appeared in the Bothell-Kenmore Reporter, a sibling paper of The Daily Herald.