Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin delivers the State of the City Address on Thursday, March 21, 2024, at the Everett Mall in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

In meeting, Everett mayor confirms Topgolf, Chicken N Pickle rumors

This month, the mayor confirmed she was hopeful Topgolf “would be a fantastic new entertainment partner located right next to the cinemas.”

EVERETT — Mayor Cassie Franklin has remained tight-lipped with the public about rumors of Topgolf joining the Everett Mall as a “transformative” anchor tenant.

Not so in a recent meeting with city staff.

Topgolf is in talks to join the mall, Franklin confirmed in an April 15 gathering with employees. A recording of the meeting was obtained by The Daily Herald through a public records request.

“Yes, we are in negotiations — they are in negotiations — with Topgolf, which would be a fantastic new entertainment partner located right next to the cinemas,” Franklin said, referring to a decision that would ultimately come down to mall owner Brixton Capital and Topgolf. “If we get that, it becomes a new entertainment hub. It’s really something that we’ve wanted in our community for a very long time.”

In the same meeting, the mayor said a “chicken and pickleball” tenant, in an apparent allusion to the Chicken N Pickle franchise, is set to lease space at the new Riverfront development.

At her March 21 State of the City address, Franklin hinted at a “top” entertainment anchor at the mall but did not provide specifics. Four days later, MyEverettNews reported “all indicators point towards Topgolf being the unannounced, secret, anchor tenant at the Everett Mall when The Hub @ Everett opens,” referencing the reimagined and renamed mall space.

Mayor Cassie Franklin addresses city staff at a meeting on April 15. Photo obtained via records request.

In a Daily Herald story on March 28, city spokesperson Simone Tarver declined to confirm or deny reports of a Topgolf franchise coming to Everett.

Mall spokesperson Angelique Ashton declined to comment Tuesday.

A Topgolf spokesperson said via email: “We confirmed that we do not have news to share regarding Everett, but if that changes, we will reach out.”

On Tuesday, Tarver responded to the mayor’s recorded statements to city staff:

“The City isn’t in the position to confirm what negotiations other partners may be engaged in,” Tarver said in an email.

The mayor issued a statement via email Tuesday:

“Bringing a major, new entertainment anchor to the Everett Mall is a complete game changer (especially) in conjunction with the major redevelopment Brixton Capital is doing to the rest of the property,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the addition of a new recreation and dining anchor — helping fulfill our community’s growing demands for pickleball courts. Projects like the mall and riverfront redevelopments are the result of decades of careful planning, strategic collaborations and bold investments and I’m proud to see these efforts moving forward.”

Topgolf is an all-ages entertainment venue, rather than a traditional golf facility. Players hit balls with location-tracking sensors into targets on the driving range. Each venue has a full restaurant and bar with table service, according to Topgolf’s website.

In her State of the City address, the mayor unveiled plans for an upgraded mall. The shopping center, named “The Hub @ Everett,” would be remodeled into a more pedestrian-friendly shopping center, with new shops, seating and more green space.

Renderings of ‘The Hub @ Everett.’The reimagined mall is a pedestrian-friendly outdoor shopping center complete with new stores, restaurants, seating and green space. (Photo provided by the City of Everett)

Renderings of ‘The Hub @ Everett.’The reimagined mall is a pedestrian-friendly outdoor shopping center complete with new stores, restaurants, seating and green space. (Photo provided by the City of Everett)

Franklin also gave more information about a pickleball tenant coming to the Riverfront development located east of I-5 and west of the Snohomish river, off the 41st Street exit.

“We aren’t getting the movie theater that everyone wanted initially because the world changed with the pandemic,” Franklin said. “However, we’re getting chicken and pickleball, which is really cool if you’re into pickleball.”

Despite the mayor’s comments, a spokesperson for the developers of the Riverfront property, Shelter Holdings, said no lease has been signed.

“We do not have a lease signed yet with any party for the site in question,” the spokesperson said in an email.

Chicken N Pickle uses a concept similar to Topgolf: Patrons can book courts for sports — mainly pickleball, but also ping-pong, squash and racquetball — and enjoy food and drinks while they play.

In November, Shelter Holdings said it was in talks with a Midwest-based food and recreation tenant. Building plans show a 31,290-square-foot facility with indoor and outdoor courts, as well as plans for full food and beverage service. Most of Chicken N Pickle’s locations are in Midwestern states, with others sprinkled throughout Texas, Colorado, Arizona and Nevada.

Ashley Nash: 425-339-3037; ashley.nash@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @ash_nash00.

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