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June 10, 2016

43-year-old Totem Lake Mall will be rebuilt to create a ‘village feel'

  • Construction will start in about two weeks on the 26-acre site north of Northeast 124th Street and east of Interstate 405.
    Journal Construction Editor

    Image from CenterCal Properties [enlarge]
    The mall will be renamed The Village at Totem Lake, with 800,000 square feet of new and renovated space, including 850 high-end apartments.

    Totem Lake Mall in Kirkland is about to get a major makeover by CenterCal Properties.

    The 43-year-old mall north of Northeast 124th Street and east of Interstate 405 is mostly vacant. Crews from Rhine Demolition started earlier this year to raze most of the main building closest to the freeway.

    The original shopping center consisted of two large buildings totaling 252,000 square feet and a handful of smaller structures. The 26-acre site is bisected by 120th Avenue Northeast, with the two big buildings on opposite sides of that road.

    “There are some businesses that continue to be successful at that location, but it was an aging — I would say blighted — location that had seen its day,” said Ellen Miller-Wolfe, the city's economic development manager. “The city is very excited about this development. We are expecting a state-of-the-art mall from them.”

    CenterCal will break ground on June 20.

    When work is done, the mall will reopen as The Village at Totem Lake, with 800,000 square feet of new and renovated space.

    CenterCal says it wants to create a gathering place with a luxury theater, restaurants, retail and 850 high-end apartments. A 40,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market that is expected to open next summer will anchor the mall.

    Work on the mall will be done in phases, but CenterCal did not provide a schedule for completion.

    CenterCal described the new mall as a “re-imagined lifestyle center with a village feel.”

    Miller-Wolfe said having housing and retail there will help “rebirth the neighborhood.” The city will kick in $15 million in public improvements if CenterCal meets certain requirements.

    Public amenities include a 23,400-square-foot plaza and lawn, kids play area, pavilion, deck, water feature and outdoor dining. Other public work will be done along 120th Avenue to make it safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.

    The city may also upgrade parts of nearby Totem Lake Boulevard Northeast if the cost for the other improvements comes in under $15 million.

    City project planner Jon Regala said part of the 183,352-square-foot main lower mall building, between the freeway and 120th, was retained for tenants that hold long-term leases. Those tenants — Ross, Famous Footwear and Car Toys — occupy about 44,500 square feet in the north part of the building that was spared from the wrecking ball.

    Auto Zone is also staying put in a separate 5,700-square-foot building in the lower mall area.

    Regala said the exteriors will be spruced up for Ross, Famous Footwear and Car Toys.

    The upper mall will be demolished in a second phase. It has a 68,970-square-foot retail building, 9,500-square-foot Trader Joe's grocery, 13,354-square-foot theater and a Wells Fargo bank branch.

    Regala said Trader Joe's and Wells Fargo will move to new spaces in the lower mall. New and existing space in the lower mall will total 273,645 square feet. There also will be 200 apartments.

    The upper mall will be redeveloped with 650 apartments, a 35,000-square-foot movie theater, and 44,197 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

    Regala said a design-review meeting for the second phase is scheduled for June 20.

    The new upper mall is being designed by Carrier Johnson + Culture of San Diego. Architects for the lower mall are Antunovich Associates of Chicago and GBD Architects of Portland.

    Regala said BNBuilders was listed on plans for one stand-alone building but other contractors weren't listed. Representatives from CenterCal couldn't supply a list of contractors.

    CenterCal Properties and financial partner Pacific Coast Capital Partners LLC bought the mall last year for $35.5 million from an entity related to Coventry Real Estate Advisors. CenterCal is based in El Segundo, California, and Pacific Coast Capital has an office in Los Angeles.

    CenterCal also owns Valley Mall in Yakima County and The Trails shopping center in Silverdale.


    Benjamin Minnick can be reached by email or by phone at (206) 622-8272.