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June 10, 2019

Nordstrom confirms it will close its Northgate store

Real Estate Editor

Photo by Simon Property Group [enlarge]
The store’s last day of business is Aug. 9.

After a Friday announcement to its store employees at Northgate Mall, at 401 N.E. Northgate Way, Nordstrom released a statement regarding that store's August closure.

It read, “Looking at our business needs in the Seattle market and the future plans for Northgate Mall as it prepares for a significant transformation, we've made the decision to close our Northgate Mall store. The store's last day of business will be Friday, August 9.

“This decision will allow us to focus on serving customers at nearby Nordstrom stores, including our Northgate Nordstrom Rack, as well as online.”

Northgate Rack is presently in the southeast corner of the mall, in an area beneath the food court (the old Toys R Us space), which will be preserved at least for the short term. The main Northgate store is mid-mall, where demolition will begin.

The Seattle Times reports that about 170 people work at the main Northgate location, and that they'd likely be transferred within the company.

Though another design review for the Northgate redevelopment will be held tonight (at 6:30 p.m. Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave N.), it mainly concerns the two planned hotels — not the retail. Two more design reviews are set for July 22 and August 5.

With architect GGLO, Northgate owner Simon Property Group is deep into the planning and permitting process for a total makeover of the 55-acre property, which will be done in phases. Some retailers have already left, and demolition will begin this summer.

It was evident from prior design reviews and demolition plans that Nordstrom would have to move — then possibly return to a smaller space. JCPenny and Macy's previously announced they would leave the mall and not return. Nordstrom now joins the ranks of those exiled retailers. Nationally, all department stores and traditional retailers are closing brick-and-mortar stores and struggling against Amazon and other online competitors.

Nordstrom wasn't the first department store at Northgate (that was the Bon Marche, later Macy's), but it began a presence selling shoes in the 1950s, then later added Best's Apparel, then consolidated as a Nordstrom in 1973.

Light rail service will extend to Northgate in 2021. The long-term plan for the south two-thirds of the property is for about 1 million square feet of offices, 400,000 square feet of retail (substantially less than now), 400 rooms in two hotels, 953 residential units, an NHL facility and over 5,000 parking spaces.

The north third will be developed later.


Brian Miller can be reached by email at brian.miller@djc.com or by phone at (206) 219-6517.

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