Update 3/4/09: The Kirk land Reporter has reported that DDR is in the process of quietly putting the Totem Lake Mall property up for sale, which presumably means that whatever redevelopment plans might have been made for this mall are unlikely to ever come to fruition, at least in their current form. You can find a few more details on at this post.
For those of you arriving here from deadmalls.com, you might also be interested in an article that I have written over at KirklandViews.com describing summarizing the current situation here, as well as what I know about the history and potential future of this mall. Links to the three part article can be found here.
If you’re looking for something slightly less depressing to read about, check out the first part of a 4-part series of posts on Crossroads Mall in Bellevue, a small mall which was brought back from the brink of failure in the mid Eighties to be transformed into what is now a thriving neighborhood mall and a popular gathering place for the community.
Also be sure to check out the most recent post on my research into the history of this mall here.
One of the things you learn from spending time on the Internet is that no matter how obscure a hobby you engage in might be, there’s a good chance you’ll find a number of other people with similar interests. For some reason, I’ve always had an interest in malls, not so much because I like shopping, but because I find it interesting to watch them over time and see how things change. Some malls thrive, while others decline, and end up abandoned. There are whole websites (and blogs) devoted to documenting some of these declining and defunct malls. Over the course of the next few months, I intend to make a series of posts about some of the region’s malls, from those that are thriving to those that are failing.
One such mall is the Totem Lake Mall in Kirkland. Originally built in 1973, The mall is split down the middle by a road, separating it into two halves (hence the name “Totem Lake Malls” as seen on the signs.) The mall has faced a long, slow decline since the late 1990s, accelerated by the recent loss of three of its major anchor stores, leaving most of the enclosed mall portion of the property vacant. The owner of the mall has submitted preliminary plans to the City of Kirkland for a major redevelopment of the property, although no new documents have been submitted since last January. These plans seem to indicate that a majority of the existing property will be demolished and rebuilt. Although (as you will see) this is badly needed, After the jump, a tour of the desolation that is the Totem Lake Mall,