Update 8/5/08: A new site plan was recently posted on DDR’s site replacing this one, so much of the information in this post is now outdated. See the new post with information on the updated site plan here.
It’s been more than two years now since we’ve heard much of anything regarding the proposed redevelopment at Totem Lake Mall. The last time the City of Kirkland website for the mall redevelopment was updated was back in early 2006, and nothing new has been submitted to the city since that time. This has led some people (myself included) to wonder if the Totem Lake Mall redevelopment had stalled out. Finally after a long wait, there are signs of life on the Totem Lake Mall redevelopment project, with a new site plan posted at DDR’s webpage for the mall. The site plan (in PDF format) can be found here. I cannot be entirely certain of when this new site plan was actually published to the DDR website, but the plan itself bears a date of February 28th, 2008 on it, which makes it a lot newer than any of the existing information we have on this project. Quite a bit has changed compared to what was presented to the City of Kirkland design review board in 2006 (the only other publicly available information on the redevelopment that I am aware of right now.) After the jump, a look at the site plan, and some of the clues it might hold to what the new Totem Lake Mall might look like.
(Click for a larger version of this picture.)
This is the older version of the conceptual site plan that was submitted to the City of Kirkland in 2006. In this version, most of the then occupied anchor spaces in the Lower Mall would have been left alone, as would the outbuildings. The upper mall was proposed to contain two large multistory anchor stores, a movie theater and a six-story office building, with a seven-story garage to provide parking for the whole thing. In the lower mall, most of the areas where there were still operating stores would have been left intact, but the formerly enclosed mall was to be demolished and be replaced with a combination of retail on the ground floor and condos above. On the outskirts of the former mall, one additional building would have been added.
(Note: Clicking this picture will take you to the PDF version on the DDR webpage.)
Fast forward to the latest version of the site plan, and quite a bit has changed, particularly in the upper mall area. The office building proposed earlier has been removed completely from the plan, as has the parking garage and the theater. In the lower mall, the existing Car Toys, Famous Footwear and Ross stores and the KeyBank branch would remain, but it looks like everything else is getting the wrecking ball under this plan. Strangely enough, this also includes the Schuck’s Auto Supply in the upper corner and the Chevron station in the lower corner, which this new plan proposes to replace with restaurants.
Here’s a closer look at the plan for the lower mall. As you can see, this calls for the removal of the former CompUSA/Rite Aid stores, replacing them with several smaller retail stores, additional parking and a loading dock. The area formerly occupied by the enclosed mall would be replaced by a number of stores with outside entrances. A new Wells Fargo branch would be built next to the KeyBank (to replace the existing branch which would be demolished to make way for the new construction in that area) and the Chevron Station would make way for some sort of restaurant. If I had to make a guess, I’d say that Red Robin or something similar might be a likely candidate, since there’s already plenty of fast food places in the neighborhood. I should also note the addition of a roadway through the former mall, which should help to eliminate the artificial barrier between the two halves of the mall created by the vacancy of the former Lamonts/Gottschalks store. Not shown here are the planned condos, which would be located above the former upper mall (details about those are still vague, although there are two separate parking garages for those along 120th. There will be a total of 284 residential units under the current plan.
Looking at the upper mall, we see that there are now plans for two large anchor stores (apparently larger than the ones that were proposed under the 2005 site plan,) a large health club and a number of smaller shops and restaurants along 120th. The store above (next to the healthclub) will be two stories totalling 100,500 square feet, and the one below will be one story with158,500 square feet. Above the lower store, there will be three levels of parking for this area with a total of roughly 1,200 stalls. The plans for the lower anchor store seem to be surprisingly detailed and specific already, with cash registers, offices, food, pharmacy, photo and “Guest Service” already placed, along with the layout for the store that would presumably occupy this space. Call me crazy, but I get the impression that they might already have someone in mind for this particular space… As for the upper space, I’d guess that they’re probably looking to bring in some sort of department store, possibly a Macy’s or a JCPenney type place. One thing that’s interesting to note is that this plan builds around the Washington Mutual bank branch currently located in the corner of the upper mall. It would seems that this space is not actually a part of the mall property.
At this point, it’s too soon to tell exactly how long it will take for a plan like this to actually translate into construction (after all, it doesn’t appear that anything new has been submitted to the City of Kirkland yet) but this does show that at least there is something going on with the redevelopment of the mall. I will continue to watch for further updates on this project, and post whenever new details emerge.