Update 7/10: The photos I was unable to upload when I first wrote this have now been added. I have added some additional info as well.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update on the situation at Factoria Mall, but a number of recent moves seem to indicate that the beginning of the construction process that will eventually turn the mall into the Marketplace at Factoria will be coming soon, and in some places has even actually begun. After the jump, a summary of some of the changes that have going on at Factoria recently in preparation for the long anticipated redevelopment.
Grazie Ristorante Italiano, an 18-year veteran of the Factoria Mall, closed its doors for the last time on June 30th, although diners will still be able to find them in Bothell and Tukwila. On the way out, they left this notice:
According to this notice, this site (in the northwest corner of the mall property) is going to become the new home of Factoria’s Target store, which is something that I had not heard before.
Previously I had noted that on the conceptual site plan shown inside the mall, the space currently occupied by Target was listed with the generic “anchor store” label while other stores such as Nordstrom Rack, DSW Shoes and TJMaxx were shown by name, which led me to wonder about Target’s future at this mall. Moving into a new freestanding structure would definitely make sense, since the existing store here is somewhat small for a Target store, especially withother Targets in the area being expanded in size and selection (the Redmond Target store actually had its building expanded when the store was remodeled not too long ago,) With the redeveloped Totem Lake Mall apparently looking at getting a huge 150,000+ square foot Target store (if they ever get around to actually building it, that is) it definitely looks like the trend is definitely toward the larger stores. Interestingly enough, some details on a filing with the City of Bellevue seem to suggest that this Target will be a multi-story structure, with parking on the ground level and the store above.
Also interesting to note here is that the Old Navy store is now specifically listed on the site plan when it wasn’t previously. There have been some questions about whether or not the Old Navy store would be remaining as a part of the redeveloped marketplace, but it seems that the answer to that question is now affirmative.
Less certain is the fate of the mall’s Rite Aid and Safeway stores. which not only fail to show up on the site plan, but the space in which these two stores reside seems to have been divided into three smaller stores on this map. Much like the Target store, the Safeway has not received the modernizations that most of the other Safeway stores in the area have received recently, even though it seems to have plenty of space for the “lifestyle” theme. Meanwhile, in recent years Rite Aid seems to be moving away from shopping center locations (most of which are left over from former PaylessDrug/Pay ‘n Save locations, this one included) and into freestanding stores. With the current Target space apparently becoming available at some point in the near to semi-distant future, or another newly constructed anchor space near the planned residential construction in the southwest corner of the property, it is entirely possible that a move could be in the cards for the Factoria Safeway store.
Update again: Some further searching on the City of Bellevue website does show permit activity for a new Safeway store at the Marketplace, although details are scarce. I will try to find more details and report on this.)
Torero’s Mexican Restaurant, the other restaurant in the northwest corner of the parking lot, is going to be closing its doors as well. but it turns out they won’t be going far. In a move that I certainly wouldn’t have expected, it turns out that they will be moving over to the long vacant former Billy McHales restaurant on the southeast corner of the property.
It sure doesn’t seem like the type of place you’d want to put a Mexican restaurant, but somehow I’m guessing they’re going to be able to make it work. They are currently slated to open up in their new location sometime early in September. Since the conceptual site plan as currently made publicly available seems to suggest that this was going to be demolished to make way for new construction, I’m wondering if this indicates a change of plans, or if this will be a “temporary” location with plans for a move to newly constructed space later on.
Inside the mall, there’s been a recent flurry of activity as a number of stores are being moved. The hallway that leads from the front of the mall (facing Factoria Boulevard) to the Target store in the back is slated to be turned into an open-air space, and a number of stores in this space are being moved to the space that will remain as enclosed mall.
Stores that are either in the process of moving or already moved into new spaces include the Trade Secret beauty supply store, MasterCuts, Factoria Shoe Repair and the BellevuePolice substation. Currently, it is uncertain if or when the Greek World Cafe, Pearle Vision or Olsen and Sons Jewelery will be moving as well. It is also currently uncertain what will happen with the Petco and OshKosh B’Gosh stores in this section of the mall, although the KidsQuest children’s museum is apparently safe (and may actually even be expanded in the process.)
Also inside the mall, there are a few hints of what’s to come. The now vestigial hallway that used to lead to the Lamonts/Gottschalks store from the front entrance is being filled in and turned into one or more new retail spaces. In a vacant corner of the mall near the other former Gottschalks entrance, there is a walled-off spot on the floor, where I found what appears to be a sample of new tiles that might be finding their way to the remaining enclosed mall space soon.
While it probably won’t draw too many comparisons to the acres of imported marble tile that’s being put down on the floor over at Bellevue Square right now, it should provide for a lighter, more modern look than the old brown 70s tile it will be replacing or the thoroughly inexplicable concrete bandaid that came along with the storefront remodel earlier this decade.
It looks like the picture of what the new Marketplace will look like is starting to become clearer, but at this point there are still definitely more questions than answers. It looks like we won’t have to wait too much longer to find out about this though… Stay tuned. I will keep track of developments as they happen here, and try to find more info on what’s going on here.