The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

August 5, 2008

Totem Lake Redevelopment Update: A Slight Change of Plans

Filed under: Kirkland, Malls — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 1:37 am


Although it appears that the beginning of major construction work over at Factoria Mall is imminent, things continue to be quiet over at Totem Lake Mall a few miles to the North.  The comments on some of the previous posts on the Totem Lake Redevelopment have hinted at some of what the newly redeveloped property will have to offer and a possible timeframe calling for construction to begin later this year, but for the most part, solid information has been all but nonexistent for some time now.  The City of Kirkland’s website has no new information, and a building permit search still shows the permits for this project in “pending” status. 

That said, it appears that ever so slowly, progress continues on the design of the redeveloped shopping center, and the site plan found on DDR’s webpage for the mall has recently been updated once again.  This new site plan, has a date of June 11th 2008, and although much of the prior site plan discussed here from February remains intact, there are also some rather significant changes, particularly in the secondary anchor portion of the upper mall.  Unfortunately I forgot to save a copy of the PDF file for the previous site plan before it disappeared, but I did print off a copy, and the previous post has images that cover most of the details, so I do have enough info to make a comparison.  After the jump, a look at the new site plan, and some of the changes it entails.

Note:  The color image are from the older site plan, while the uncolored image comes from the newer plan.

As far as I can tell, both the A section (where the existing Car Toys, Ross and Famous Footwear stores will remain) and the D section (where the 156,000 square foot anchor speculated to be a new Target store is found) are basically unchanged from the previous site plan, aside from some minor tweaks to the parking garage above the anchor store.  It appears that the B section of the site plan (in the vacant area where the CompUSA and Rite Aid stores used to be) has changed quite a bit though.  The store layout in this area has changed completely from the older site plan.  Instead of two larger stores and several smaller ones in the “front” of the mall, there are now three larger store spaces and a couple of smaller ones.  In the “back” part of this section, a several smaller store spaces got consolidated into larger ones as well.  The major change here though is the addition of more retail space where the previous site plan showed one of the two residential parking garages.  It appears that there will still be residential parking above these shops, but overall, these modifications result in nearly 24,000 additional square feet of retail space in the lower mall over the prior site plan (the current plan has a total of 203,120 square feet, while the old plan showed 179,285.)

The changes in the upper mall area are even more drastic.  As stated previously, the “D” anchor store space is virtually unchanged from the prior plan, so it is not shown here.  The “C” space has been completely redesigned though.  The health club shown on the previous site plan in this space has disappeared completely, as has the two-story 100,500 square foot major retail space.  in their place, the space allotted for some of the smaller shops in this area has increased, and a completely different major retail space has been put into place.  Although I can’t be entirely certain of how this will work, it appears that there will be two 20,000 square foot spaces on the lower level (along with a redesigned loading dock area to improve accessibility,) and above those will be a 2-story, 80,000 square foot store (presumably some sort of department store or other anchor type store.)  Overall, these change to the upper mall results in a decrease of about 19,400 square feet of space in this area.  Combining this reduction with the increase in space in the lower mall, it looks like this site plan represents about 4,500 additional square feet of space overall compared to the previous site plan.

As was stated previously, information on this project seems to be rather difficult to come by, and aside from these occasional site plan updates and a few rumors in comments, there is not much to go on here.  I get the suspicion that there will probably be even more changes to this plan before the bulldozers show up, but the fact that the overall GLA of the redeveloped property seems to be growing would seem to indicate that the interest in a redeveloped Totem Lake Mall (which will undoubtedly receive a new name in the process, as even now that name seems to be something of a delusion of grandeur) is present.  Witha good location with high visibility from I-405, a relatively affluent customer base in the area and much of their previous competition (primarily Bellevue Square and Alderwood) having moved rapidly toward the high end, the opportunity is definitely there.  The question at this point seems to be whether or not they’ll actually ever get this project off the ground…



  1. All you’ve done re: totem lake mall is great! What I think is a real hoot is that I’m on the listserve for the city of Kirkland to receive all updates regarding anything to do with the mall. I was just lurking around today, happened to find your blog and wah-lah . . new info on the Totem Lake Mall! Think I’ll send a link to your blog to the person in charge of the listserve ;-)

    I, too, have been researching bits and pieces of Totem Lake – the mall & area history. I’ve also delved into the micofilm/fische at Bell Lib. I’d love to colaborate with you to share info.

    Anyone who has further info on area history – no matter how far back or topic you can reach me through the the Totem Lake NA Meetup website – . I’m the organizer. I’m looking forward to sharing info on malls and more! :-)

    PS – Brian – I mistakenly posted this at the entry at the bottom of you page. oops! sorry about the duplication.

    Comment by Lynda Haneman — October 3, 2008 @ 3:40 pm

  2. It’s great to see these plans (albeit 2 months after you posted them… I just found your blog and I’m most definitely late to the party.) To have Totem Lake mall “functional” again would be so wonderful!!! They just need to keep Denny’s pet world. My kids LOVE visiting their talking macaw named “Tiki”.

    Comment by Terri Klemmer — October 9, 2008 @ 8:18 pm

  3. Made a visit to the new 24 hour fitness at Silver Lake Grand Opening today only to find out that they are going to build a new club at the Totem Lake Mall rebuild. As you may know they are getting ready to tear down the current Kirkland location along with most of the Park Place complex next spring. The Club manager let me know that the new location will be opening during spring of 2009. I will belive it when it happens!!

    Comment by Eddie — October 16, 2008 @ 5:24 pm

  4. Given the fact that they haven’t lifted a shovel on the Totem Lake redevelopment yet, Spring 2009 sounds just a tad optimistic (for that matter, Spring 2010 sounds a bit far-fetched.) Combine that with the fact that it’s starting to sound like the City of Kirkland might just nix the whole Parkplace redevelopment completely and stick a building moratorium on the downtown area (there seems to be significant organized opposition to that one) and who knows what the situation is with that?

    For that matter, I’m not even sure where you’d put a health club at Totem Lake by Spring of 2009, unless they did something like take over the CompUSA/Rite Aid spaces. Under the most recent site plan, the health club space in the upper mall disappeared, although I could possibly see them in one of the other “anchor” spaces. If I had to guess, I’d say that the lower mall will probably be redeveloped first, and whatever businesses move down there (I’ve heard a rumor here that Trader Joe’s was signed on) could do so before the upper mall gets rebuilt. Then again, who even knows what’s going on these days?

    Comment by Brian Lutz — October 16, 2008 @ 6:02 pm

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