Although the intent to redevelop the Factoria Mall into the Marketplacve @ Factoria was announced some time ago, it has taken quite a while for the plan to come into action. Transforming a mall (even a small one like Factoria) and completely rebuilding significant portions of the property isn’t something that you’d expect to happen overnight, and it seems that with the recent activity at the mall we would have expected to see more visible results by now, but as a shopper, there isn’t a whole lot to see at this point.
That’s not to say that there isn’t anything going on. Over the last few weeks, the visible signs of redevelopment have begun to appear, even though it doesn’t appear that any major construction has commenced yet. Several of the stores from the portion of the mall which is to be opened up to the outside have completed their moves though, and several others are in the process of moving as well. After the jump, a look at the current state of the Factoria Mall and construction projects going on inside and outside.
Outside of the mall itself, Torero’s has now completed its move to the long vacant Billy McHale’s location in the southeast corner of the property, and is now open in its new location as Ricardo’s Torero Mexican Restaurant. While it doesn’t have the Mexican look of the old location, it’s a larger space, and they’ve managed to distinguish it from the “explosion at the antique store” look of the old Billy McHales. It’s amazing what you can do with a fresh coat of paint sometimes…
For comparison, here’s what the place looked like before the remodel.
Meanwhile, over in the corner of the parking lot they recently vacated, work has commenced on what will eventually become the new Target store. Since the construction going on currently is behind the green cloth on the fences, I can’t really tell what’s going on right now, but it seems to involve a lot of digging. I’m guessing that this is prep work for the new store, since it all seems to be occurring away from the eventual site where the new store will be constructed.
Meanwhile, on the actual future site of the store, pretty much nothing has actually happened yet. Fences have been put up around the outer edges of the site, but they are not actually blocking anything yet. The former Torero’s and Grazie restaurants are still standing for the time being, although I would expect these to come down before too long. Elsewhere on the site, there seems to be some light activity going on in the vicinity of the old Mervyn’s store, but it is unclear what is going on there.
Inside the mall, a number of the stores from the soon to be redeveloped portion of the mall itself have completed their moves as well, and have opened in their new locations. Trade Secret has opened in the location formerly occupied by Newport House…
Claire’s has moved into a new store just across the hallway…
…And MasterCuts has now moved in next to Payless Shoes, across from the Old Country Buffet. I don’t remember exactly what was here before, but I believe that this one was previously Taste of Saigon (a small Vietnamese food place.) There was also a candy store known as Sweet Retreat in this area, but I believe that was in part of the space where the Payless is now.
Olsen & Sons Fine Jewelry, another long time tenant of the mall, is still in their current location, but it will soon be moving as well. It will be occupying the newly constructed space where the former Lamonts/Gottschalks entrance used to be.
The shoe repair place will be moving as well, but it appears that their move has been delayed somewhat. Originally the sign in front indicated that they would move during the summer, but it has now been updated to indicate that the move will take place sometime during the Winter. Presumably this means that construction in this area of the mall will not begin until at least that time. The fate of the Greek cafe next door still remains uncertain, as does that of the Pearle Vision Center and Radio Shack.
Although it looks like most of the stores in this portion of the mall have moved or will be moving soon, there are a couple of closings to report as well. The first is the JJ Melrose store, which has vacated its space with a note indicating that they will be moving to the Bellis Fair Mall in Bellingham (I tried to take a photo of the note, but it didn’t come out.)
The second pending closure to report is the Hallmark store, which is an original tenant of the mall, and will be closing sometime in November.
Here is the note that is in the front of the store currently. As it indicates, they had originally planned on moving to a different location in the mall, but a lack of information from mall management combined with a company-wide sales decline at Hallmark stores has resulted in the decision to close the store instead. Other Hallmark stores in the area have closed recently as well, including the one at Bear Creek Shopping Center in Redmond, which was replaced by a Lane Bryant store which moved from Redmond Town Center. Hallmark stores at Bellevue Square and Totem Lake remain open, although each store is independently owned.
Finally, on a somewhat more minor note, the obligatory annual fly-by-night calendar store has begun to move into the former B. Dalton bookstore. As is usually the case, they should be opening soon and closing by the end of December.
All things considered, there’s a lot going on right now. I’ll continue to post updates on the situation as it develops, as well as that of Totem Lake once work actually begins over there. As I noted in an update to the Totem Lake Mall post, the Old Country Buffet there closed several weeks ago. Presumably the other three remaining stores in the enclosed portion of the lower mall will be following suit soon, leaving it completely empty so demolition and redevelopment can commence. For both of these redevelopment projects, solid information has been difficult to come by, so I have to mostly go on observation. If anyone has any more info than I do on these, I would be interested to hear it.