It’s been a while since there’s been anything to report on the Totem Lake Mall. Since a new set of site plans was posted in June of last year, nothing else of note has happened besides the closing of the Old Country Buffet in the lower mall. Initially there was some speculation that this was in preparation for upcoming demolition in preparation for the redevelopment, but it was disclosed in comments tha the closing was the result of consolidation on the part of Old Country Buffet’s parent company. Since then, there has been no activity or change at the Totem Lake Mall property, and if the news coming out today is any indication, it may yet be a while before we see anything happening here.
The Kirkland Reporter is now reporting that although nothing has officially been announced yet, the mall’s current owner is quietly putting the mall up for sale. Over the past year, DDR (the owner of the Totem Lake Mall) has seen its stock price decline by 95% as the commercial real estate market has been hit particularly hard by the recession, and has begun selling off a number of their properties. The Totem Lake Mall was purchased by Coventry/DDR for $37 million back in 2003, and they made plans for a $126 million redevelopment of the property. Since early 2006, there has been little to no activity with regards to the redevelopment project, and now it seems that the city of Kirkland has basically written off the project, and is now seeking to move funds that had been set aside for road improvements from Totem Lake Mall to the redevelopment of Parkplace in downtown Kirkland (which still seems to be on track, endless appeals from downtown Kirkland’s resident NIMBY population notwithstanding.)
Based on the article, it sounds like there has been talk of the property being for sale for some time now, but it has not yet been formally put up on the market. It is not yet known how much the property would actually sell for at this point (I’m going to guess that it probably won’t be anywhere near the $37 million DDR originally paid for it,) but given the location of the property, I’m sure that there’s probably someone out there who might be interested in it. The problem is that in this economic environment, who is going to have the money to spend on it?
I’ll continue to keep an eye on the situation, and if anything actually happens here anytime in the near future (I’m not holding my breath,) I’ll be sure to report it.