The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

March 31, 2009

Out-of-Context Ad Solution: You Might Want to Bring the Umbrella…

Filed under: Bellevue, Malls, Recycled Newspaper — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 3:15 pm

As you’ll recall, last week’s Out-of-Context ad showed the Easter Bunny choppin’ down the Bunny trail, dropping… well, something anyway, on what we would presume to be an unsuspecting crowd of Easter celebrants below.  That much should be easy enough to figure out based on the ad snippet (as shown above,)  but exactly what was the Easter Bunny doing in a helicopter in the first place?  And what the heck would he be dropping on the crowd below? The full advertisement is posted after the jump, along with a bit of background on what was (presumably) going on here.


September 28, 2008

Factoria Mall Redevelopment Update: Moving Things Around

Filed under: Bellevue, Food — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 8:31 pm

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.


August 8, 2008

In Defense of the Traditional Shopping Mall – Part 1: The Reports of the Mall’s Death are Greaty Exaggerated

Filed under: Culture, Malls, shopping — Tags: , , , — Brian Lutz @ 2:57 pm

Over the past couple of days, I have noted that a significant number of visitors have arrived at this site from an article posted over at WorldChanging Seattle that was linked by BoingBoing.  As seems to be the case withmost of the incoming links to this site, the article deals with the decline of the traditional enclosed shopping mall, and the open-air “Town Center” type developments that are taking their place.  The article specifically touches on a few subjects (from something of an Urbanist, and to a lesser extent environmentalist perspective) that I have had sitting on my “to do” list for a while now, and there are some topics in the article that I would like to comment on.

The article over at WorldChanging (an activity that generally falls well outside of the scope of this particular website) cites a number of local malls as examples, but focuses primarily on Factoria and its upcoming redevelopment.  The overall tone of the article seems to suggest that the area’s shopping malls are on a rapid descent toward oblivion, which just isn’t the case.   The article’s claims that the malls in the area are headed down the proverbial tubes is greatly exaggerated, and even though the mixed use “town center” paradigm that the article discusses is becoming increasingly popular in the area’s shopping centers, the Seattle area’s traditional malls aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.  In the article below, I’ll explain why this is the case.  Since this seems to be turning out to be far longer than I originally anticipated, I will split this into several parts.  The next part will discuss some of what makes malls go into decline, and a third part will discuss some of the goals of the Urbanists with regards to “Town Center” type developments, and explain why things may not work out there quite the way that they would like them to. 


July 10, 2008

Factoria Mall Redevelopment Update: The Beginning is Near (Updated)

Filed under: Bellevue, Malls — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 1:55 am

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. 


January 24, 2008

Factoria Mall Just Keeps Getting Emptier

Filed under: Malls, shopping — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 1:55 am

As reported by commenter Greg Shill on my original Factoria Mall post, several long-standing stores in the mall have now closed down after the mall’s management did not renew their leases.  Among the recent closures are the Flavor Bakery and Cafe (which is apparently moving to a new location in Redmond,) the B. Dalton bookstore and the Orange Julius.  According to the post, the Jamba Juice (which, as I noted in my earlier post, replaced the mall’s arcade just a few years ago) and the Seattle’s Best Coffee near this entrance are also going to close, although for the time being both of these are still operating. 


As you can see, for the time being the Jamba Juice is still open, but the bookstore has now closed. Newport House (the womens clothing store that previously occupied the space in the foreground) has moved to a space across the hallway from here, but the appearance of the space looked rather temporary.  Beyond these now empty (or soon-to-be empty) spaces some restaurants (Red Robin, Cold Stone Creamery and Goldberg’s Deli) remain, along with a day spa and the Nordstrom Rack.  Judging from the fact that the Nordstrom Rack store has undergone recent remodeling, I’m guessing that they are not going anywhere for the time being.  No word on the restaurants in the area though.


Elsewhere in the mall, the Orange Julius has now closed as well.  I’ve always had a hard time placing the style used here, which seems a bit more modern than the typical Orange Julius, but the look doesn’t seem to have aged well.  In particular, the gratuitous use of patterned sheet metal  seems to be a design trend that was past its sell-by date by sometime around 1998 or so.  Before the place gets knocked down, let’s look at a couple of details from the interior after the jump.


November 16, 2007

Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of the Factoria Mall

Filed under: Bellevue, Malls — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 3:16 am

Update 9/28/08:  Work is (slowly) beginning on the redevelopment project here.  A new update on the current status of this mall and its tenants has just been posted here.  Also see this post for the previous update on the redevelopment project.

NOTE: This is the second in a series of posts that wll eventually profile most of the major malls in the greater Seattle area.  For those of you who might have missed it, the first post in this series covering the Totem Lake Mall in Kirkland can be found here.

In some ways, the Factoria Mall is quite smilar to the Totem Lake Mall, which was profiled previously on this Blog.  Both were built around the same time, and are relatively small in comparison to most of the other malls in the area.  Both are located in neighborhoods that became increasingly affluent with the rise of the technology industry in the area.  In spite of this, these malls have failed to keep up with the times.  In the case of the Totem Lake Mall, the loss of major tenants has left only a handful of stores operating in the lower part of the mall, and the enclosed mall portion all but abandoned.  The Factoria Mall has also faced the loss of major tenants, with their Gottschalk’s store (another former Lamonts) closing in 2005, and the Mervyn’s closing shortly afterward when the company left the Pacific Northwest.  On the other hand, the Factoria Mall still has a number of major tenants, and has managed to retain a critical mass of customers to keep it viable, if not thriving.  Also like the Totem Lake Mall, there are plans in the works for a major overhaul, although from the plans posted in the mall it would appear to be far less drastic than that planned for Totem Lake.  After the jump, a tour of the Factoria Mall as it stands today.


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