Lakewood Towne Center
Lakewood Towne Center is a shopping center located in Lakewood, Washington, a suburb of Tacoma. Lakewood Towne Center was created when MBK Northwest bought and demolished the enclosed portion of the failing Lakewood Mall in 2001, and turned the site into an open air destination by creating four distinct components, including a civic center with a city hall as its centerpiece, a power center, entertainment center, and a neighborhood center. Lakewood Mall itself had been a replacement for the outdoor Villa Plaza Shopping Center.
Villa Plaza Shopping Center opened in 1957 on the site of the former Roman Catholic girls’ school, Visitation Villa. Visitation Villa was open from 1923 to 1954. On May 3, 1958, former boxing heavyweight champions Joe Louis and Max Baer visited and signed autographs before being flown by helicopter to the B & I Circus Store in Tacoma.
In 1985 developer Basil Vyzis acquired Villa Plaza and developed the enclosed Lakewood Mall which opened in 1989 on the site of the former Villa Plaza. Throughout the short life of the mall it suffered from poor reputation, stores that were never occupied, and the closings of major anchor tenants. Vyzis died in 1996.
Lakewood Towne Center
In 2001 Lakewood Mall was acquired from ATC Realty Sixteen Inc. (a Wells Fargo subsidiary) by MBK Northwest (a Mitsui subsidiary) for $28 million. MBK had previously redeveloped the Jantzen Beach SuperCenter in Portland, Oregon and the Parkway SuperCenter in Tukwila, Washington. The enclosed portion of Lakewood Mall was demolished in 2001, leaving the anchor stores largely intact to make way for Lakewood Towne Center, which opened in 2002.
In 2004, MBK sold two-thirds of its interest in the mall to Inland Western for $81.1 million. The mall has more than 80 tenants.
Current anchors of Lakewood Towne Center
- AMC Theatres
- Barnes & Noble (opened 1995)
- Bed Bath & Beyond (opened 2002)
- Burlington Coat Factory (moved to new space 2003)
- Marshalls (opened 2003)
- Office Depot
- Old Navy (opened 2002)
- Ross Dress for Less (opened 2002)
- Target (opened 1989)
Former Anchors of Lakewood Mall and Villa Plaza
- Emporium (opened 1989 in Lakewood Mall, closed 1998)
- Ernst Home & Nursery (opened ?, closed 1995)
- Frederick & Nelson (opened 1979 in Villa Plaza, moved 1989 to Lakewood Mall, closed 1991 became Gottschalks 1992)
- J. C. Penney (opened 1957 in Villa Plaza, closed l1995)
- Lamonts (opened 1989 in Lakewood Mall, closed 1995)
- Liberty House (opened in former Rhodes Brothers early 1970s, became Frederick & Nelson 1979, Closed 1988 became Mervyn's 1989)
- Mervyn's (opened 1989 in Lakewood Mall, closed 2001)
- Pay 'n Save (opened ?, closed ?)
- Rhodes Brothers (opened 1957 in Villa Plaza, became Liberty House early 1970s)
- Thrifty Drug (opened 1957 in Villa Plaza, closed late 70s?)
- Woolworth (opened 1957 in Villa Plaza, closed late 80s?)
- W. T. Grant (opened 1957 in Villa Plaza, closed?)
- Gottschalks (opened 1992, closed May, 2009)
- Joe's (opened 2002, known as G.I. Joe's until April 1, 2007. Closed May, 2009)
- "MBK Northwest Ltd Announces Sale of Neighborhood Center in Lakewood, WA".
- "South Sound Photo Album: Joe Louis and Max Baer".
- "Lakewood to Get Power Center".
- "MBK Northwest Flips Lakewood Towne Center"., Puget Sound Business Journal, Feb. 17, 2005
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- City of Lakewood History
- Lakewood to Get 'Power Center'
- Lakewood Towne Center
- Villa Plaza Shopping Center (Lakewood Mall)
- MBK Northwest: Lakewood Towne Center
- Third Time’s the Charm for Lakewood retail