NorthTown Mall (Spokane, Washington)
|Developer||General Growth Properties|
|Owner||General Growth Properties|
|No. of stores and services||175|
|No. of anchor tenants||7|
|Total retail floor area||1,048,908 sq ft (97,446.7 m2)|
|No. of floors||3|
|Public transit access||Spokane Transit Authority|
NorthTown Mall is shopping mall located in Spokane, Washington. The shopping mall first opened in 1955 and has been expanded several times, with its biggest expansion occurring between 1989 and 1991. Since March 2002, the center has been owned by General Growth Properties. The complex is currently anchored by Barnes & Noble, JCPenney, Kohl's, Macy's, Marshalls, Regal Cinemas, and Sears.
Planning for the shopping center began in early 1950 when Joe Albertson began discussing the possibly of opening an Albertsons supermarket on the side. Shortly after the store's opening in 1951, Albertson and his agent, E.D. McCarthy began planning a shopping center, and they secured options on more land. McCarthy named the proposed center Northtown and quickly received interest from Woolworth and W. T. Grant about opening large stores at the center. After convincing Travelers Life Insurance to commit to substantial loans, Northtown began construction and was completed in 1955.
In June 1959, Sears confirmed plans to build a 208,000 square feet (19,300 m2) department store at the shopping center. At the same time, Northtown officials revealed plans for a big remodel that would include a 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2) expansion of the Albertsons store and 110,000 square feet (10,000 m2) of new retail space. Sears completed its 13-acre site and opened in June 1961.
Spokane-based The Crescent confirmed plans to open a 90,000 square feet (8,400 m2) department store at the shopping center in December 1961. With 38 tenants ready for business, Northtown opened with a grand opening celebration on March 29, 1962. The Crescent opened its store at the shopping center in mid-July. After completion, Northtown featured 41 tenants and employed more than 1,300 people.
Major expansion in the 1990s
In August 1988, plans were announced to add a second level to the shopping center as part of $40 million expansion project. In February 1989, David Sabey, of the Sabey Corporation, officially revealed his plans for the major expansion project. Sabey's plans for the mall included four new department stores, a new Sears store, an additional parking garage, a food court, and dozens of new smaller shops. The plans also required several buildings to be demolished including the current Sears building and the Albertsons and PayLess Drug complex. At the time, Sabey would not reveal the names of the new department stores but chains including Emporium, JCPenney, and Mervyns were reportedly being considered. Sabey also stated that Frederick & Nelson (formerly The Crescent) would remain in the shopping center.
Plans to add The Bon Marché to center stalled in late 1989 after the chain's parent company filed for bankruptcy. In late 1990, Woolworth closed its store after failing to reach an agreement to relocate during construction at the mall. In August 1990, Mervyn's confirmed plans to open a store at the shopping mall. On November 7, 1990, JCPenney announced plans to close two of its three Spokane stores to open a store at NorthTown Mall. By early 1991, Emporium was added to the shopping center's plans and construction on the store began in April. On August 7, JCPenney was the first of the three new department stores to open. Emporium opened for business on October 17. The mall's formal grand opening was held on October 27.
An addition including a Barnes & Noble, Nordstrom Rack and Regal Cinemas multiplex was completed in September 2000. It increased the gross leasable area of the shopping center to 1,050,000 square feet (98,000 m2).
The Bon Marché was re-branded as Bon-Macy's in August 2003, and became a full-fledged Macy's in January 2005. Mervyns was closed in 2007 and replaced with Kohl's in late 2007. The Emporium, which closed in 2003, was replaced with a Steve & Barry's store in 2007 and was closed in 2009 when the chain was liquidated. Nordstrom Rack, which was relocated to Spokane Valley Plaza (a shopping center owned by NorthTown owner General Growth Properties) in 2010, was replaced with a Marshalls store in March 2012.
In October 2013, the mall announced plans for a major renovation, which will include demolishing 120,000 square feet (11,000 m2) of retail space in the mall's north end. When finished in 2015, the demolished portion will be replaced with 63,000 square feet (5,900 m2) of new retail space and a new entrance. The mall will also receive a reconfigured parking lot and new interior paint, lighting and signage.
- "Huge Northtown Complex to Open". The Spokesman-Review. 1962-03-29.
- "Northtown Plans Will Triple Size". The Spokesman-Review. 1959-06-19.
- "Crescent Expands Northtown Plans". Spokane Daily Chronicle. 1961-12-28.
- "Northtown Ceremony Set". Spokane Daily Chronicle. 1962-03-28.
- "Northtown Progress Sale". The Spokesman-Review. 1983-06-22.
- "Spokane shopping mall to get facelift and roof". The Spokesman-Review. 1983-06-22.
- "Northtown Mall will double its size". The Spokesman-Review. 1988-08-17.
- "Northtown Mall plan revealed". The Spokesman-Review. 1989-02-16.
- "Northtown Albertsons closing". The Spokesman-Review. 1989-07-01.
- "Sears - Northtown Storewide Clearance". Spokane Chronicle. 1989-09-22.
- "Bon expansion at Northtown stuck in limbo". The Spokesman-Review. 1990-01-15.
- "Woolworth closing store at Northtown". Spokane Chronicle. 1990-07-20.
- "Mervyn's to put stores in 2 malls". Spokane Chronicle. 1990-08-31.
- "Penney's to close at Shadle, downtown". Spokane Chronicle. 1990-11-07.
- "Northtown Mall construction job hits fever pitch". The Spokesman-Review. 1991-04-16.
- "JCPenney - Grand Opening Sale". The Spokesman-Review. 1991-08-07.
- "More NorthTown openings loom". Spokane Chronicle. 1991-10-15.
- "Renovations planned at NorthTown Mall". The Spokesman-Review. 2013-10-25.