NorthTown Mall (Spokane, Washington)

For other uses, see Northtown Mall (disambiguation).
NorthTown Mall
Location Spokane, Washington
Opening date 1955
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
Parking 4,500
Public transit access Spokane Transit Authority
Website Official website

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.[1] 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.[1] McCarthy named the proposed center Northtown and quickly received interest from Woolworth and W. T. Grant about opening large stores at the center.[1] After convincing Travelers Life Insurance to commit to substantial loans, Northtown began construction and was completed in 1955.[1]

In June 1959, Sears confirmed plans to build a 208,000 square feet (19,300 m2) department store at the shopping center.[2] 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.[2] Sears completed its 13-acre site and opened in June 1961.[1]

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.[3] With 38 tenants ready for business, Northtown opened with a grand opening celebration on March 29, 1962.[4] The Crescent opened its store at the shopping center in mid-July.[4] After completion, Northtown featured 41 tenants and employed more than 1,300 people.[4]

In 1976, W. T. Grant closed following a nationwide liquidation of the chain. The former W. T. Grant store was converted into the Northtown Mini-Mall, which featured several small retail shops.[5]

In 1983, Northtown received a facelift and was converted to an enclosed shopping center.[6] The project also added 17,000 square feet (1,600 m2) of new space east of The Crescent store.[6]

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.[7] In February 1989, David Sabey, of the Sabey Corporation, officially revealed his plans for the major expansion project.[8] 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.[8] The plans also required several buildings to be demolished including the current Sears building and the Albertsons and PayLess Drug complex.[8] 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.[8] Sabey also stated that Frederick & Nelson (formerly The Crescent) would remain in the shopping center.[8]

In preparation for the construction, Albertsons closed its store at the shopping center on August 3, 1989.[9] One month later, Sears began liquidating its old store.[10]

Plans to add The Bon Marché to center stalled in late 1989 after the chain's parent company filed for bankruptcy.[11] In late 1990, Woolworth closed its store after failing to reach an agreement to relocate during construction at the mall.[12] In August 1990, Mervyn's confirmed plans to open a store at the shopping mall.[13] On November 7, 1990, JCPenney announced plans to close two of its three Spokane stores to open a store at NorthTown Mall.[14] By early 1991, Emporium was added to the shopping center's plans and construction on the store began in April.[15] On August 7, JCPenney was the first of the three new department stores to open.[16] Emporium opened for business on October 17.[17] The mall's formal grand opening was held on October 27.[17]

Later additions

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.[18] 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.[18] The mall will also receive a reconfigured parking lot and new interior paint, lighting and signage.[18]



Coordinates: 47°42′9.97″N 117°24′32.32″W / 47.7027694°N 117.4089778°W / 47.7027694; -117.4089778

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