New tenants fill empty spaces at Federal Way's Commons mall

Mix, a boutique offering hard to find brands like Life is Good, Paul Frank and Hello Kitty, opened June 23 in the Commons mall by Macy
Mix, a boutique offering hard to find brands like Life is Good, Paul Frank and Hello Kitty, opened June 23 in the Commons mall by Macy's. It is one of three new tenants at the mall.
— image credit: Jacinda Howard, The Mirror

The Commons mall is getting new tenants this summer, and plenty more deals are in the works.

Mix, a boutique shop, is up and running. AT&T is open, but has yet to hold its grand opening event. FedEx Office is expected to welcome guests in August. The tenants occupy previously empty space in the mall. Management is working on numerous other deals to land new tenants, some of which are expected by year's end, general manager Gary Martindale said.

"We're continuing to try to bring tenants in," Martindale said. "The leasing activity so far this year has been busier than in two-plus years."

New tenants

Mix, a mom-and-pop shop that offers hard-to-find brand names, made its debut June 23. The store is the first of its kind in Washington. Brands sold at the boutique include Life is Good, Paul Frank and Hello Kitty. The store carries apparel, accessories and toys for all ages. Customers are looking for light-hearted, cute attire and accessories, rather than the dark brooding items that were popular in past years, manager Wei Yang said.

"We want to bring in some fun, positive stuff," she said.

Mix replaces the Spice Island store, located near Macy's. The space was vacated in February. Spice Island is now looking to reopen at The Commons mall in another tenant space, Martindale said.

The Commons also welcomes a new AT&T store. It debuted June 24, the same day the iPhone 4 hit stores, Martindale said. Though AT&T is open for business, the store is awaiting signage and will hold its grand opening once that comes, manager Louis Kim said. Promotions will likely follow, he said. The cell phone and communications provider is operating out of a 990-square-foot location next to the new FedEx Office store.

FedEx Office, formerly FedEx Kinko's, will open in August in a 3,680-square-foot location. FedEx will join other service retailers stationed in the mall. Those include Doug Fox Travel, Do it Yourself Documents and substations for both the Federal Way School District and Federal Way police.

"FedEx Office is a natural fit for the tenant mix at The Commons, offering convenient, easily accessible services to our many merchants and customers," Martindale said. "We are excited about them being a part of our mall."

FedEx and AT&T are occupying the space vacated by Applebee's in 2008. The restaurant moved outside to a pad site facing South 320th Street. Mall management tried for a year and a half to find another restaurant to move into the location, but could not land anything, Martindale said. Instead, management redeveloped the space, making it into two separate retail areas.

McDonald's leaves; more changes expected

Before the conclusion of this year and by spring 2011, more tenants are expected. Details cannot be released until negotiations are final, Martindale said.

"We're hoping with the economy turning around, we can do more deals," he said.

It is known that management is planning to offer a new restaurant in the food court, replacing McDonald's. The fast food giant closed in May when McDonald's corporate offices decided the location was not making enough money, Martindale said. The tenant's lease was up; McDonald's management chose not to renew it, he said.

Outside, mall management is working to locate another tenant at its last pad site, by McGrath's Fish House, facing South 320th Street. The pad sites were introduced in 2004, the year following Steadfast Commercial Properties' purchase of the mall. During the same time, the mall was renamed — from SeaTac Mall to The Commons at Federal Way. The former name was given to the mall prior to its opening in 1975, before Federal Way was incorporated.

The changes came "out of our desire to be a more community-type mall," Martindale said.

Learn more

The Commons is 783,299 square feet and houses more than 100 retailers, eateries and service establishments. For retail leasing information at The Commons at Federal Way, contact Ed Hopwood at (253) 839-6156. For more information about The Commons, contact (253) 839-6150 or visit

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