News

Game's over for another mall tenant

By PAT JENKINS

Editor

The shakeup at SeaTac Mall continued last week with an announcement by KB Toys that its store at the Federal Way shopping mall is one of 375 nationwide that will close as part of bankruptcy proceedings.

The departure is the third by a major retailer at the mall in the past year.

Gottschalks pulled out last summer, and Mervyn’s was shuttered last month. The company that owns Mervyn’s will replace it with Target, another of its retail chains, however.

KB, a privately held company based in Pittsfield, Mass., filed Jan. 14 for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy for protection from creditors while it restructures.

Besides the Federal Way location, 11 stores will close in Washington, including two at SuperMall in Auburn. Firm dates for closures haven’t been announced.

KB considers the stores it’s closing to be the poorest performers in sales, according to reports. Nationally, about 3,500 employees will lose their jobs in the closures.

Gary Martindale, general manager of the mall, said there isn’t a new tenant waiting to replace KB.

The former Gottschalks space is scheduled to be filled this year by a 16-screen movie theater by Century Theatres.

Demolition of the Mervyn’s store began last week to make way for the new Target superstore, which was announced last year. Construction is expected to begin in March.

Federal Way city officials last week issued a formal decision of environmental non-significance for the Target project, provided related conditions such as traffic management and improvements are addressed by the developers.

The change involving Target and Mervyn’s is one of the most noticeable changes at the mall since it was purchased last February by Steadfast Commercial Properties, a California-based developer. Other cosmetic makeovers, including redesigned main pedestrian entrances and a recently unveiled children’s play area indoors near the former Mervyn’s site, are part of the first major redevelopment of the mall since it opened in 1975.

The mall’s name is scheduled to change soon to The Commons at Federal Way.

Besides the store departures at the mall, Federal Way lost a fourth major retailer in January when REI closed its store at Gateway Center.

Editor Pat Jenkins: 925-5565, editor@fedwaymirror.com

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