News

Mall's owner buys another

By PAT JENKINS

The Mirror

The owners of SeaTac Mall, still in the midst of redeveloping it, have bought a second indoor shopping center in Washington.

Everett Mall was sold last month for $50.2 million to Steadfast Commercial Properties, a Newport Beach, Calif.-based real estate development company that bought SeaTac Mall in Federal Way 17 months ago.

Steadfast plans to expand the Everett center, which now has 118 stores within 677,123 square feet. A new movie theater and “big-box” retailers are in the plans.

Similar changes are underway or planned for SeaTac Mall, which Steadfast acquired in February 2003. The mall, which is in the process of changing its name to The Commons at Federal Way, is getting a new Target store at the east end of the complex. Construction is scheduled to be over for an October opening.

In addition, Century Theaters announced plans last November to build a 16-screen theater in the space formerly occupied by a Gottschalks store on the South 324th Street side of the mall.

Progress of the project is unclear, however. Century officials said originally that construction would start in March and the moviehouse would open late this year, but work hasn’t begun. Calls by the Mirror to Century’s headquarters in San Rafael, Calif. for comment weren’t returned.

According to mall officials, though, construction of the theater is now scheduled to start late in August or early in September and finish in time for an opening within the first half of next year.

Century has been busy with theater projects in other parts of the country, including the Olympia area.

Meanwhile, changes on the mall’s South 320th Street side that are in long-range plans or scheduled to start soon include:

• A bank and at least one restaurant replacing part of the parking lots near the street.

• Revamping the exterior walls of the mall to look more like the two main entrances, which were redesigned last year.

Steadfast, primarily known for developing smaller retail centers and resorts, apartment complexes and industrial and office property, didn’t own a large, indoor mall until buying SeaTac Mall, home to 100 stores. It was for sale for about 16 months by its original owner and developer, Newman Properties, a California company.

At 740,000 square feet, the Federal Way center is larger than Everett Mall.

Rumors of Steadfast’s interest in buying Everett Mall surfaced earlier this year. The mall’s future ownership had been uncertain since New York-based Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States took title in June 2001 after the mall’s former owners, including Titanic Associates of Morristown, N.J., defaulted on a $55 million debt.

Terms of the Everett and SeaTac mall deals weren’t disclosed. Steadfast is privately owned.

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

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