After the Center Plaza fire in May 2017, a new building is set to be completed at the end of this year with an updated sprinkler system. Haley Donwerth, the Mirror

After the Center Plaza fire in May 2017, a new building is set to be completed at the end of this year with an updated sprinkler system. Haley Donwerth, the Mirror

Center Plaza owner rebuilds shopping center after massive fire

May 2017 blaze destroyed nine businesses in Federal Way’s downtown core

The Center Plaza shopping center in Federal Way is being rebuilt more than a year after a fire burned the building to the ground and destroyed nine businesses.

The new building, located at 2020 S. 320th St., is set to be completed by the end of 2018 at a date to be announced, said owner Mark McDonald. He would not release the names of the businesses that would be leasing space in the completed building.

McDonald said most of the previous business owners in the building have decided not to move back in after construction is completed.

“Leasing activity has been strong, and there is a lot of interest,” he said. “The building will be completely updated.”

Initial investigations were unable to determine the cause of the May 2017 fire, which is believed to have originated in the former 2NE Pho restaurant in the building.

According to Jeff Bellinghausen, spokesperson for South King Fire and Rescue, the fire was a total loss to Center Plaza business owners and the community. Businesses that were lost include a Subway, Total Vape, Mi Tiendita Latina II, Al’s Music and Games, 2NE Pho, Ace Dry Cleaners, Emerald City Smoothie, a smoke shop and MOA Hair Studio.

At the time, the building did not have a fire alarm or sprinklers. Bellinghausen said the new building would have a full sprinkler system once construction is finished.

One of the shops that lost nearly all of its invesntory in the fire, Al’s Music and Games, moved to a new location in March of this year. Wes Geesman, the owner, told the Mirror that while the new space was still about 30 percent smaller than the old one at Center Plaza, they still managed to fit the important stuff inside.

The shopping center was sold to McDonald in July 2015 for $14.2 million. The purchase was seen as a good move for the revitalization of Federal Way’s downtown area.

Mayor Jim Ferrell said after the purchase: “The new Federal Way is right around the corner.”


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

Center Plaza, a 22,000-square-foot building at 2020 S. 320th St., was destroyed by a fire May 21, 2017. Mirror file photo

Center Plaza, a 22,000-square-foot building at 2020 S. 320th St., was destroyed by a fire May 21, 2017. Mirror file photo

Center Plaza as seen in 2015. Mirror file photo

Center Plaza as seen in 2015. Mirror file photo

Center Plaza, a 22,000-square-foot building at 2020 S. 320th St., was destroyed by a fire May 21, 2017. Mirror file photo

Center Plaza, a 22,000-square-foot building at 2020 S. 320th St., was destroyed by a fire May 21, 2017. Mirror file photo

Center Plaza, a 22,000-square-foot building at 2020 S. 320th St., was destroyed by a fire May 21, 2017. Mirror file photo

Center Plaza, a 22,000-square-foot building at 2020 S. 320th St., was destroyed by a fire May 21, 2017. Mirror file photo

More in News

Black smoke rises from Westlake Center in Seattle as the Saturday afternoon protests result in several car fires and the looting of several downtown businesses on May 30. Courtesy photo
Federal Way police respond to Seattle protests

The responding officers are members of the multi-agency Valley Civil Disturbance Unit, officials say.

Kabal Gill, owner of East India Grill in Federal Way, wears gloves to hand over take-out orders at his restaurant on March 23. File photo
New guidelines for Phase 2 reopenings in King County

All workers will need to wear masks as restaurants, retail shops and other businesses reopen.

This undated file photo provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows CDC’s laboratory test kit for the new coronavirus. Courtesy photo
Inslee wants nursing home residents and staff tested by June 12

Governor says state will pay for test kits and personal protective equipment.

Stock image
Campgrounds to reopen in 22 Washington counties

Campgrounds in counties actively in Phase 2 of the reopening plan will begin to welcome visitors June 1, state says.

King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht. FILE PHOTO
King County sheriff releases message about Minneapolis Police officer

Mitzi Johanknecht calls video of officer kneeling on neck of George Floyd ‘heartbreaking and disturbing’

Federal Way Public Schools administration building. File photo
8 Federal Way schools honored in Washington School Recognition Program

The schools showed growth in various student demographics, closing opportunity gaps during 2018-2019 school year.

File photo of construction near North Bend on Aug. 16. Sound Publishing file photo
                                File photo of construction near North Bend on Aug. 16. Sound Publishing file photo
Rural King County mayors want state to let them enter Phase 2

Mayors cite heavy economic damage from prolonged shutdown.

New dashboard shows how far along King County is to meeting Phase II metrics

The county has met more than half its goals, but the ones it hasn’t met are critical in determining how many people are still being infected, and how quickly people are being tested.

Most Read