By Meghan Hall
Nearly eight years after buying out its investment partner, Kimco Realty Corporation has received the green light to redevelop Bellevue’s Marketplace at Factoria Mall over the next several years. At the end of last year, the City of Bellevue formally approved plans to redevelop the 43-acre property into a more mixed-use development complete with housing, offices and additional retail.
Kimco acquired the majority of its joint venture partner’s interest in the property back in 2013, when the estimated value of the asset was about $130.75 million. Prior to the acquisition, Kimco had retained 50 percent ownership interest in the property. The acquisition was initially part of a wider strategy to streamline the firm’s joint venture investments.
The original mall totals 526,000 square feet and was first built more than 40 years ago. Kimco’s plans for the asset will redevelop the property with up to 685 apartments, a 150-room hotel and two office buildings totaling 175,000 square feet. Kimco also plans to add 30 percent more retail to the property.
Three expansive plazas will also be constructed to create an open-air shopping connection, and some of the mall’s current anchor tenants will ultimately be relocated to different positions on the property to accommodate new plans. Renovations to the existing mall and retail assets are also part of the plans.
The project was approved in November of 2020 and buildout is expected to occur over eight phases. The preliminary phase will include a 295-unit market-rate apartment building and new retail at the northwest corner of the property through reconfiguration of an existing mall common area. Phase Two will see parking reconfiguration and street improvements, while Phase Three is expected to include a hotel at the southeast corner. Pedestrian connections and the plazas will make up the bulk of Phase Four.
Phase Five is where the mixed-use aspect is expected to take shape, according to Kimco. “This phase is the trigger to move into a “mixed use” direction for the overall development with the redevelopment of the Walmart Development area,” documents state. “Setting the stage for adding complementing use to the mall with a two-level new retail area and associated parking structure between the new retail and existing Walmart.”
After the two planned office buildings rise in Phase Five, Phase Six will include a new gathering plaza and retail area. Phases Seven and Eight will include exterior renovations to the mall and 300 new multifamily units, respectively.
Exactly when the refresh of the property will begin is unclear, as project documents indicate that construction will depend on market conditions. Construction could begin as early as this spring, however, Kimco Realty declined The Registry’s request for comment when asked about its plans for the development. DLR Group is the master planner for the property, while Runberg Architecture Group is working to design the residential portion of the project.
Kimco’s plans are similar to several others throughout the Puget Sound as retailers have faced a massive shift in consumer habits. Within the Puget Sound, two other mall revamp projects are on the docket. Perhaps the largest project—and most intense in scale—is the repositioning of the Northgate Mall. Once built out, the formerly enclosed mall will include about 1,205 residential units, 596,600 square feet of retail, 768,800 square feet of office, two hotels and a new NHL ice center. The overhaul remains one of the most ambitious projects in the Puget Sound and has been in the works for more than a decade.
The Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood is also receiving a bit of a revamp. As of an update provided to the City in the summer of 2020, the mall was operating at 95 percent capacity, but property owner Brookfield Properties was moving ahead with Avalon Alderwood. The expansion project would transform the former Sears building into two six-story multifamily apartment buildings that will include more than 320 residential units. The goal of the project is to breathe life into the complex and create a community that exists outside of normal business operating hours.
The goal for Kimco and Marketplace at Factoria will be quite similar. As the role of malls—often regarded as greater community anchors—and retail continue to change, ensuring their longevity and vibrancy through repositioning will remain a key strategy.