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Thursday, May 23, 2002 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Alderwood to get 50 percent bigger

Seattle Times business reporter

Lynnwood's Alderwood Mall has unveiled plans to add two outdoor retail areas and a movie-theater complex by late 2004 in a bid to become the dominant shopping and entertainment hub of Seattle's northern suburbs.

Chicago-based General Growth Properties, which owns the mall, filed preliminary plans with the city last year to expand by roughly 50 percent to about 1.5 million square feet. But Alderwood had been mum on the subject until yesterday, when it announced a handful of tenants had signed on.

Adjoining the mall's northeast corner will be a shopping area similar to Seattle's University Village, with upscale retailers and restaurants connected by outdoor pedestrian walkways. Alderwood also plans to add an open-air garden plaza, called "The Terraces," for shops and family-theme restaurants, and a 16-screen, stadium-style theater complex operated by Loews Cineplex Entertainment.

The mall said tenants for the new additions include Borders Books and Music, Gene Juarez Salon & Spa, California Pizza Kitchen and Claim Jumper restaurant. Barry O'Connor, Alderwood's general manager, said the mall has commitments for about 70 percent of the new additions and will announce more tenants once details are finalized.

O'Connor said the idea is to make Alderwood "the premier destination" for South Snohomish County, where new office parks and affordable housing are drawing more workers and residents.

"We are trying to be more than a shopping center," he said. "We're trying to be a destination for shopping, dining and entertainment."

To make way for the village area, the building now occupied by Nordstrom will be demolished sometime next year — after Nordstrom moves into a new, 144,000-square-foot building to be built on the former Lamonts' site.

Lee Michaelis, an associate planner with the city of Lynnwood, said the expansion project has cleared environmental review, though city officials will re-evaluate each phase of the project before issuing building permits.

The mall has agreed to make a variety of improvements to help manage increased traffic generated by the expansion.

Jake Batsell can be reached at 206-464-2718 or jbatsell@seattletimes.com.

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