Making Mall Talk

It seems blogville is all abuzz with mall talk lately, so, I thought I’d chime in. The developers of the Space Available Mall by my house continue to talk about big plans for the place, yet, I’m just not seeing anything. Though they boast “over 90 stores”, you can’t even buy a decent pair of jeans in there right now, unless the Asian Import Fishing Lure and Scented Candle stores start sellng Sevens or something.

Anway, my theory about Bellevue Center is that it’s just ahead of it’s time. I think that it is a great location to meet the needs of a growing population west of the city, it’s just not time yet. Poor choices regarding original tennants combined with the outlandish real estate prices in the surrounding areas doomed it from the start.

While the population in the area may not ever support “exclusive” stores, there’s no need to make all the stores bargain priced or just provide “shells” of normal stores. Even when the mall had real stores, they were scaled down versions of what other malls have. It was a cycle that the familiar stores didn’t have a full stock, so no one shopped. Since no one shopped, they didn’t carry full inventories.

It’s a long standing problem in Bellevue, but, something needs to be done about the disproportionately steep real estate prices to allow quality development (actual restaurants, anyone?) in the mall area so that it becomes a destination if they want the mall to work.

4 Comments so far

  1. Katherine Coble (unregistered) on May 18th, 2006 @ 10:54 am

    When we first moved here we LOVED to go to Bellevue. We’d make an event out of it (we lived by the airport) and enjoy the drive, the scenery and the combination of stores.

    I was sad to see how rapidly it deterioratied. It had so much potential, but just never realised it.


  2. Ryan (unregistered) on May 18th, 2006 @ 11:41 am

    I’ve long been baffled by the Bellevue Center fiasco. It seems that a management company would have to go out of its way to make a failure of this mall. Everything about it suggests that it would be successful.

    What of the supposed Wal Mart development next door, and subsequent Bellevue Center rebuild that was reported last year?


  3. Busy Mom (unregistered) on May 18th, 2006 @ 9:48 pm

    Ryan, I’d love to know the same thing!


  4. scott (unregistered) on May 25th, 2006 @ 1:53 pm

    I lived with my girlfriend in Bellevue for a year and a half. The lack of restaurants and bars and anything that wasn’t an apartment complex was severely depressing. I think that there are enough residents in Bellevue to support the businesss. What’s there now is disappointing though, and we drove downtown almost every time we left the house.



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