JULY 21, 1997
Mina Hochberg/staff photo
Construction is nearing completion on the retail core of the 120-acre Redmond Town Center. The Center contains 400,000 square feet of retail space.
Redmond Town Center to open in August
by Mina Hochberg
The heart of downtown Redmond is about to grow larger. 120 acres larger, in fact. The Redmond Town Center is nearly finished, with its first stores scheduled to open in August, followed by a Grand Opening celebration September 19-21. Cucina! Cucina! Italian Cafe and Borders Books, Music & Cafe will open August 14. The official ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held September 18, when more retail shops plan to open. The ceremony will be followed by three days of fireworks and festivities.
Henry Jones, general manager of Redmond Town Center, said he feels the center "reflects the value of the community." It is modeled to blend "seamlessly" with the already existing downtown Redmond area. "It is reminiscent of a small pedestrian downtown," Jones said.
The architecture will be unlike that of other local retail centers, such as Bellevue Square or Alderwood Mall. The entire retail section will be open-air, rather than indoor. The 5,000 parking spaces will be found in indoor lots. The structures are brick, with tree-lined promenades covered by plexiglass canopies. As account manager Karmen Johnson put it, it will not be "box-like" with flourescent lights everywhere.
The Town Center will feature both national as well as local retail shops, including Eddie Bauer, Gap, Garden Botanika, Footzone, The Well Made Bed and Z Gallerie. There will be no department stores.
Also located on the 100 acre lot will be an eight-screen Cineplex Odeon theater; offices of AT&T Wireless Services, Inc.; the Lake Washington School District Resource Center; a Residence Inn and a six-story apartment complex. The apartment complex will act as temporary housing for employees searching for homes and will hold approximately 200 units. Altogether, approximately 1,300 employees will be working at the complex during the week.
Another feature of the complex will be its 44 acres of green space, which will connect to the Burke-Gilman trail. On the green space will be fish ponds, with salmon ladders leading to the Sammamish Slough.
As of last week, 85% of the retail space was leased. 60% of the stores will be occupied by September, and 85% by the holiday season. The entire complex is scheduled to be completed by 1999.