The Remarkable Evolution of Northgate Station Mall in Seattle, WA

The Historical Significance of Northgate Station

Northgate Mall (now Northgate Station) opened its doors in April 1950, making it one of the first suburban shopping centers in the United States. Located in the Northgate neighborhood of Seattle, the mall quickly became a focal point for the community, offering a variety of retail stores, dining options, and entertainment venues. Over the years, the mall underwent several renovations to keep up with changing consumer trends and preferences.

Ownership changes also played a significant role in shaping the mall’s identity. Simon Property Group, a prominent real estate company, took over the mall and initiated several redevelopment projects. These changes were not just cosmetic but part of a broader strategy to adapt to the evolving retail landscape and consumer behavior.

The mall’s transformation into Northgate Station marked a new era. The renaming wasn’t merely a rebranding exercise but signified a shift in the mall’s focus towards becoming a multi-purpose community hub. This transition was calculated to ensure the mall’s relevance in an age where online shopping has become increasingly popular.

The change from Northgate Mall to Northgate Station wasn’t just about a new name but redefining what a mall could be. It was a nod to the mall’s storied past while setting the stage for a future filled with possibilities. The mall is successfully transitioning from a traditional shopping center to a modern, multi-purpose facility ready to serve the diverse needs of the Seattle community.

The Transformation into Northgate Station

The mall’s transformation into Northgate Station has been a significant undertaking involving a substantial financial investment. Among the completed projects is the Kraken Community Iceplex, which opened in 2021. This state-of-the-art ice skating facility has become a community hub for sports activities and also serves as the practice ground for Seattle’s NHL team, the Kraken.

Simon Property Group plays a crucial role in steering the mall’s transformation. The company aims to expand the mall’s purpose beyond retail by adding community engagement, sports, and hospitality elements.

Ongoing redevelopment efforts have led to the introduction of new tenants and the refurbishment of existing spaces. Northgate Station now offers a wide range of services and amenities, including retail shops, dining establishments, healthcare providers, and hospitality services. The goal is to make Northgate Station a comprehensive community center.

The ongoing transformation of Northgate Station is a significant endeavor that has demanded a clear vision, a committed team, and strong community backing. The result will be a versatile, multi-functional facility that stands as a shining example of what can be accomplished when a community unites to refresh and rejuvenate a cherished local institution.

The Evolution of Anchors at Northgate Station Mall

The Golden Era: 1950s to 1990s

Northgate Station has a rich history dates back to its opening in 1950. The mall initially featured Nordstrom and The Bon Marché as its anchor stores.

Nordstrom, a Seattle-based luxury department store, opened its doors at Northgate in 1950 and remained a significant presence until its closure in August 2019. The Bon Marché, another department store, was also an original anchor but rebranded to Macy’s in 2005 and closed in 2019.

JCPenney joined the mall in 1965, providing visitors with a more budget-friendly shopping option. It also was closed in 2019. These anchor stores were the pillars that attracted a steady flow of customers for decades.

The Turn of the Century: 2000s to 2010s

During the first two decades of the 21st century, Northgate Mall experienced a significant shift in its anchor stores. Gottschalks, which had opened as Lamonts in 1977, was a notable presence until it was rebranded to Bed Bath & Beyond in 2008. This store continued to serve the community until its closure in 2023. Another addition was Barnes & Noble, which opened its doors in the fall of 2007 and has remained a staple for book lovers.

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During this period, the mall welcomed new types of anchors to diversify the shopping experience. Nordstrom Rack became a part of the mall in 2012, offering discounted luxury items. Toys R Us, a favorite among families since 1997, also closed its doors in 2012. DSW, which opened in 2008 and eventually closed in 2021.

The Current Landscape: 2020s Onward

The most recent anchor to join the complex is the Kraken Community Iceplex, which serves as the official training facility for the Seattle Kraken NHL team.

This addition aligns with the mall’s shift towards becoming a community hub rather than just a shopping destination. As of 2023, the mall is also preparing for the arrival of a new Residence Inn by Marriott, slated to be completed in 2025.

This hotel will be the first in the Northgate Station complex. It aims to provide guests with walking-distance access to the newly opened Northgate Sound Transit station, the Kraken Community Iceplex, and the shopping center.

A Glimpse into the Current Tenants

Northgate Station is currently home to 24 tenants catering to diverse needs. From retail outlets like Nordstrom Rack and Barnes & Noble to dining options like Chipotle Mexican Grill and Red Robin. In the future, Northgate Station will provide many more opportunities for those looking for things to do in Seattle, Washington.

The mall also features tenants in the health and wellness category, such as Bright Now Dental and Virginia Mason Franciscan Health Medical Pavilion. These establishments offer essential services, making it convenient for residents to attend to their healthcare needs without traveling far.

Entertainment and sports also find a place at Northgate Station. The Kraken Community Iceplex offers a unique experience for sports enthusiasts, while the Kraken Team Store allows fans to purchase official merchandise. These additions have significantly contributed to the mall’s identity as a community hub.

The Kraken Connection: Iceplex and Team Store

The Kraken Community Iceplex is more than just an ice skating facility; it’s a community center that offers various programs and activities. Opened in 2021, the Iceplex has quickly become a popular destination for both casual skaters and professional athletes. The facility also serves as the practice ground for Seattle’s NHL team, the Kraken, adding a touch of excitement for sports fans in the area.

Adjacent to the Iceplex is the Kraken Team Store, where fans can purchase official merchandise. From jerseys and caps to memorabilia, the store offers a wide range of products that cater to the city’s growing hockey community. These Kraken-related establishments have added a new dimension to Northgate Station, making it a must-visit destination for sports enthusiasts.

The Kraken Community Iceplex and Team Store are commercial establishments and community spaces that unite people. They offer a unique blend of sports and community engagement, making Northgate Station a destination for families, friends, and sports fans.

The addition of the Kraken Community Iceplex and Team Store has significantly impacted Northgate Station’s identity. These establishments have diversified the mall’s offerings and strengthened its position as a community hub beyond retail and dining.

The Future of Northgate Station

The future of Northgate Station is marked by ambitious plans that aim to make it a comprehensive community center. One of the most significant ongoing projects is the construction of a Residence Inn by Marriott, which broke ground on May 31, 2023. This 167-room hotel is expected to be a valuable addition to the community and is slated for completion in 2025.

The hotel will be near the Northgate Sound Transit light rail bus station and the Kraken Community Iceplex. This placement will offer guests easy access to various parts of the mall and the city, enhancing the visitor experience. The hotel aims to strengthen the community by providing jobs and offering unique experiences for guests.

Another exciting development is the opening a new recreational area, scheduled for the summer of 2024. This space will offer various activities and amenities, making it an ideal destination for families and individuals looking to unwind. The recreational area is part of the mall’s multi-stage development plan, which will continue to unfold over the coming years.

Simon Property Group, the driving force behind the mall’s transformation, envisions Northgate Station as a mixed-use, transit-oriented development. The future of Northgate Station looks promising, with plans that align with the community’s needs and expectations. The mall is poised for growth, ready to adapt and evolve to ensure it remains a vital part of the Seattle community for years to come.

Northgate Station in the News

Recent news articles have highlighted various aspects of Northgate Station, from ground-breaking ceremonies for new projects to store openings. Media coverage has been generally positive, reflecting the community’s excitement and anticipation for what the mall offers.

Public perception is crucial for any establishment, and Northgate Station has managed to maintain a favorable image. The mall’s transformation and additions have been well-received, contributing to its continued relevance in a rapidly changing retail landscape.

The media’s focus on Northgate Station’s transformation, new tenants, and community initiatives has significantly shaped its public image. Positive media coverage boosts the mall’s reputation and attracts more visitors, contributing to its success.

In an age where online shopping is becoming increasingly popular, Northgate Station has managed to stay relevant by adapting to changing consumer behavior and diversifying its offerings. The media coverage reflects this adaptability, portraying the mall as a dynamic, evolving establishment that continues to serve the community’s needs.

Northgate Mall Seattle
Northgate Mall” by Frank Fujimoto is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Northgate Station has come a long way since its inception as one of the first suburban shopping centers in the United States. Its transformation into a modern, multi-purpose facility is a testament to the power of community engagement and visionary planning.

The mall’s diverse range of tenants, from retail and dining to healthcare and sports, reflects its commitment to serving the community. Northgate Station is successfully moving from a traditional shopping center to a community hub, ready to meet the diverse needs of the Seattle community.

As Northgate Station looks to the future, it does so with a sense of optimism and a commitment to adapt and evolve. With upcoming projects, sustainability initiatives, and community outreach programs, the mall is poised for growth, ensuring it remains a vital part of the Seattle community for years to come.

The journey of Northgate Station is an inspiring example of what can be achieved when a community comes together to reimagine and revitalize a beloved local landmark. It is a modern marvel that honors its storied past while embracing a future filled with endless possibilities.

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Comments: 2
  1. Avatar of

    My favorite mall…. bring so many good memories.

    1. Avatar of Spencer Walsh
      Spencer Walsh (author)

      Thanks for your comment. It’s always refreshing to hear from someone who has had a positive experience at Northgate Station Mall and cherishes it for the memories it has provided.

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