Bellevue's Factoria Mall is close to pulling off a holiday sale of an entirely different magnitude. A New York real-estate firm plans to buy the rebounding shopping center for...

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Bellevue’s Factoria Mall is close to pulling off a holiday sale of an entirely different magnitude.

A New York real-estate firm plans to buy the rebounding shopping center for $102 million as part of a joint venture with an unnamed company. The deal could close by the end of the year, said Carrie Zerone, Factoria Mall’s marketing director.

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“We are 97 percent leased, sales are great, and it keeps getting better,” Zerone said. “We have really turned it around in the past two years, and it was a perfect time to sell.”

The buyer, Kimco Realty, is a publicly traded real-estate investment trust that specializes in building and managing community shopping centers. It owns more than 700 malls in 41 states, Canada and Mexico and is one of the largest owners of community and neighborhood shopping centers in the U.S. It owns one other shopping mall in Washington state, the Parkway SuperCenter in Tukwila.

The 526,000-square-foot Factoria Mall is owned by WorldCo, a private company based in San Francisco. The shopping mall has been for sale since August.

It is unclear how the deal will affect Factoria’s planned “TownSquare” expansion. The project would transform some of the mall’s surface parking into a mixed-use neighborhood of condominiums, parks and stores.

Neither WorldCo nor Kimco returned phone calls yesterday.

The 28-year-old mall, at the crossroads of Interstates 405 and 90, has struggled for most of its life. It hit a low in the mid 1990s when one of its anchors at the time, Ernst, closed its doors and business for the entire mall fell off. Nearly 17 percent of the mall was vacant, a high level for the industry.
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But Factoria, which is anchored by bargain retailers such as Target, Mervyn’s and Old Navy, has enjoyed something of a renaissance in recent years thanks to an extensive face-lift that updated the shopping center’s look and feel.

The change attracted new stores and restaurants, including Cold Stone Creamery and InSpa, which have helped lure customers back to the mall.

J. Martin McOmber: 206-464-2022 or mmcomber@seattletimes.com