Bellevue's three major shopping centers have grown to reflect the communities surrounding them with services, restaurants and shopping catered to each area's demographic flavor...
Crossroads Shopping Center: Located at 15600 Northeast 8th Street.
Bellevue Square: 575 Bellevue Square.
Factoria Mall: At the intersection of Factoria Boulevard Southeast and Southeast 38th Street.
As the neighborhoods of Bellevue continue to evolve, so do the city’s trio of malls.
Bellevue’s three major shopping centers have grown to reflect the communities surrounding them with services, restaurants and shopping catered to each area’s demographic flavor.
Three very different faces have emerged:
Bellevue Square, in the heart of downtown, is a regional mall, serving a clientele that can afford its upscale stores.
Crossroads Shopping Center in East Bellevue reflects the ethnically diverse neighborhood surrounding it and has more of a community feel.
Factoria Mall, in the southern part of the city, is automobile-oriented and attracts working-class families.
“They all make major contributions to the community but in entirely different ways,” says Ellen Miller-Wolfe, economic development manager for the city Department of Planning and Urban Development. “The malls strongly relate to the neighborhood they are in. They have grown up with different identities.”
All of the malls started small and have undergone extensive remodeling in the past 20 years.
Bellevue Square, developed by Kemper Freeman Sr. and Jr., was built first. It started with a few stores in 1946 and has since expanded to a multi-level mall with 200 stores including The Bon Marché, Coach, J. Crew, Ann Taylor, Pottery Barn and Tiffany & Co.
“Bellevue Square typically appeals to women between 25 and 54 with an average household income of well over $75,000,” says Anne Marie Peacock, assistant director of marketing for Bellevue Square.
Bellevue Square has high-end chain restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro and Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Peacock says Bellevue Square draws people from as far as Idaho and Oregon.
Crossroads came next, built in 1961. That mall struggled with its identity until Ron Sher took it over in 1986 and transformed it by bringing in more stores and services for the community. Crossroads has since been dubbed “the downtown of East Bellevue.”
Crossroads shoppers can also access a number of services public art, a bustling newsstand, chess tables, a mini-city hall, a movie theater and a police substation. It is a social place. Live music and an ethnic food court with Mediterranean, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Indian, Mexican and Japanese cuisine help make Crossroads popular.
Factoria Mall opened in 1977 with three stores and now has 60. Most popular are Mervyn’s, Target, Nordstrom Rack and Gottschalks. There is also a post office and a Safeway.
“Factoria puts an emphasis on family,” says Nicole Francois, a Factoria marketing consultant who describes the mall’s design as Main Street USA. “They can do everything in one place.”
Factoria, which resembles a strip mall but is working to become more of a community entity, offers fast-food outlets such as KFC and Burger King as well as bigger restaurants like Old Country Buffet, Red Robin and Torero’s Mexican Restaurant.