Aurora Avenue North and North 205th Street
King County (Shoreline), Washington

The fifth regional-class shopping center in the Puget Sound region was developed by the Seattle-based Continental West Company. AURORA VILLAGE CENTER was built on 35 acres, located 13.9 miles north of center city Seattle. The site, then in unincorporated King County, was adjacent to the King-Snohomish County line.

Originally an open-air mall of fifty stores, AURORA VILLAGE CENTER opened for business on April 5, 1960. It featured a (40,000 square foot) J.C. Penney, (21,000 square foot) Pay 'n Save Drug, Lucky Stores supermarket and (30,000 square foot) F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10.

Inline stores included Nordstrom's Shoes, Ernst Hardware, Joy Jacobs, Singer Sewing Center, Buster Brown Shoes, Turner Jewelers and Kinney Shoes. A 3-level (180,000 square foot), Seattle-based Frederick & Nelson opened, on the east end of the mall, on July 22, 1963.

Shopping centers in the AURORA VILLAGE trade area included NORTHGATE CENTER (1950) {4.6 miles south, in King County (Seattle)}, AURORA SQUARE (1967) {2.2 miles southwest, in King County (Shoreline)} and ALDERWOOD MALL (1979) {4.7 miles northeast, in Snohomish County (Lynnwood)}.

A 2-level (71,000 square foot) Nordstrom was dedicated March 29, 1974. It was the first unit in the Seattle-based chain to be built as a bona fide Nordstrom department store (earlier locations had operated under the Best's Apparel and -then- Nordstrom Best banners).

AURORA VILLAGE was enclosed and climate-controlled during a 2-phase renovation. Work commenced in March 1979 and was completed in 1980. 100,000 square feet of store space, and a parking garage, were built. The Luxury Theatres Aurora Village 4  showed its first features on December 12, 1980.

The revitalized shopping facility encompassed approximately 510,000 leasable square feet and housed sixty stores and services. Unfortunately, its newness faded quickly. By the late 1980s, the mall was in a downward spiral. This was exacerbated by the closing of its Frederick & Nelson in September 1991. The final nail in the proverbial coffin was driven on May 30, 1992, when Nordstrom shuttered its store.

A redevelopment of the struggling mall had been on the drawing board for several years. The plan was to raze the complex, leaving its two anchors standing. These were to be worked into a new 777,000 square foot facility with two levels of retail, a food court, multiplex cinema and over one hundred and forty stores and services.

Financing for the project was never secured. The mall fell into disrepair and became a haven for crime. It changed hands three times between 1987 and 1992. The final owner, New York City-based Citicorp, acquired the property by default in October 1992. They decided to raze the entire structure and started demolition in late 1993.

A 370,000 square foot power center, known as AURORA VILLAGE CENTER, was built. Its 1-level (156,000 square foot) Costco welcomed its first patrons on June 30, 1994. Stores and services included a 1-level (130,000 square foot) Home Depot, as well as Petco, Office Max and Big 5 Sporting Goods (a tenant of the original mall). The shopping center site became part of the newly-incorporated city of Shoreline in August 1995.


The Seattle Times
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