CAPITAL MALL
Black Lake Boulevard, Southwest and Capitol Mall Drive, Southwest
Olympia, Washington

The first mall-type shopping hub in -or around- "O-Town" was dedicated in October 1966. Constructed on a land parcel lying 3.2 miles east of the Washington State State House, SOUTH SOUND CENTER was located in a section of Thurston County that would soon be incorporated as the City of Lacey.

In the early 1970s, a 69.2 acre plot, sitting 1.3 miles northwest of the State Capitol, was designated as the site for Olympia's second shopping mall. After some initial roadway relocation, construction got underway on CAPITAL MALL in 1977.

The single-level, fully-enclosed shopping hub was developed by El Segundo, California-based Ernest W. Hahn, Incorporated. Its first operational store, a 1-level (81,000 square foot) Seattle-based The Bon Marche, was dedicated in the summer of 1978.

The Moyer Theaters Capital Mall Cinemas, an in-mall 4-plex, opened October 5, 1978. The mall proper was officially dedicated November 15, 1978. At this time, grand openings were also held for the mall's 1-level (34,700 square foot), Bellevue, Washington-based Lamonts and 1-level (93,400 square foot) J.C. Penney.

The new CAPITAL MALL encompassed approximately 480,900 leasable square feet. In March 1980, a 2-level (119,000 square foot), Seattle-based Frederick & Nelson was dedicated. Added to the west end of the complex, it completed the basic footprint of the mall, which now encompassed 599,600 leasable square feet.

Ownership of the retail hub changed in 1980, when Toronto's Trizec Corporation acquired the real estate holdings of the Hahn company. The merged entities were known, henceforth, as the TrizecHahn Corporation.

Frederick & Nelson was shuttered September 22, 1991. Hayward, California's Mervyn's chain opened in the store space in July 1992. The next anchor store rebranding followed closing of Lamonts, in June 2000. This store was renovated by Richfield, Minnesota-based Best Buy, who opened in 2003.

At this time, the interior of the shopping hub was being given a 12 million dollar upgrade, which was finished in October 2003. This project included the installation of barrel vaulted ceilings throughout and an 8-bay Dining Court, which included Subway, Teriyaki Japan, Thaiway Express, Villa Pizza and Panda Express.

The most recent anchor rebranding at the shopping hub involved The Bon March. As a result of Federated Stores' "Project Hyphen", all stores in The Bon Marche chain became Bon-Macy's operations on August 1, 2003. These same stores received a bona fide Macy's nameplate, as a manifestation of "Project Star", on March 6, 2005.

Meanwhile, in November 1998, ownership of CAPITAL MALL had changed hands. Sydney, Australia's Westfield Group acquired the center and saddled it with the lengthy WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN CAPITAL moniker. This was truncated to WESTFIELD CAPITAL in June 2005.

In July of the same year, construction commenced on a 13.4 acre plot northeast of the existing mall. This would become the (140,000 square foot) PROMENADE AT WESTFIELD CAPITAL, an open-air lifestyle plaza dedicated August 18, 2006. The primary tenants were a (33,500 square foot) Borders Books and (50,000 square foot) Bed, Bath & Beyond. The tenant list included J. Jill, Ann Taylor Loft, Chico's, Coldwater Creek, Eddie Bauer, Talbots, Message Envy and the Tuscan Aveda SalonSpa.

THE PROMENADE was followed by an expansion of the mall proper, built on its north side. This was anchored by the Century Olympia 14 multiplex and included 10,000 square feet of new retail space. The Century Olympia 14 showed its first features May 25, 2007, replacing the mall's original 4-plex (which had closed in August 2005). With all renovations completed, WESTFIELD CAPITAL, sans THE PROMENADE, housed approximately 789,500 leasable square feet and ninety-nine stores and services.

Mervyn's had shuttered their WESTFIELD CAPITAL store December 31, 2006. The space was leased to temporary tenants, such as Spirit Halloween, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and a mini-golf course. On August 13, 2010, a 1-level (16,000 square foot) Forever 21 opened in a portion of the store. This was followed by a 2-level (25,000 square foot) REI (Recreational Equipment Incorporated), which opened for business May 31, 2011. The remaining first floor space was dedicated to a 1-level (21,300 square foot) Total Wine & More, which began business July 18, 2013.

Westfield sold the CAPITAL complex in October 2013; the buyer being Starwood Retail Partners, an affiliate of Greenwich, Connecticut's Starwood Capital Group. The official name of the shopping center reverted back to CAPITAL MALL soon after.

Sources:

www.westfield.com (The Westfield Group)
"Westfield Capital" article on Wikipedia
The Olympian
West Olympia Access Study Background Report
Thurston County, Washington property tax assessor website
http://www.cinematreasures.org