America's first mall is about to be redeveloped into offices, homes, and an NHL training center. We went inside and found it eerily empty.
- Northgate Mall was the first shopping center in America to be called a mall.
- Northgate's developers plan to transform the mall into a mixed-use commercial and residential complex that will also have an NHL training center.
- Major retailers are fleeing the mall in droves, with Nordstrom as the latest addition to the bandwagon.
- We visited the mall to see what it was like, and we found that it was eerily abandoned.
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Opened in 1950, Northgate Mall in Seattle was the first shopping center in America to be called a mall.
But now, after years of struggling to reinvent the mall, developers have decided to transform the property and the land surrounding it into a mixed-use commercial and residential complex and NHL training center. The project is expected to be complete in 2021.Nordstrom is the latest of a slew of major retailers including JCPenney and Macy's that have decided to close their Northgate locations. Merchandise and employees from the Northgate store will be redistributed to other Nordstrom stores in the area. The Nordstrom Rack, however, will remain open.
However, it isn't only department stores like Nordstrom and Macy's that are rushing to abandon Northgate Mall before it closes. Smaller retailers and longtime food court locations are also jumping ship, with some local reports saying they were forced out by developers.
Not even phone-charging stations and a Pokemon Go play center were able to save America's first mall from the retail apocalypse.
We toured the mall to see what it was like, and we were unnerved by how eerily abandoned it was: