Development and construction continue around the recently opened Trader Joe’s and Nordstrom Rack as The Village at Totem Lake paves the way for Whole Foods, residential apartments and more parking.
Currently, construction crews are working on building C, which hosts Ross (also now open) and will eventually house several more retail tenants, 201 residential units and more than 460 parking spaces divided into retail and residential areas.
Whole Foods is scheduled to open no later than Oct. 1, 2018 and was only delayed because of the store’s inventory and scheduling, according to project development director Rick Beason.
Beason is with CenterCal, the development firm in charge of the project.
“The delay is nothing to do with the deal or them not wanting to be here,” he said. “There is a very strong demand for them to be here and they want to be here. It’s all about timing.”
Verizon and AT&T will soon open in front of Trader Joe’s along Totem Lake Boulevard, then Chipotle and Mod Pizza will open within the first quarter of next year, on the corner of Totem Lake Boulevard and 120th Avenue Northeast.
Beason said while more deals are in the works, the only other tenant they can announce is CycleBar, which will operate in building C.
“We are working with tenants in all buildings and there are deals being made,” he said. “As the buildings are phased, so are the leasing and the announcements for tenants. Right now we have a limited number of names that have been released but ultimately, there will be a continuation of the releasing of names as it’s appropriate.”
The development team is taking several steps to improve upon the previous design, according to project general manager, Paul Brett, who is also with CenterCal. The master plan features more than 1,400 parking spaces, split between retail and residential and adds to the Totem Lake skyline.
“Rather than a shopping mall where you may go to occasionally to fill a need,” Brett said. “It’s more a place where you can come to shop and dine, you can live there and you can work there. It’s a totally different use of this incredibly valuable real estate.”
He said The Village has seen large success during the recent openings as Trader Joe’s and Nordstrom Rack managers saw increased traffic flow throughout the opening weekend. Additionally, Brett, who checks in with them daily, said he often sees cross shopping between the two stores.
“It was common to see five to 20 Nordstrom Rack shopping bags in Trader Joe’s and the same for vice versa,” Brett said. “Of course they didn’t haul their groceries upstairs, but they packed (up and) didn’t move their cars, then went up and checked out the new store.”
Several renderings and a fly-through video can be found at tinyurl.com/ycqlhvq2. Construction may interfere with the parking plaza, but Beason said they’ve ensured that the construction won’t directly interfere with business operations.
The project will move into Phase II — which will include more parking and most of the residential units — after building C is completed and begins to open retail businesses in late 2018.
According to Beason, Phase II will be the centerpiece of The Village. The mixed-use building will have two wings that feature restaurants and retail stores on the ground floor along 120th Avenue Northeast and host about 650 residential units above. The wings will be split by a central park, which will feature a fountain and outdoor dining areas, and a dine-in cinema.
“That’s part of what is going to be the magic of The Village at Totem Lake” Brett said. “It’s not just a place you go and buy a bunch of products that you load in the car and leave. You can come and stay as long as you want. It’s not just a replacement retail center.”
Phase II will open for retail tenants in late 2019, before the residential units open in early 2020, and will host more than 400 retail parking spaces, with additional secured residential parking.
“We think that this is a catalyst for not only improving a site that has been an eye sore for a long time,” Beason said, “but actually a catalyst for redevelopment in the entire region. We’re bringing in a higher quality of retail, architecture and residential that exceeds anything in the marketplace.”