Northgate Mall is a shopping mall in the Northgate district of north urban Seattle, Washington. It is currently anchored by Bed Bath & Beyond, Toys "R" Us, JCPenney, Macy's and Nordstrom.


An open-air retail hub in the northern environs of Seattle was the first post-war, suburban mall-type shopping center in the United States. Originally known as Northgate Center, it began business with eighteen stores in April of 1950. By 1952, the fully-leased structure housed over seventy tenants.

Northgate was the first of three Puget Sound-area malls developed by Allied Stores (parent company of The Bon Marché) and designed by Seattle architect John Graham, Jr. The development was built over part of Thornton Creek, on land that had been a cranberry bog in Maple Leaf neighborhood. Northgate was the first regional shopping center in the United States to be described as a mall, in this instance a double row of stores facing each other across a covered pedestrian walkway. (also the first mall to have public restrooms.)

In 1952, Redmond sculptor Dudley C. Carter designed and carved the 59-foot (18 m) cedar totem pole that decorated the grand entrance to the central retail corridor, known as the "Miracle Mall". The shopping center was originally anchored by The Bon Marché (renamed Macy's 2005). There were also a J.J. Newberry 5 and 10, Butler Brothers variety store and an A & P Supermarket.

Other tenants signing on early that still exist were National Bank of Commerce (bought by Norwest, renamed Wells Fargo) and locally-owned Nordstrom's Shoes. This was expanded into a full line clothing store in 1965. Opened as a Best's Apparel, a division of the Nordstrom Company since 1963, it was rebranded as Nordstrom Best in 1967 and Nordstrom in 1973. The 1965 expansion that added the Best's Apparel store also included an extension of the south end of the complex. This was anchored by a new JCPenney and (Quality Food Center) grocery.

The "Miracle Mall" concourse had been partially enclosed with a "SkyShield" structure in 1962. This was replaced in 1973-1974, with the mall corridor being fully enclosed. The official name of the shopping complex was changed to Northgate Mall at this time. Seattle-based Lamonts added a store to the northern end of the concourse in 1977. After the acquisition of the Lamonts department store chain by Gottschalks in 2000, Gottschalks was located at Northgate Mall until September 2006. It closed after six years due to underperforming sales, and the former location is currently the home to DSW Shoes and Bed Bath and Beyond.

On September 12, 1983, Tracy Ann Wilson was abducted from Northgate Mall and murdered by Gary Ridgway, the Green River Killer.

Capitalizing on Northgate's success, Allied Stores commissioned Graham to design the fully enclosed Tacoma Mall, which opened in 1964, and Tukwila's Southcenter Mall in 1968. By 1980, there were 123 stores at Northgate Mall. Construction began in the summer of 2006 on a 100,000-square-foot (9,300 m2) lifestyle-type addition to the mall. This was completed in early 2008.Anchor stores are Toys "R" Us, Nordstrom, Macy's, J.C. Penney, and Bed Bath and Beyond.

Northgate Mall Remodeling Project

In 2006, Simon Properties embarked on an expansion of Northgate Mall in part because of the city's plan for revitalizing the Northgate neighborhood. The expansion plans included a new outdoor "urban-village" on the western end of the mall facing Interstate 5. This village opened in November 2007 and is now home to the following new shops and restaurants:

  • Stanford's Restaurant and Bar
  • Panera Bread
  • The Ram Restaurant
  • Barnes and Noble Booksellers
  • Blue Fin Seafood and Sushi Buffet
  • Starbucks Coffee
  • Verizon Wireless
  • Romano's Macaroni Grill
  • Gene Juarez Salon and Spa Expansion
  • Ulta Beauty
  • Subway
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill

Inside the mall, Simon has broadened its retail line by opening Icing, DSW Shoes, Wet Seal, Skechers USA, Sarku Japan, XXI Forever, Vans, Lids, and Bed, Bath and Beyond. A new five level parking garage at the south end of the mall provides parking for mall users as well as additional transit parking. The totem pole at the north entrance of the mall was removed in September 2007.


  • Macy's (319,000 ft²)
  • J.C. Penney (168,800 ft²)
  • Nordstrom (122,187 ft²)'
  • DSW Shoes
  • Bed, Bath and Beyond
  • Toys "R" Us


  • Gottschalks (now vacant)
  • Lamonts (later Gottschalks)
  • The Bon Marche (now Macy's)


The mall is bounded on the north by NE Northgate Way (formerly NE 110th Street), on the west by 1st Avenue NE, on the south by NE 103rd Street, and on the east by 5th Avenue NE. The Northgate informal district and Northgate Way were both named after the mall. The original mall has itself become the anchor for development of surrounding apartment buildings, retail and light commercial blocks, and community spaces, all now part of a more comprehensive plan for such as the opportunities and impacts of transit facilities and the light rail station for the district nenette.

Express bus

The first express bus service in Washington State was launched with service between Northgate and Downtown (1970). The "Blue Streak" served as a model for dozens of additional park-and-ride routes implemented by Metro Transit over western King County and linking with Snohomish and Pierce counties.


  • ""About the Seattle City Clerk's On-line Information Services"". Information Services. Seattle City Clerk's Office. Revised 2006-04-30. Retrieved 2006-05-21.  See heading, "Note about limitations of these data".
  • Crowley, Walt (2001-03-19). ""Blue Streak, first express park-and-ride bus service, begins between Northgate and downtown Seattle on September 8, 1970."". Essay 3115. Retrieved 2006-04-21.  Crowley referenced Walt Crowley, Routes, An Interpretive History of Public Transportation in Metropolitan Seattle (Seattle: Metro Transit, 1993).
  • ""Group Health Cooperative dedicates Northgate Clinic on March 22, 1958."". Essay 7421. 2005-08-13. Retrieved 2006-04-21. 
  • Langston, Jennifer (2006-06-08). ""Northgate project, creek to spring up"". Business (Seattle Post-Intelligencer): pp. E1, E2. 
  • ""Maple Leaf"". Seattle City Clerk's Neighborhood Map Atlas. Office of the Seattle City Clerk. n.d., map .jpg c. 2002-06-17. Retrieved 2006-04-21.  Maps "NN-1030S", "NN-1040S".jpg dated 17 June 2002.
  • ""Northgate"". Seattle City Clerk's Neighborhood Map Atlas. Office of the Seattle City Clerk. n.d., map .jpg 2002-06-17. Retrieved 2006-04-21. 
  • ""Northgate Directory"". Home > Mall Directory > Browse Alphabetically. Simon Properties. n.d., 1st quarter 2006 per soon store openings. Retrieved 2006-04-21. 
  • ""Northgate Information"". Simon Properties. n.d., 1st quarter 2006 per soon stores in "Northgate Directory". Retrieved 2006-04-21. 
  • ""Northgate Mall"" (GIF). Home > Mall Directory > View Mall Floorplan. Simon Properties. 2003-10-15. Retrieved 2006-04-21. 
  • ""Northgate Revitalization: Building Northgate"". Seattle Department of Planning and Development. Updated 2006-05-10. Retrieved 2006-05-21. 
  • ""Northgate Revitalization: Overview"". Seattle Department of Planning and Development. Updated 2005-01-03. Retrieved 2006-04-21. 
  • ""Northgate Revitalization: Northgate Public Process History"". Seattle Department of Planning and Development. Updated 2004-08-12. Retrieved 2006-04-21. 
  • Phelps, Myra L. (1978). Public works in Seattle. Seattle: Seattle Engineering Department. ISBN 0-9601928-1-6. 
  • Shenk, Carol; Pollack, Laurie; Dornfeld, Ernie; Frantilla, Anne; and Neman, Chris (2002-06-26, maps .jpg c. 2002-06-15). ""About neighborhood maps"". Seattle City Clerk's Office Neighborhood Map Atlas. Information Services, Seattle City Clerk's Office. Retrieved 2006-04-21.  Sources for this atlas and the neighborhood names used in it include a 1980 neighborhood map produced by the Department of Community Development (relocated to the Department of Neighborhoods and other agencies), Seattle Public Library indexes, a 1984-1986 Neighborhood Profiles feature series in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, numerous parks, land use and transportation planning studies, and records in the Seattle Municipal Archives. dated 13 June 2002; "NN-1030S", "NN-1040S".jpg dated 17 June 2002.]""Northgate Shopping Mall opens on April 21, 1950."". Essay 3186. Retrieved 2006-04-21.  Wilma referenced Walt Crowley with Paul Dorpat (Photography Editor), National Trust Guide: Seattle (New York: John Wiley & Son, Inc., 1998), 209; Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History, "Northgate Beginnings" (by Jim Douglas), (accessed August 2001); L. B. Fussell, "Section To Be Known As 'Northgate'", The Seattle Times, February 22, 1948; "Features Of Northgate Shopping Area Outlined", Ibid., February 1, 1950; "Polar Bear Cubs And $35,000 Car Vie At Northgate", Ibid., May 23, 1950; "Plenty of Parking Space At Northgate", Ibid., May 7, 1950; "Carter To Carve Totem Pole For Northgate", Ibid., February 26, 1952; "Northgate Stores Fete Completion Of 5-acre (20,000 m2) Area", Ibid., February 15, 1952; "Car Show Planned On Northgate Mall", Ibid., April 30, 1953; "25 New Stores Opening At Northgate", Ibid., August 17, 1965; "Did You Know?" Ibid., March 18, 1965; "Northgate's Vast Parking Areas Can Accommodate Up To 50,000 Cars A Day", Ibid., March 21, 1968; "Eighteen Stores Pioneered Merchandising History At Northgate", Ibid., April 9, 1975; "Northgate An Instant Success", Ibid., April 9, 1975; "Northgate Center Will Celebrate 30th Anniversary Next Month", Ibid., March 13, 1980; "Simoninfo", Simon Properties Website (; Steve Schoenherr (University of San Diego), "Evolution of the Shopping Center", Steve Schoenherr Home Page accessed on November 4, 2004 (
  • Wilma, David (2001-07-20). ""Seattle Neighborhoods: Maple Leaf -- Thumbnail History"". Essay 3454. Retrieved 2006-04-21.  From Mimi Sheridan and Carol Tobin, Licton Springs History,(Seattle: Licton Springs Community Council, 2001), 8; Don Sherwood, "Sacajawea P.F.", in "Interpretive Essays of the Histories of Seattle's Parks and Playfields", handwritten bound manuscript dated 1977, Seattle Room, Seattle Public Library.

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