Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - shopping centers

Designers: Graham, John and Company, Architects and Engineers (firm); Kitchin, Charles E., Engineer (firm); John Graham Jr. (architect); Charles E. Kitchin Sr. (civil engineer)

Dates: constructed 1948-1950

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401 NE Northgate Way
Northgate, Seattle, WA 98125-6036

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Northgate was located on a plot bounded by NE 103rd Street and E 111th Street and between 1st Avenue NE and 5th Avenue NE. The mall was accessible via Exit 173 off Interstate 5. In 1953, the address for Northgate was given as 110th and 5th NE.

Building History

Designed by John Graham and Company for the Allied Stores Department Store chain (along with two local developers, Benjamin B. Ehrlichman and W. Walter Williams), the Northgate Mall was the first regional shopping destination in the United States to call itself a "mall." It opened 04/21/1950, on 62 acres 8.5 miles north of Downtown Seattle. Northgate planned for 80 retailers in the center; some of the original occupants included the National Bank of Commerce, an A&P Grocery Store, Ernst Hardware, Newberry's, and Nordstrom's Shoes (the forerunner of the Nordstrom Department Store chain).

Ownership of Northgate changed from Allied Stores to the Simon Property Group of Indianapolis, IN, in 1987.

A three-story, $3 million Bon Marche Department Store anchored the center's south end. In 2006, the mall had 125 stores and 980,000 gross square feet of leasable floor space.

Massive changes to the retail landscape of Northgate Mall were announced by the mall owner, Simon Property Group, in 2018 and 2019. Anchor department stores, Macy's and Penney's would be demolished, and a $75 million, three-rink,140,000-square-foot hockey practice facility for Seattle's new National Hockey League franchise would become the new retail/residential/commercial development's centerpiece.

Building Notes

Northgate featured one of the earliest movie theatres, the Northgate Theater, incorporated into a suburban shopping center, opening in 1951.


Northgate doubled in size in 1965, with a $10 million, 25-store expansion. The construction of a main, high-speed artery through the heart of Seattle (and next to the mall), Interstate 5, fueled this large-scale growth. Northgate was fully enclosed in 1974. Continuous construction throughout the 1970s brought the number of stores up to 123 in 1980. Further mall expansion occurred in 2006, adding 100,000 square feet on the west side of the mall; this renovation seriously affected parking at Christmastime 2006, when the number of automobile parking spots dropped from 3,965 to 3,079.

Simon tore down the Northgate Medical-Dental Building, the Northgate Theater, and a Red Robin restaurant located on the property's northwest perimeter in 12/2005.

A new parking garage was built on the mall's south side adjoining the shopping center's J.C. Penney Department Store; this 570-space garage was set to open 03/2007.

A new parking garage, located nearby to the Sound Transit Light Rail stop, replaced surface parking on the shopping center's west side in 2015-2016.

PCAD id: 7220