Westfield Southcenter to celebrate expansion Friday

A shopping destination for south King County has just gotten bigger. A lot bigger. Westfield Southcenter, a major retail complex in Tukwila, will celebrate completion of its $240 million expansion project Friday. The grand opening will acquaint visitors with a longtime shopping center that has expanded by 400,000 square feet and 75 new specialty shops.

  • BY Wire Service
  • Tuesday, July 22, 2008 5:19pm
  • News
Andrew Ciarrocchi

Andrew Ciarrocchi

A shopping destination for south King County has just gotten bigger.

A lot bigger.

Westfield Southcenter, a major retail complex in Tukwila, will celebrate completion of its $240 million expansion project Friday.

The grand opening will acquaint visitors with a longtime shopping center that has expanded by 400,000 square feet and 75 new specialty shops.

That brings the grand total of space and retailers to 1.7 million square feet and 200 stores, making Westfield Southcenter the largest shopping mall in the Pacific Northwest, its executives claim.

“Westfield Southcenter will have a distinct look and feel all of its own, with the best merchants and the finest design,” said Larry Green, Westfield’s senior vice president of development. “We are very much looking forward to July 25 and all of the festivities and giveaways surrounding opening weekend.”

“This is a premiere regional location that is vital to the community, and we couldn’t be more pleased to be adding key retailers, amenities and entertainment options that allow for a day-to-night experience for our shoppers,” Green added.

One of the largest additions to the shopping center is a 16-screen AMC Theatre, with wall-to-wall screens that will incorporate state-of-the-art IMAX technology. The new theater, whose closest cousin is less than 10 miles away at Kent Station, will feature stadium seating and wall-to-wall screens.

The expansion also doesn’t skimp in the restaurant department.

Westfield Southcenter will unveil five new signature restaurants, as well as a “restaurant promenade,” an open food-court area with access to 17 other eat-out, casual-dining facilities. The five new restaurants, which will encompass space on the ground floor of the expansion area, are: Joeys, Duke’s Chowder House, Blue C Sushi, Racha Thai & Asian Bistro and BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse. The restaurant collection is housed under the mall’s new 90-foot blass facade entry, which on a clear day offers views of Mount Rainier.

“We are very excited to announce our new restaurant collection,” said Andrew Ciarrocchi, Westfield senior general manager. “The addition of the new signature restaurants will combine the best in world-class design, service and fare selection, creating the largest and most complete dining offering in the Pacific Northwest.”

Westfield’s retail offerings will also be significantly bolstered by its expansion, adding 16 new fashion merchants to its lineup. The new retailers are: Banana Republic, Bare Escentuals, Coach, H&M, Love Culture, Lucky Brand Jeans, PINK, Sephora, White House/Black Market, Aerie, Aeropostale, Forever XXI, Gilly Hicks, Hollister, Metropark and Skechers. Retailers H&M and Forever XXI will each occupy large, two-level spaces, making the shopping center their flagship locations for the Pacific Northwest.

“There is definitely a buzz within the shopping center and around the community about the fantastic new brands joining our center,” Ciarrocchi said. “It’s an exciting time.”

In addition, the expansion will add family amenities and services, such as kids’ play space, valet parking, family parking, family dining, a new concierge center, new restrooms and two Westfield Family Lounges. The lounges are designed for parents with infants and toddlers and include rest areas with sofas and chairs, children’s books, flat-screen televisions featuring child-friendly programming, nursing areas with privacy curtains and changing facilities with bottle warmers and baby wipes.

The original shopping center opened in July 1968 with 116 stores. The grand opening event for the new expansion will take place on the weekend of July 25, on the center’s 40th anniversary month. Festivities are scheduled for the grand opening, which starts at 7 a.m. See sidebar for event schedule.

Grand opening schedule

7-9:30 a.m. July 25 — Shoppers who are in line before 9:30 a.m. will receive a scratch-off ticket revealing a prize valued at $25 or more from various retailers.

9 a.m. July 25 — Acoustic performance by Seattle-based musician John Roderick of The Long Winters will kick off the event, emceed by TV and radio personality Pat Cashman.

10 a.m. July 25 — Speeches by Gov. Gregoire, Tukwila Mayor James Haggerton and Westfield Group Co-managing Director Steven Lowyaerial, followed by an acrobatic performance.

10-11 a.m. July 25 — Celebrity stylist Robert Verdi will provide shoppers with tips on the latest fall trends at the new H&M flagship store.

10-11 a.m. July 25, 1:30-4:30 July 25 and 11 a.m.-noon July 26 — Children’s entertainment and events at the new Kids Play Space.

3-7 p.m. July 25-26 and noon-4 p.m. July 27 — Wine tasting at the Westfield Sky Terrace, located on level three. Glasses cost $5, with proceeds benefitting the Northwest Youth Music Association.

10:30 a.m. July 26 — Nordstrom stylists will offer fall fashion tips at Joeys Grill & Lounge. Tapas will be served. Tickets cost $40, with proceeds benefitting Junior League of Seattle. For more information, call 206-324-3638.

July 25-27 — Shoppers can enter to win prizes and family excursions.

For more information about events, and the mall renovations, visit www.westfield.com/southcenter.

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