Alderwood Mall adapting during pandemic

Alderwood Mall Senior General Manager Jerry Irwin displaying a digital rendering of Avalon Alderwood, a mixed-use development at Alderwood Mall with retail spaces under residential use. (Image courtesy of Alderwood Mall)

After being closed to in-person shopping for 11 weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Alderwood was the first mall to reopen in the region, with just under half of its stores welcoming shoppers under the governor’s Phase 2 reopening plan. Now, Senior Manger Jerry Irwin says that 86% of mall retailers are open for business.

Irwin shared those statistics during a report to the Lynnwood City Council last week.

Though mall staff do not currently have data regarding the number of shoppers visiting the mall since reopening, Irwin said mall traffic flow is at 50% of what it typically is and on track with management’s projections.

To provide a safe environment for shoppers, Irwin said the mall has implemented a variety of safety measures, such as installing hand sanitizer stations, frequent and intense cleaning, establishing social distancing standards and reducing mall hours. He added that the mall is requiring shoppers to wear masks and mall security has a supply to distribute to those who do not have one.

“I think a lot of these are going to be a best practice that we take into the future, even post-COVID, but the curbside has been really successful for us,” Irwin said.

According to Irwin, the mall is operating at 95% retail capacity. During the July 16 Lynnwood City Council briefing, he highlighted the mall’s growing list of retailers, like Seattle Coffee Gear, Yi Fang Taiwan Fruit Tea and T-Mobile store. A local barber will also be relocating its business to the mall. Irwin added two new restaurants will replace the now-closed Romano’s Macaroni Grill and MidiCi Neapolitan Pizza.

The presentation also included details about the future Amazon 4-star retail store opening in August. Amazon 4-store will feature an alternating stock of the online retailer’s top-rated merchandise at a brick-and-mortar location.

In addition, Irwin provided an update on Avalon Alderwood, the mall’s expansion project on the site of the former Sears building. The project includes two, six-story multi-family apartment buildings with a total of 328 residential units and 90,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor. Construction was briefly halted due to the stay-home order, but Irwin said crews are working to meet the 2022 deadline.

“The project was delayed about two months due to COVID, but they’re doing I think a great job catching up,” he said.

Construction on the residential spaces is expected to be back on schedule in the third quarter of 2021 with some retail opening around 2021-22, Irwin said.

The development will also include spaces for additional restaurants, including a Dave & Busters located near the south apartment tower.

“The good news is, there’s still a lot of interest in this so we’re really excited about this project,” Irwin said.

For more information on current policies and safety procedures, visit the mall’s website.

–By Cody Sexton

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