The Commons at Federal Way...declining again?

Post Reply
Super S
Posts: 2674
Joined: April 1st, 2009, 9:27 pm
Has thanked: 11 times
Been thanked: 59 times
Status: Offline

The Commons at Federal Way...declining again?

Post by Super S »

I have been on vacation this week and stopped at The Commons today. While the old Sears has new tenants including Amazon Fresh and a Burlington opening soon, and Target, Kohl's and Dick's are doing ok, the inside of the mall is emptying out again. It now has a closing time of 7PM weeknights.

The old unremodeled Macy's space is partially occupied by some kind of low budget liquidator which still has some Macy's signage hanging inside and many of the lights not even turned on, and it didn't feel like the heat was on either. It looked like a junk store to me.

The food court has emptied out considerably. Subway is gone, and there are a handful of local operators left, with a Baskin Robbins as the only national name left. Lots of empty spaces.

Two notable departures are Claire's (which hangs on in a lot of struggling malls) and Daiso, which has been present at the mall for many years and had a decent size store. Quite a few empty spaces, and a notable shift to local retailers, some which are very junky looking. I noticed a few spaces where the stores were open but did not have any kind of name or sign posted which was odd.

The Century Theaters did not have anybody staffing the box office registers and did not look particularly busy, but had showtimes within an hour of when I was there.

It is worth noting that there is a new standalone Dick's Drive-in location at the west end in the old Sears parking lot.
babs
Assistant Store Manager
Assistant Store Manager
Posts: 743
Joined: December 20th, 2016, 3:08 pm
Has thanked: 16 times
Been thanked: 61 times
Status: Offline

Re: The Commons at Federal Way...declining again?

Post by babs »

This mall is a lot like Cedar Hills Crossing in Beaverton, OR. Super successful with outside stores and dead on the inside. With these types of malls, you might as well close the interior and focus on the exterior stores until you decide to redevelop the space.
SamSpade
Store Manager
Store Manager
Posts: 1549
Joined: September 13th, 2015, 4:39 pm
Has thanked: 332 times
Been thanked: 55 times
Status: Offline

Re: The Commons at Federal Way...declining again?

Post by SamSpade »

Off Topic
Where did Daiso move? I am such a fan of their stores, that was the reason we'd stopped there in the past (or Cafe Rio across the road).
marshd1000
Assistant Store Manager
Assistant Store Manager
Posts: 586
Joined: March 2nd, 2009, 1:46 pm
Been thanked: 11 times
Status: Offline

Re: The Commons at Federal Way...declining again?

Post by marshd1000 »

The Commons really needs to get rid of the interior mall and make it an urban village like what many struggling malls are doing. Yes, still have some retail but do the thing with housing, lodging, offices, restaurants and maybe even a park or new city hall for Federal Way?
Super S
Posts: 2674
Joined: April 1st, 2009, 9:27 pm
Has thanked: 11 times
Been thanked: 59 times
Status: Offline

Re: The Commons at Federal Way...declining again?

Post by Super S »

babs wrote: November 2nd, 2023, 9:20 pm This mall is a lot like Cedar Hills Crossing in Beaverton, OR. Super successful with outside stores and dead on the inside. With these types of malls, you might as well close the interior and focus on the exterior stores until you decide to redevelop the space.
One notable difference though is that, at The Commons, the big anchors all open into the mall. Cedar Hills has had interior space gobbled up over the years, such as Powell's expanding into part of the mall corridor.

The Commons also has the anchors set up in a way where they could be easily converted if the mall interior was redeveloped. Notably Kohl's which does not have any small merchants in the corridor adjacent to the store entry.
Super S
Posts: 2674
Joined: April 1st, 2009, 9:27 pm
Has thanked: 11 times
Been thanked: 59 times
Status: Offline

Re: The Commons at Federal Way...declining again?

Post by Super S »

SamSpade wrote: November 3rd, 2023, 12:27 am
Off Topic
Where did Daiso move? I am such a fan of their stores, that was the reason we'd stopped there in the past (or Cafe Rio across the road).
It appears that they moved to SeaTac Village, the strip mall across the road.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-release ... 99007.html

Looking at the map of the strip mall, it appears that Claire's relocated there as well. Doesn't look like a spot with high foot traffic.

Not far away, according to Google Maps, the old Target (which relocated to The Commons) is still sitting there abandoned.
babs
Assistant Store Manager
Assistant Store Manager
Posts: 743
Joined: December 20th, 2016, 3:08 pm
Has thanked: 16 times
Been thanked: 61 times
Status: Offline

Re: The Commons at Federal Way...declining again?

Post by babs »

Super S wrote: November 4th, 2023, 7:51 am
babs wrote: November 2nd, 2023, 9:20 pm This mall is a lot like Cedar Hills Crossing in Beaverton, OR. Super successful with outside stores and dead on the inside. With these types of malls, you might as well close the interior and focus on the exterior stores until you decide to redevelop the space.
One notable difference though is that, at The Commons, the big anchors all open into the mall. Cedar Hills has had interior space gobbled up over the years, such as Powell's expanding into part of the mall corridor.

The Commons also has the anchors set up in a way where they could be easily converted if the mall interior was redeveloped. Notably Kohl's which does not have any small merchants in the corridor adjacent to the store entry.
REI is going in across the street from Cedar Hills Crossing in the old Bed Bath and Beyond space but man the interior of the mall would have been the perfect spot for them..Just clear out the interior walls.
ClownLoach
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2501
Joined: April 4th, 2016, 10:55 pm
Has thanked: 32 times
Been thanked: 264 times
Status: Offline

Re: The Commons at Federal Way...declining again?

Post by ClownLoach »

I was not impressed with this center pre-pandemic, and last time I went by it didn't look any better. Looks like a property that can't make up its mind whether it's going to stay a mall or convert to a big box center, and furthermote appears they don't have enough money to fully steer in either direction so it is adrift. No reason for this to still have any interior mall space open and being leased. Federal Way seems like a rough area from my couple stints staying at the Hampton Inn there. The Walmart further down south was one of the scariest ones I've ever been in, with multiple piles of broken auto glass in every aisle of the parking lot and a restroom that looked like a scene from a hospital horror movie complete with dim, flickering florescent lights. It was hard to find what wasn't locked up in the clothing department, all jeans, socks, work wear, shoes, underwear etc. were all behind glass doors. We only stopped for a bathroom break and were instantly sorry we did. Doesn't seem like Federal Way is a good place for retail in general.
Super S
Posts: 2674
Joined: April 1st, 2009, 9:27 pm
Has thanked: 11 times
Been thanked: 59 times
Status: Offline

Re: The Commons at Federal Way...declining again?

Post by Super S »

ClownLoach wrote: November 6th, 2023, 8:20 pm I was not impressed with this center pre-pandemic, and last time I went by it didn't look any better. Looks like a property that can't make up its mind whether it's going to stay a mall or convert to a big box center, and furthermote appears they don't have enough money to fully steer in either direction so it is adrift. No reason for this to still have any interior mall space open and being leased. Federal Way seems like a rough area from my couple stints staying at the Hampton Inn there. The Walmart further down south was one of the scariest ones I've ever been in, with multiple piles of broken auto glass in every aisle of the parking lot and a restroom that looked like a scene from a hospital horror movie complete with dim, flickering florescent lights. It was hard to find what wasn't locked up in the clothing department, all jeans, socks, work wear, shoes, underwear etc. were all behind glass doors. We only stopped for a bathroom break and were instantly sorry we did. Doesn't seem like Federal Way is a good place for retail in general.
The area from around Lacey and north along I-5 as a whole has been declining in recent years. Lacey had a lot of homeless camps situated alongside the freeway, which have been removed recently and boulders have been placed in these areas. Lakewood and Tacoma are pretty bad too. There are a LOT of businesses that have gone beyond "Restroom is for customers only" and have permanently closed them to the public due to vandalism. Quite a few businesses of all kinds have also installed those "Lot Cop" camera trailers. As recently as 10 years ago these weren't really issues.
Brian Lutz
Store Manager
Store Manager
Posts: 1406
Joined: March 1st, 2009, 5:51 pm
Location: Piedmont Triad, NC
Been thanked: 54 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: The Commons at Federal Way...declining again?

Post by Brian Lutz »

My uncle is a small business owner in Federal Way and has been serving on the Federal Way city council for almost a full term now (just reelected in the recent general election) and although I don't know a whole lot about the city politics in Federal Way, I do know his platform has heavily emphasized properly funding law enforcement, with his opponents largely running on the standard "Seattle Liberal" platform which rarely gets much traction outside of Seattle city limits. It seems like the backlash from the whole "defund the police" mania from 2020 is coming back to bite a lot of these cities, which are now realizing that they need more police, but have made the job so unattractive that nobody wants it.

Again, I can't speak to current conditions in Federal Way since I no longer live in the area, but its close proximity to Tacoma (a long time problem area with things like gang violence and homelessness) means that there's a fair bit of it that spills over there.
Post Reply