History of Aurora Village

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Aurora Village probably in the 1970s
View of the west and south sides from Aurora
Photo courtesy History's Dumpster
Reprinted with permission

AURORA VILLAGE CENTER
Aurora Ave N and N 205th St
King County (Shoreline), Washington

Greater Seattle's AURORA VILLAGE CENTER was developed by the Continental West Company.

The shopping hub occupied 35 acres, located 13.9 miles north of the center city. The site, then in unincorporated King County, was adjacent to the King-Snohomish County line.

Originally an open-air mall of fifty stores, AURORA VILLAGE CENTER opened in 1960. It featured a (30,000 square foot) J.C. Penney, (21,000 square foot) Pay 'n Save Drug, Lucky Stores supermarket and (40,000 square foot) F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10.

This appears to be taken from Aurora
Photo courtesy Shoreline Historical Museum


Inline stores included Nordstrom's Shoes, Ernst Hardware, Jay Jacobs, Buster Brown Shoes, Turner Jewelers and Kinney Shoes. A 3-level (180,000 square foot), Seattle-based Frederick and Nelson opened, on the east end of the mall, in July 1963.

Shopping centers in the AURORA VILLAGE trade area included NORTHGATE CENTER / MALL (1950) {4.6 miles south, in King County (Seattle)}, AURORA SQUARE (1967) {2.2 miles southwest, in King County (Shoreline)} and ALDERWOOD MALL (1979) {4.7 miles northeast, in Snohomish County (Lynnwood)}.

Site plan ca 1979
Courtesy Mall Hall of Fame

A 2-level (71,000 square foot) Nordstrom was dedicated in May 1974, along with an adjacent parking deck. 5 years later, the complex was enclosed and climate-controlled. The newly-renovated center, now going as AURORA VILLAGE MALL, encompassed 550,000 leasable square feet and sixty stores and services.

The Luxury Theatres Aurora Village 4 took the place of a shuttered Lucky Stores supermarket and was in business by 1980. By the late 1980s, the shopping center was in a downward spiral. This was exacerbated by the closing of Frederick and Nelson in September 1991. The final nail in the proverbial coffin came on May 30, 1992, when Nordstrom closed its doors for good.

Frederick and Nelson closed in 1991


A redevelopment of the struggling retail hub had been on the drawing board for several years. The plan was to raze the mall, with its two anchors left standing. These were to be worked into a new 777,000 square foot complex with two levels of retail, a food court, multiplex cinema and over one hundred and forty stores and services.

Financing for the project was never secured. The mall fell into disrepair and became a haven for crime. It changed hands three times between 1987 and 1992. The final owner, New York City-based Citicorp, acquired the property by default in October 1992. With the anchor stores, and most of the mall, sitting vacant, Citicorp decided to raze the entire structure. Demolition commenced in late 1993.

A 370,000 square foot power center, known as AURORA VILLAGE CENTER, debuted in June of 1994. It included a 1-level (156,000 square foot) Costco, 1-level (130,000 square foot) Home Depot and Big 5 Sporting Goods (a tenant of the original mall). The shopping center site became part of the newly-incorporated city of Shoreline in August 1995.

Mall Hall of Fame Sources:
Malls of America Blogspot / Keith Milford webmaster
The Seattle Times
www.movie-theatre.org / Mike Rivest




38 comments:

Terry O February 26, 2017 at 12:43 AM  

The map is a little off. By the mid-70s, Pay n' Save and Lucky were in the south parking lot in their own building. There also was another building east of Penney's that housed Sportland/Sportwest (later Big 5), a pet store, travel agency and a few other retailers. The map also doesn't show Ernst Hardware, which was in the SW corner of the parking lot, below a Pizza Haven, which was at grade with the corner of Aurora and N 200th St.

Anonymous,  February 27, 2017 at 7:52 AM  

My family had the Hol'n One donut shop there from the beginning.

DKH February 27, 2017 at 9:20 AM  

Do you have photos of the donut shop? Sounds like a lot of people miss it! Contact me Editor@ShorelineAreaNews.com

Anonymous,  February 27, 2017 at 12:16 PM  

Man I remember going down to The Hole In One Donut shop as a kid. I was facinated watching the machine drop the donuts into the oil and after watching for a while going in and getting a fresh still warm donut.

Diane February 27, 2017 at 2:23 PM  

Having grown up in Richmond Beach, Aurora Village was a short bicycle ride away. I bought gerbils and guppies at Woolworths and had the most delicious frango mint Sunday's at Fredrick and Nelson's restaurant.I miss that mall!

Anonymous,  February 27, 2017 at 2:54 PM  

My family loved the doughnut place!

Anonymous,  February 27, 2017 at 2:57 PM  

We loved the hol' n one doughnut shop!

Michelle February 27, 2017 at 8:10 PM  

Oh my gosh! We used to go there all the time! Didn't you guys have the fryer go by the window so we could watch the doughnuts cook?

Michelle February 27, 2017 at 8:29 PM  

I have amazing memories of Aurora Village! From getting a job at Kinney's Shoes at the age of 10 helping clean and put shoes away, to Karmel Korn & 'the donut shop', Merle Norman make overs, JC Penney for Easter clothes, Pizza Haven and smorgasbord night with the family!! Lucky's for groceries...pay & save for medicines & Mr Yuk stickers! Watching CUJO at the theater...Orange Julius....yum! Herfys!!!! The pet section of Woolworths. Mr Rags Jeans or was it a Squier Shop...hmmm? Lol!...The record store....and that Perry that worked there...always playing killer rock & roll tunes! Ohhhh....THE ARCADE!! We were the original Mall Rats!! And we were proud of it. It gave us a family of other awkward kids trying to find our way to be around and mist the people that worked at the shops all looked out for us too.
Hours and hours-years & years of great times. I wish I knew what happened to everyone...~Michelle Sullivan mall rat from 1978-1985 ✌������

Anonymous,  February 27, 2017 at 9:27 PM  

Loved that place!!!

Michael February 27, 2017 at 10:02 PM  

The place is a pit now, the crappy building are tired and dirty. There's no character whatsoever. The traffic should turn into a real nightmare now with what looks to be a starbucks with a drive through right in the middle of the cluster.

Anonymous,  February 28, 2017 at 1:33 AM  

Spring break 1976 I visited Seattle for the first time with my parents and best friend. We were 16 and we stayed at a friend of my parents in a mobile home on Highway 99 just north of the county line. We walked to the mall every day and shopped for hours!! She and I are still BFF and talked about that trip not long ago! Wonderful memories!!

CharCooks February 28, 2017 at 7:28 AM  

I lived close enough that I could walk the Aurora Village. In the summer my friends did that quite often. Lots of fond memories of this place.

Unknown February 28, 2017 at 8:12 AM  

There was also a Dag's burgers there for a while, movie theater where the projector broke the first time I went to watch ET, and an awesome video game parlor next to it.

Anonymous,  February 28, 2017 at 9:06 AM  

Thank you for this information! I feel like I'm pretty well-informed when it comes to local Seattle-area history, but this was COMPLETELY new to me!

Unknown February 28, 2017 at 10:06 AM  

we have horror stories about the Split End hair place

Anonymous,  February 28, 2017 at 1:25 PM  

Thanks! My wife and I each worked at the Yogurt Stand/Healthy Deli when we were kids. We still live in the neighborhood. Went to Moonlight Sales and saw a lot of movies at that theater. I still haven't forgiven Alderwood Mall for killing AV.

Good Long Life February 28, 2017 at 2:33 PM  

At 14 years old, I got my first kiss from Chris at Aurora Village. He lived just up the street. At the time, it seemed so romantic. Now at 67 years old, not so much. Nice guy though.

Anonymous,  February 28, 2017 at 5:42 PM  

Santa photos at Frederick & Nelsons, Herfy burgers, Hole in One, Buddy nuts, We bought my wedding ring at Allen Turners in 1980, Fogcutters, Sportsland, Ernst just to name a few. I remember when Nordstroms came in. Very modern! Pirates Plunder was there before theaters. I can't remember what the record store was called. Head Shop? We would ride our bikes down and spend the whole day there. Loved it!

Anonymous,  February 28, 2017 at 8:05 PM  

Herfy's burgers! Candy @ Woolworth. Car shows. Lots of good times

Karen Weber March 1, 2017 at 6:16 AM  

Used to take lunch breaks at the Sandwich Shoppe, where a very nice man, Danvers, was the proprietor. My favorite sandwich was Egg Salad & Tuna Salad with a slice of Cheddar on Whole-Wheat. He even put it on the menu as Karen's Special! Fun! One evening, while Mark & I were dating, we had supper there...and Mark gave me a "Promises, Promises" ring (Dec 1984) as a pre-engagement commitment. Sweet! ❤️ That was over 30 years ago - just had our 30th Anniversary last summer..,

Teresa,  March 1, 2017 at 10:25 AM  

My mom worked at Buddy Squirrel Candy and nut shop that sold Baker's chocolates. We used to go to Fredrick and Nelson each December for Santa pics and to buy Swabbies (navy jeans) that were all the rage in the 70's.

Noel Freedman March 1, 2017 at 3:52 PM  

We purchased a new home above and west of Aurora Village, and over the 30 years. We lived there for 30 years: And watched Aurora Village grow, demolish, and resurrect. I filmed the Wrecking Ball slamming into Frederick and Nelson; it took several weeks. But to bring Nordstrom's down it merely took a bulldozer with a long cable to yank it too its knees in a matter of a couple of hours. I also remember the boulder uncovered at the corner of 205 and Aurora; where contractor after contractor bit the dust trying to chip away and remove.

Anonymous,  March 1, 2017 at 4:25 PM  

Ah yes, wonderful hangout for hoodlums like myself. Aurora Village Class of 72-82.
Here are a few other "Classic" Aurora Village stores and events....
The old guy who made keys in the little 4x4 shack near the record store. That's all he did! He made keys! Snooty Cow, Jewelry Emporium, The Tux Shop, Hickory Farms, The Pet Shoppe, Zales, T shirt Emporium, The Fabric Store, Orange Julius, and Big Scoop Ice Cream.
Covering the mall is what killed it. Once it was covered they no longer brought in the very odd Christmas Nativity Scene complete with live animals.
And a special tribute to the shaky handed mall security man, Art, who used to chase the hoodlums from Spaceport all the way to Frederick and Nelson in his 3 wheeled buggy. Go get 'em Art!!!

Anonymous,  March 1, 2017 at 5:27 PM  

Wow, I remember all of this, taking the bus from Five Corners to the Mall...Nordies & Karmel Korm :-)

Anonymous,  March 1, 2017 at 8:13 PM  

Loved all these places...remember the Stock yard restaurant over next F&N? Go through the doors and the cows would moo...

Anonymous,  March 1, 2017 at 10:55 PM  







and Anita"s clothing store Swabby"s were $7.50 a pair Levis were $8.50

Joseph Ellis March 2, 2017 at 2:56 AM  

I don't remember Dag's but have many fond memories of the mall and eating burgers at Herfy's...and spending my allowance at the arcade. ��

Anonymous,  March 2, 2017 at 6:25 AM  

I remember riding my bike from 135th and Densmore up to AV when I was a teen in the late 70s. I'd eat lunch at Dag's,and then window shop. My parents and I loved the Stockyard, I liked the Coles bookstore and Woolworth's. Didn't Woolworth's have a lunch counter?

Anonymous,  March 2, 2017 at 6:44 PM  

Do any of you out there remember the name of the small book store at the mall?

Anonymous,  March 3, 2017 at 1:33 AM  

I used to take the bus from Alderwood (pre-Alderwood Mall) to hang out. I remember shopping for school clothes at Jay Jacobs. Loved the KarmelKorn place.

Anonymous,  March 3, 2017 at 9:54 AM  

Was that the doughnut place with the Sonics pictures on the wall?

Unknown March 3, 2017 at 10:39 AM  

When I was a teenager I used to work at Cozy Bear (little kids clothing store) and I was paid only $2.35 an hour. Minimum wage at the time was $3.15 and my parents were mad that I was under paid. There was a hair salon almost directly across from me and I loved watching all the transformations so much that I went to school for Cosmetology and owned my own salon for 15 years. I lost my job at Cozy Bear because my bf would visit me all the time! We have now been married for 31 years! Oh, and I loved the Squire Shop because my maiden name was Squire and everyone thought that my Dad owned the place. lol

Joy Weight March 3, 2017 at 10:47 AM  

Oh, and wasn't there a Gunny Sack Co. clothing store? I also remember buying Body on Tab Shampoo from that mall and it was apparently made with beer. lol

Cherie (Berg) Wasmund,  March 4, 2017 at 1:05 AM  

I also used to live in the Shoreine area. I went to Cordell Hull Junior High and remember a person named Cindy Squire. Any relation?

Cherie (Berg) Wasmund,  March 4, 2017 at 1:43 AM  

Lived in Shoreline growing up and remember going to that mall a lot through the years in the late 60's -70's. I remember getting an autograph from Jack Sickma at Frederick & Nelson's as well as Christmas pictures, last minute Christmas Eve shopping at J.C. Pennys and not feeling well, moonlight sales, shopped Jay Jacobs as a teen, Gunny Sack, Jewlery Emporium, Nordstrom, Squire Shop, Woolworth, Sports West, the delicious smells of Karmel Korn, amusement park rides while listening to music played such as Hotel California when it first came out & for some reason Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder, Silly Love Songs by Paula McCartney & Wings etc to name a few. Saw E.T. with my Mom and little brother at the theater, walking from a Mobile Park where my friend lived close by to shop and have fun and the list goes on with so many memories ��

Anonymous,  March 6, 2017 at 3:00 AM  

I loved shopping there with my mom in the 60's, and walking all the way there from RB with friends as a teen. House of Fabrics was one of my favorite places. And Nordstroms, and Ernst, and F&N, and Penney's and the Woolworth's! and.....

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