BELLINGHAM - Bellis Fair announced a major revamping Thursday, March 7, a project that includes updating the outside and inside of the mall that officials say will give it more of a Pacific Northwest look.
The multimillion-dollar remodel is expected to be completed this fall, in time for a 25th anniversary celebration of the mall and the opening of Sports Authority, which is going into the former Sears building. Most of the construction is scheduled to be done at night to lessen the impact on shoppers.
With more natural colors and a large fireplace in the food court area, mall officials say the end result will remind people more of the Northwest.
"We're excited to share the news of our transformation at Bellis Fair. The renovations will complement the natural feel of the Pacific Northwest architecture," Janet Henderson, senior general manager of Bellis Fair, said in a news release. "By the end of the year, locals and tourists alike will see a warmer, more inviting center; with colors and textures of the outdoors brought inside."
While work will be done throughout the outside and inside of the mall, the food court appears slated for the biggest makeover. Along with a fireplace, the food court will have an attached video wall, redesigned restrooms that will include a nursing lounge, and more seating.
The mall was previously upgraded in 2003 with new lighting and paint, but the new project is much bigger in scope, said Jean Marohn, marketing coordinator for the mall.
The mall is currently going through a significant change with a major tenant space. With Sears having closed Jan. 27, a new tenant, Sports Authority, is scheduled to open in November.
Francesca's Collection, a women's clothing, jewelry and accessory boutique, is going into the former Harry Ritchie's Jewelers space and is expected to open the second week of April.
Marohn said the 773,000-square-foot mall is expected to bring in several new tenants in the coming year and said demand for tenant space is strong.
"Right now, every space we have is spoken for as we strive to stay current (on the newest retailers)," she said.
Bellis Fair is owned and managed by Chicago-based General Growth Properties, which has 125 regional malls in the U.S.