Smaller shops at Northgate Mall say they're being forced out

VIDEO: Northgate Mall stores closing their doors earlier than expected

Stores at Northgate Mall are closing their doors earlier than expected.

Nordstrom announced it's closing Friday, with it’s final day on Aug. 9. Macy’s has “store closing” banners along its storefront.

But some smaller shops said they’re being kicked out.

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The changes to the mall are tied with a much bigger redevelopment project too, but some businesses can’t help feeling like they're being moved aside - for hockey.

Advertisements for steep discounts are hard to miss at longtime stores like Alana Jewelry.

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What customers say about the shop make it clear that it's beloved.
"It is definitely sad to see it go," said Tami Lennox. "They really treat you like you're part of the family," she said.

It's another sign of changing times for Seattle, and all happening too fast for the family-run antique and estate jewelry store - which has been here 27 years.

The shop said it learned last year that it would need to leave Northgate by 2020.

Then recently got a letter saying they were getting kicked out early.

"Shock. Horror. What are we going to do, how are we going to - do we move now?" said one of the store owners, Heather Jensen, who runs the shop with her mom.
"They just said they were terminating our lease, that they'd actually be cutting utilities to our store," she said.

They're not sure what their next steps are, but for now are getting ready to close. They will be missing out on the busiest time of the year – the holiday shopping season.

“Being a small business, everything impacts you.

Because you’re not a big store that can just absorb loss,” Jensen said.

“I was actually devastated because I come here all the time,” Lennox said.

Other small shops have already left.

The changes come as part of the mall's major redevelopment plan.

It includes the new light rail station, housing, hotels, and office space, as well as a park.

Plus - it's the new headquarters for NHL Seattle, which will come with three hockey rinks.

“I'm excited for what's new and seeing what they do with the space and very excited for the hockey team as well,” said Matt Orazem, at the mall with his kids Friday.

Northgate Mall opened in 1950 and is considered one of the oldest in the country.

After all the changes, retail will still be here - but on a much smaller scale.

“It’s crazy, this was a landmark,” Lennox said.

NHL Seattle expected to constructed sometime in 2021, with the goal of being completed by hockey season.

KIRO7 is waiting on a response from Simon Property Group on why some of the smaller shops are having their leases terminated earlier than expected.