Northgate Transformation

Featuring new windows running the length of the shopping center, a 60-foot main entrance, a new industrial-looking east side with exposed duct work and steel beams, a new food court and an outdoor plaza showcasing an old-growth oak tree, Northgate’s new design has got it feeling like Marin’s own modern Dwell-magazine-worthy version of the Spanish neighborhood zocalo.

But renovations don’t come cheap, and $75 million was spent on the 725,000-square-foot property’s transformation from an ’80s enclosed mall to one with more of an open-air environment. However, those millions didn’t just transform an out-of-date mall; they also gave a boost to the local economy during one of the worst financial times in recent history.

San Rafael’s city manager estimates the center was bringing in about $1.5 million in tax revenue each year, but as reported in the San Francisco Business Times, Macerich, the Santa Monica–based company that owns Northgate, says it expects Northgate to contribute $600,000 more each year post-remodel. With more than 20 new shops and a modern feel, Northgate is hoping to capitalize on the “if you build it, they will come” theory—in any economy.

Mill Valley–based landscape architect firm Royston Hanamoto Alley & Abey was hired for the project. RHAA principal Manuela King says like most companies her firm felt the effects of the economy, and “to have such a
big project, which kept people busy, was great.”

Slated Opening Spring/Summer 2010
Footlocker, Forever 21, Great Steak & Potato Co., Payless Shoe Source, Roadside BBQ, Shogun Fresh Japanese Grill, Stride Rite, Buckle, Rite Aid’s new location

Macerich downsized the center by 50,000 square feet, replacing the Mervyns wing with an open-air plaza and community-gathering place.

Approximately 175 to 200 people worked on the Northgate renovation; once it is completely open and operating there will be 1,700 people employed.

Northgate’s Newest Stores
BJ’s Brewhouse
Berry Twist
Children’s Place
Fingers & Toes
Hot Topic
Northgate Beauty Shop & Salon
See’s Candies
Shiekh Shoes
Sole Desire
Sunglass Hut
Wetzel’s Pretzels
Northgate Jewelers
Panera Bread
Verizon Wireless