Forever 21 is coming to Columbia Center mall

Clothing retailer Forever 21 is coming to Columbia Center mall this year.
Clothing retailer Forever 21 is coming to Columbia Center mall this year.

The highly popular clothing store Forever 21 is coming to Columbia Center mall this year.

Mall officials made the announcement Wednesday in a release about the mall’s 50th anniversary.

Forever 21 is the fifth largest specialty retailer in the U.S. and sells clothing for women, men and children.

Based in Los Angeles, Forever 21 is a family-owned company with more than 815 stores in 57 countries.

While the average Forever 21 store is 38,000 square feet, its Tri-City outlet will be a 12,000-square-foot space near Victoria’s Secret.

It is the second major retailer to commit to Columbia Center in recent months.

Construction is already under way on Dick’s Sporting Goods, which plans to open a 50,000-square-foot anchor store this fall.

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The mall’s other anchor stores — J.C. Penney and Macy’s — have been operating at the mall since it opened 50 years ago. The jewelry retailer, Zales, also was an original store, said the release.

Sears, another anchor tenant, announced it will close its mall store by March as a result of a nationwide bankruptcy filing.

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“We have reached an exciting milestone for the mall, while simultaneously seeing continued expansion,” said Barbara Johnson, mall general manager.

“In my tenure at the mall I have been fortunate to have been a part of some exciting changes, this year will be so special to the mall and the community as we reflect on 50 amazing years and look forward to many more,” she said.

The mall is owned by the Simon Property Group, (NYSE: SPG), a publicly traded company that owns retail real estate and manages and develops properties.

Columbia Center was named for a ranch owned by Donald Sherwood, who originally worked on plans for the mall. He named the ranch after the post office, said the release.

The center has more than doubled in size over the years. The second major expansion in 1996 added the theatre and Barne’s & Noble, said mall officials. The last key renovation was in 2006.

To celebrate the anniversary, mall officials are asking the public to share pictures of their memories at the mall on social media by tagging @ColumbiaCtrMall, using the hashtag “#ColumbiaCenter50,” or by bringing the photos to the mall office outside the mall between JCPenney and Men’s Macy’s.

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Wendy Culverwell writes about local government and politics, focusing on how those decisions affect your life. She also covers key business and economic development changes that shape our community. Her restaurant column and health inspection reports are reader favorites. She’s been a news reporter in Washington and Oregon for 25 years.