Local business owner says Northgate Mall is forcing her out of lease six months early

SEATTLE - One local business owner says Northgate Mall is terminating her lease six months early, and now they're forced to close their doors after 27 years of business.

Northgate Mall is seeing big changes. Plans are in the works to redevelop the space to scale back retail, and add more offices, apartments, and hotels.

There is also change happening with stores.

J.C. Penney has already closed its doors at Northgate, and Macy’s and Nordstrom have announced they are closing, too.

“I welcome changes for Northgate,” said Heather Jensen. “I’m just really sad the way it had to happen."

Nearly 30 years ago, Jensen and her mom, Alana Fornoni, went into business together and opened Alana Antique and Estate Jewelry at the Northgate Mall.

“It was a fantastic thing to do with your mother,” said Jensen.

For nearly three decades, their small business located at the mall became more than just a store.

“Most of the core staff had been with us for 20 years,” she said.

Jensen says she and her mom knew about the changes coming to Northgate. Jensen says their 10-year lease ends with the mall January 2020, and they were OK ending their run.

But then Jensen says she and her mom got a surprise a few weeks ago.

“We got notice of termination, early termination of our lease, and I wasn’t ready for that,” she said.

The owners say they now have to close six months earlier than they expected, which will hurt not just them, but their eight employees.

“It’s a big deal for any retailer, but a jewelry store, with Christmas being the number one holiday for jewelry, it’s huge,” said Jensen.

A dream for a mother-daughter business team is coming to an unexpected end, Jensen says.

“It’s a case of David and Goliath, and this time Goliath is going to win,” she said.

Q13 News reached out to representatives for Northgate Mall, but they have not responded.