The Lakewood Towne Center: A Rich History
In the heart of Lakewood, the major retail complex known as the Lakewood Towne Center awaits to fulfill the community’s shopping needs. The Towne Center is a fantastic place for Lakewood residents to spend time at, whether they’re looking for dinner and a movie, or searching for necessities to furnish their homes. My husband grew up in Lakewood and over the years the property has changed, and changed back—its history is certainly a rich one!
Back in 1957, the complex was called the Villa Plaza. Anchored with major retailers and a cinema, the Villa was a destination spot for shopping, restaurants and entertainment. It was an open-air concept that thrived through the 60s and struggled in the 80s.
When the Tacoma Mall began to thrive, the Villa Plaza lost customers. Eventually, developers demolished and remodeled the whole complex and built an indoor Lakewood Mall in 1989. The Lakewood Mall had lots of natural light, and was a great design for its time. Unfortunately, they never secured the anchor stores that would give the complex longevity, and soon, the Mall was devoid of quality customer traffic.
In 2001, the Lakewood Towne Center was developed. The property went back to its roots with the open-air concept of stores. Today it is a thriving place with larger retailers like Target and Bed, Bath, and Beyond; grocery stores like Marketplace and Safeway; and full of smaller shops, businesses, and restaurants. There is a Barnes and Noble Bookstore and even one of the premier theaters with reclining chairs.