Bothell’s Country Village opened in 1981 and offers around 40 small businesses a place to operate. It will be closing in April 2019 and likely sold to developers. Aaron Kunkler/Staff Photo

Bothell’s Country Village opened in 1981 and offers around 40 small businesses a place to operate. It will be closing in April 2019 and likely sold to developers. Aaron Kunkler/Staff Photo

Country Village businesses face an uncertain future

Country Village will be open for another year, but business owners are thinking of the future.

Country Village will close April 2019 after years of uncertainty surrounding its future.

The fate of the shopping center has been in limbo since at least 2015 when the Loveless family began looking at selling the property.

Country Village co-owner Leeann Tesorieri said at the time that increasing property taxes forced them to sell the back six acres to housing developers. It had previously housed Iron Horse Railway, a novelty train track that also offered pony rides. Some 92 townhouses are currently being constructed behind Country Village.

The Loveless family signed a letter of intent with a townhouse developer in 2017 to sell the property. Bryan Loveless told the Reporter last year that the family’s health issues also played a role in their decision to sell the property.

The family did not have a comment regarding the center’s closing date.

Some businesses have already relocated, but many others are staying the course.

The chickens that roam Country Village have been a tourist pull. One is seen here wandering around the center on a recent afternoon. Aaron Kunkler/Staff Photo

The chickens that roam Country Village have been a tourist pull. One is seen here wandering around the center on a recent afternoon. Aaron Kunkler/Staff Photo

Teresa Howard owns the Practical Sparrow Cafe, which she opened in 2016. On a sunny weekday afternoon, she was busy in her kitchen preparing meals for her customers.

“We’re going to be here until the end,” she said.

But already word of the closure next year has been affecting business. Since articles have been coming out in major regional news outlets, Howard said fewer customers have been coming through her doors.

“Business here is easily down 25 percent over the last year,” she said.

Howard said while some businesses may be leaving, many others will be open until April 2019.

Country Village is home to more than 40 local businesses. It is unclear whether these shops will secure new locations in Bothell before the center closes in April 2019. Aaron Kunkler/Staff Photo

Country Village is home to more than 40 local businesses. It is unclear whether these shops will secure new locations in Bothell before the center closes in April 2019. Aaron Kunkler/Staff Photo

Down the road is Julie Stewart’s business, Keepsake Cottage Fabrics. Keepsake is one of the oldest shops in Country Village after it was opened in 1985. Stewart has been working at the store since 1989 when she became a partner. Steward wants to stay in Bothell but hasn’t found another location.

“Rents in Bothell are pretty high,” she said.

There are around 40 local businesses in Country Village that will be displaced. Stewart said she knows of four that have relocated so far. Of those, only one stayed in Bothell and the other three relocated to other cities in the north end. A group of business owners were talking with a landlord in downtown Bothell about renting a location as a group, but that plan fell through, Stewart said.

“It’s kind of every man for himself here,” she said.

Country Village has been a staple of the Bothell business community, bringing in locals and tourists alike, Stewart said. Groups of tourists especially from Japan, Australia and Alaska seem to gravitate to the center.

On a recent afternoon, two women were looking for a restaurant to grab some lunch. While they wished to remain unnamed, one said she drives to Country Village from Lynnwood. They said they were unaware of the closure next year.

“A shame, because this is a great place to visit,” one said.

Country Village sat on 13 acres in north Bothell, but around 6 acres were sold to developers who are building more than 90 townhomes on the land. An excavator crew is pictured at work here on a recent afternoon. Aaron Kunkler/Staff Photo

Country Village sat on 13 acres in north Bothell, but around 6 acres were sold to developers who are building more than 90 townhomes on the land. An excavator crew is pictured at work here on a recent afternoon. Aaron Kunkler/Staff Photo

Many business owners and employees declined to talk about the closure for this story when approached by the Reporter for comment. Many said they were unhappy with the coverage of the closure in recent months.

Other local businesses have had trouble finding locations in the city after they were forced to leave, as reported in an article from 2016 about four businesses that relocated when the city sold a small strip mall to be developed. Mad Cow Yarn moved to Lake Forest Park and Dawn’s Candy and Cake moved to Lynnwood.

It is unclear whether the remaining business owners at Country Village will be able to find new locations for their stores in Bothell.

Other efforts are underway to preserve portions of Country Village. The city’s Landmark Preservation Board met on April 24 to review options to retain two buildings on the property. The Ericksen House and the Carriage House in the village were once part of a farmstead where Gerhard and Dorothea Ericksen lived. The couple were early Bothell residents and lived at the property between 1913 and 1920. The preservation board will discuss and propose alternatives to demolishing the houses.

More in Business

Bob Toomey
Lessons in long-term planning from an anniversary

A column from a financial adviser.

Winter chill begins to settle into real estate market

While there was an uptick in new listings, pending home sales and sold properties the last two months, things are quieting down.

Business networking open house coming to Kenmore Oct. 3

The event is sponsored by the city and the Bothell-Kenmore Chamber of Commerce.

Change to U.S.-backed condo loans comes as summer market wraps up

A monthly real estate snap shot by John L. Scott Real Estate.

First AG lawsuit against company no-poach clause ends with $150K payment

Jersey Mike’s had the contract provisions in place until April 2018.

Dr. Khalid Ahmed (left) and Dr. Elina Durchman are excited to start their new intensive program in Sept. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
Bothell’s Center of Body Mind Intuition to start intensive outpatient program

Center’s intensive outpatient program to start end of September.

Courtesy photo 
                                Mercer Island financial adviser Bob Toomey recently summited Mount Shasta in California.
Financial success and mountaineering

The steps to achieving financial success mirror mountain climbing.

Real estate market holds steady as summer continues

Suburbs are on the rise, as many millennials may be priced out of city cores.

The new Bothell Friday Market will run from 3-8 p.m., every Friday through Sept. 27. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
New Bothell Friday Market opens

Bothell Friday Market will run every Friday through Sept. 27

Kiddie Academy locations on the Eastside win national recognition

Six locally owned educational child care centers received an award for brand excellence and customer service.

Selection and steady sales characterize local market

Buyers can enjoy additional selection this summer as they look for the home of their choice.