In 1909 it opened as a schoolhouse and became the center of the College Hill community. In the ’80s it was made into a shopping center for retail and restaurants and a hot night spot at the heart of the Greek system. And this summer, Adams Mall will go through another transformation.
Washington State University recently bought the two-story brick building for $1.5 million and has retained Corporate Pointe Developers to redesign the site and manage it for the next 30 years.
“It’s part of the College Hill revitalization project,” says Mel Taylor, WSU’s director of special projects. For several years, the University has been buying target properties in the neighborhood adjacent to campus with the goal of making the neighborhood a safe and attractive place to live. “We needed to have a better commercial district on the hill, and Adams Mall is obviously a key place for us to make a difference,” says Taylor.
Under the new management, Shaker’s Bar and Grill is the only tenant not renewing a lease. Corner Market, Fat Ass Burrito, Unisex Hairstylists, and Pita Pit will all remain in the building, and Papa John’s will continue to occupy the adjacent store.
In place of Shaker’s, a multi-functional restaurant will open on the bottom floor. This will be a place where students can grab a coffee before class, get pizza or a hamburger for lunch, and study later in the day. Other plans for the new restaurant include a large dance floor, two separate bars, and a separate room, called the Varsity Club, where people can visit in a quiet setting. Like Shaker’s, the restaurant will be open until 2 a.m. and will serve alcohol.
“For alumni and visitors, it will be more accessible during the daylight hours,” says Taylor. “At night, it will belong to the students.”
The renovated mall will have room for three to four new businesses on the upper level and a large patio area for outdoor seating on Colorado Street.
“We are going to develop a cleaner, safer environment for not only students, but all patrons who would visit,” says Duane Brelsford ’81, president and managing member of Corporate Pointe Developers.