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Is Michael's Arts & Crafts moving to Silverdale?

Does Michael’s have a mall in its future?

Persistent rumors in the business community that Michael’s Arts & Crafts would be relocating to the Kitsap Mall in Silverdale prompted a call to the popular hobby emporium in East Bremerton.

“Yes, I’ve heard pretty strong rumors within the company, too,” said George Davis, manager of Michael’s. “But nothing’s finalized. I haven’t been informed of an opening date.”

If the move occurs, he said, it definitely won’t happen this year. No preparations are being made for a move at this time.

“It’ll be after the end of the year, no matter what,” he said.

Michael’s Arts & Crafts has been at its present location, 4205 Wheaton Way, since 1994. It’s part of a chain of about 700 stores across the nation. If it moves to Silverdale, it’ll be competing directly with Jo Ann’s Etc. (formerly Jo Ann Fabrics and Crafts) on N.W. Bucklin Hill Road.

Calls to Michael’s public relations department at corporate headquarters in Irving, Texas, were not returned. No one at the Kitsap Mall could be reached to confirm the relocation.

Silverdale real estate veteran Ron Ross of Silverdale Realty, who keeps tabs of changes in the business community, said he hasn’t heard of the move.

“If they come in, it’ll most likely be in Kitsap Place, the Mall’s annex,” he said. “Moving into the (now empty) Home Base would be more logical,” he opined. “They (Michael’s) couldn’t pay the rent in the Mall,” he added.

Michael’s is a large box store that currently shares space with a furniture store, It would need a similarly sized space, such as Home Base.

The Mall’s annex near TJ Maxx is suffering from a whole row of empty storefronts.

The Macerich Co., based in Santa Monica, Calif., owns and operates the Kitsap Mall and owns 46 malls and four community centers in 20 states. Their properties are home to more than 200 department stores and 5,000 specialty stores.

The Macerich Web site said about 500 million people per year shop at their malls and spend more than $9 billion.

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