When did Village Plaza change name?

By Megan Moser

Q: Village Plaza is not called Village Plaza anymore. When and why did that happen? And why is Fourth Street Crossing on Fifth Street?

A: Okay, so two questions about shopping center names today. I’ll start with the easier of the two.

Fourth Street Crossing, owned by Ballard Real Estate, is so named because it spans the block between Fourth and Fifth streets. The sign happens to be on the side of Fifth Street, probably because it allows drivers to see it and have time to turn in before they pass it.

RB Outpost, a western store in the building that used to be a pizza place, and before that a Cox Bros. BBQ, is not connected to the other stores in the complex, but it is on the lot owned by the same company.

On to the other question. Why is Village Plaza not called Village Plaza anymore?

Village Plaza was the name for the strip mall on west Anderson Avenue that included 4 Olives Wine Bar, Subway and several other tenants. Everything with a red roof was part of Village Plaza.

Meanwhile, the businesses that run perpendicular to the former Village Plaza, on the south side of the same parking lot, were called Plaza West — and have been for 25 years, said lot owner Mark Samarrai of S and S Development.

Recently, the company added several new tenants, with a new Ray’s Apple Market store, a Max Fitness in the building that used to be Ray’s Apple Market, Ingredient and Manhattan Running Company.

S and S Development also bought the red-roofed strip of businesses. It had been sold four times in two years when the company bought it, Samarrai said.

The Village Plaza signs came down, and now everything — Max Fitness, 4 Olives, Subway, Cat Tracks Grill and Pub and the others — is collectively called Plaza West.

But what’s in a name, anyway? Samarrai said he knows people will probably continue to call the shopping center by its former moniker.

“Old habits, you know,” he said. “People will call it whatever they want to. A lot of people will call it by the name of the anchor businesses.”

That’s why two signs on nearby roads that used to say “Plaza West” now bear the names of Ray’s Apple Market and Max Fitness.

“It takes up signage, so you might as well let the tenants use it,” Samarrai said.

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