Lynnwood is a city in Snohomish County, Washington. The population was 35,000 as of 2009, making it the third largest in Snohomish County and twenty-fourth largest in Washington State. The city is an indefinable mix of urban, suburban, small city, crossroads and bedroom community to many professionals who work in Seattle. Lynnwood is known to be the "hub city" of south Snohomish County because of all the retail shopping. Straddling the junction between Interstate 5 and the north end of Interstate 405 in Washington, it is the final tangle of population on the north end of "greater Seattle" before one continues on to other places: Everett, Bellingham, or Vancouver, BC. Its climate is wet and cool, wetter than that of Seattle. The center of the town at 44th Avenue West and 196th Southwest has the usual American panoply of small businesses, strip malls, and retail stores. Outside the commercial center of Lynnwood, to the east and north, lie Alderwood Mall, houses, and portions of the green belt.
Lynnwood was officially incorporated on April 23, 1959, from a larger unincorporated area called Alderwood Manor. The area was originally platted, developed, and sold as 1-acre lots designed for raising chickens. Even today you can see many of the original 80 year old homes that were the chicken ranches, and old buildings.
The name "Lynnwood" comes from a developer from Seattle who planned to build something at Highway 99 and Alderwood Road (now 196th ST SW). He named the building "Lynn" for his wife and "wood" for Alderwood. Many other stores around took the name Lynnwood and were known as the Lynnwood Business District. Some buildings still stand such as Lynnwood Center (home to Safeway) and the first to say "Lynnwood", The Lynnwood Lumber Company (now a pawn shop).
The initial center of the incorporated city was the intersection of State Route 99 (Highway 99) and State Route 524 (196th Street SW). When I-5 was built, the exit onto 44th Avenue West became the main Lynnwood exit. At that time, the city zoned the area East of 48th W, south of 194th SW, and west of the new freeway for commercial development, and the current city center area was born, with the construction of the Fred Meyer store, a new hotel called the Landmark (now La Quinta Inns & Suites) on 200th and 44th, and other commercial developments.
With the planned construction of I-405 bringing more people by the city, developers built the Alderwood Mall, effectively moving the main commercial area even farther east.
Today, Alderwood Mall continues to expand. New additions to it in 2005 included a Borders book and music store, a Pottery Barn, and a large Loews theatre.
The Lynnwood Convention Center opened in 2005 at 196th St. SW and 36th Ave. W. The convention center and Alderwood Mall create many tourists and business in Lynnwood.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.7 square miles (19.8 km2), of which, 7.6 square miles (19.8 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2) of it (0.26%) is water.
Natural features within Lynnwood include Scriber Lake, Hall Lake, and Swamp Creek.
To the northwest of Lynnwood is Mukilteo. North is Everett, and northeast is Mill Creek. To the west is Edmonds while to the east is Bothell. Southwest of Lynnwood is Mountlake Terrace. South of the city is Brier. Unincorporated Snohomish County is to the southeast.
The Alderwood Mall is the main economic draw to the city of Lynnwood. The mall is a 1.5 million square foot mall with over 7,000 parking lots, and over 200 shops. The mall first opened in 1979. Alderwood is Snohomish County's largest mall and one of the major malls in the Puget Sound region.
Alderwood was named after the unincorporated area called Alderwood Manor which is now the city of Lynnwood, Washington.
Swedish Medical Center has a proposed hospital in Mill Creek. This would be a much needed hospital for the Lynnwood area.
Interstate 5 and I-405 meet up in Lynnwood. Highway 99 is a major thoroughfare through the city. Lynnwood has a transit center and is heavily road oriented.