What’s In Store For Phoenix Area Shopping Malls?

By Christina Estes
Published: Tuesday, September 29, 2020 - 3:24pm
Updated: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - 6:46am

The pandemic seems to be accelerating the downfall of many shopping malls. Coresight Research estimates 25% of malls across the country will close in the next three to five years.

exterior of entrance to luxury wing
Scottsdale Fashion Square's luxury wing.


Macerich operates more than 50 malls and shopping centers across the country. Scottsdale Fashion Square on Camelback Road is among its highest performing. Less than two years ago, it unveiled a luxury wing featuring its own entrance, high-end furnishings and new stores.

During a September webinar presented by Valley Partnership, Kim Choukalas, vice president of leasing for Macerich, said retailers, fitness and theater tenants at Scottsdale Fashion Square are thinking past the pandemic.

“Things have slowed down, and I think it will be that way through the balance of the year but we have heard from many retailers that going into ’21-’22 they look for robust sales,” she said.

Choukalas described luxury retailers as bullish on the Scottsdale-Phoenix market.

Artist rendering courtesy of Plaza Companies and Holualoa Companies
The former Park Central Mall redevelopment in midtown Phoenix includes restaurants, office space, a medical school, hotel and apartments.


In midtown Phoenix, the former Park Central Mall is drawing interest from tenants focused on wellness, said Christine Mackay, the city’s economic development director.

“You have single points of entry that go into your suites, the common space is outdoors where people are-they feel good about being outdoors, you know, big ceiling heights, so Park Central really, the way that it was redeveloped really plays into that wellness so it’s in a really good position,” she said. “We’re hearing that from a lot of tenants.”

Construction is underway for Creighton University School of Medicine scheduled to open next summer. The 40-acre property along Central Avenue will also house apartments, a hotel and new parking garage. Restaurants and office space are currently open.

Metrocenter Mall
Tim Agne/KJZZ
Metrocenter Mall in Phoenix on June 20, 2020.

Mackay said a redevelopment deal for the former Metrocenter Mall at Interstate 17 and Dunlap could be announced before the end of the year. Macerich, which owns Paradise Valley Mall, said it continues to evaluate redevelopment potential near the center located at Tatum Boulevard and Cactus Road.

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