As Stores Close At Phoenix’s Paradise Valley Mall, Future Plans Grow

By Christina Estes
Published: Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 6:12pm
Updated: Saturday, November 21, 2020 - 1:15pm

sign pointing out stores outside mall
Paradise Valley Mall is located at Cactus Road and Tatum Boulevard in Phoenix.

Paradise Valley Mall in northeast Phoenix could look much different in the next couple years.

The preliminary redevelopment plan presented by current mall owner Macerich and Phoenix-based Red Development calls for a mix of retail, office and multi-family residential.

Phoenix Planning Director Alan Stephenson said the 75-acre project at Cactus Road and Tatum Boulevard will likely include one-way roads and sidewalks that connect to different retail areas.

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“I think you’ll see them having more substantial open space, you know, where they could have little mini concerts and have food truck events and other things like that to truly make it a destination place in a different world where people want to go there because it’s a cool, fun place, not because they need some basic goods and they have to go there,” he said.

The plan, Stephenson said, is for Costco, Macy’s and JCPenney to stay at Paradise Valley Mall. Sears closed in 2019 and Dillard’s plans to close by the end of 2020.

“The last time I was there I counted 30 stores vacant,” said Councilwoman Debra Stark whose district includes the mall. “Their intent is to make this a true, healthy lifestyle type of development.”

"Their intent is to make this a true, healthy lifestyle type of development."
— Councilwoman Debra Stark

Stark said the developers, who declined our request for comment, will integrate open space. She used Kierland Commons located on the border of north Phoenix and Scottsdale as an example. The mixed-use development has outdoor retail shops and a main street with limited on-site parking that encourages pedestrian use.

Stephenson said the developers are proposing a building with a maximum height of 120 feet, roughly 8 to 10 stories. They must submit an application and rezoning request which will kick off the public notification process. The plan would go before the Paradise Valley Village Planning Committee and then the Phoenix Planning Commission before the City Council would vote.

“It’s great to see them start early on before things get too bad down the road,” Stephenson said. “They certainly have had a number of increased vacancies over the last couple years inside the mall, but they’re being proactive and I think that’s a good thing because the community ultimately will benefit overall from that.”

“There’s some great neighborhoods, great neighborhoods around the mall and they’re strong neighborhoods,” Stark said. “And I think by going through this process that’ll just solidify or help neighborhoods around them remain stable.”

 On Macerich's website, it lists Paradise Valley Mall as 1.2 million square feet.

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empty building exterior
Sears closed its store at Paradise Valley Mall in Phoenix in 2019.
store closing sign hanging outside building
Dillard's will close its store at Paradise Valley Mall in Phoenix by the end of 2020.
empty parking spaces and building
The preliminary redevelopment plan is for JCPenney, Macy's and Costco to stay at Paradise Valley Mall in Phoenix.
empty parking lot with building in background
Paradise Valley Mall in Phoenix opened in 1978, according to Councilwoman Debra Stark.