Phoenix was one of the largest cities in the country that I hadn’t personally visited until a few months ago (others on the list include Miami and Atlanta), and I really had no knowledge of its development patterns or neighborhoods. Just looking at a map and guessing which malls might be in a safe place [...]
I promised a few months ago that I went to every single mall in the Phoenix and Tucson areas–and you were all quick to point out at least one omission, at an outlet mall in Mesa–but by and large I think I made it to all of them, and I plan to bring them all [...]
El Con Mall was Tucson’s first mall, borne of necessity in 1960. Tucson didn’t have a mall yet, and its population grew 368 percent between 1950 and 1960 – from 45,000 residents to well over 200,000. Developer Joseph Kivel decided the best spot for the mall was in midtown Tucson, in the middle of the growth, next to the storied, posh El Conquistador Hotel, a Spanish Revival structure which opened in 1928 (and should never have been torn down). When the mall opened it was initially outdoor, and anchored by a three-level, 60,000 square-foot Levy’s Department Store, which moved from downtown Tucson, as well as a 2-level, 180,000 square-foot Montgomery Ward; Woolworth and Skaggs Drug were mini-anchors.
Arrowhead Towne Center is the only regional mall for a large region of over 1 million shoppers in sprawling northwest Maricopa County, comprising parts of Phoenix, Glendale, Sun City, Surprise, and Goodyear. Its market area is not only large, but economically and ethnically diverse as well, drawing both from extremely upscale, mostly white, brand new enclaves to the north and west to an economically diverse group with a significant amount of Mexican-Americans to the south and east. The average household income in the trade area is over $64,000.
Tucson Mall, opened in 1982, is located on the north side of town along Oracle Road. With a central location, it is strategically positioned against the Tucson area’s other large, successful mall – Park Place Mall on the east side. With 1.3 million square feet of retail space on two levels and five anchor pads, [...]
Billed as the first air-conditioned mall west of the Mississippi, Chris-Town Mall opened with huge fanfare in 1961. Originally, the mall opened with four anchors: JCPenney, Montgomery Ward, local Phoenix department store Korrick’s, and UA Theatres. Bullocks, a department store chain from Los Angeles, was added soon after the mall opened.