New Owner Takes First Steps Toward Revivng an Iconic Phoenix Mall

by Nate Hunter

PHOENIX  — Redevelopment plans call for a new entrance, outdoor patios and an aggressive leasing plan.

PHOENIX  — Carlyle Development Group has unveiled new mall entrance designs and a leasing redevelopment plan for Metrocenter, a super-regional mall in Phoenix with a long history in the community.

The redevelopment plans include creating a mixed-use environment, including office and apartments; signing a new anchor for the vacant Broadway location; and consolidating inline shop space to add new ‘mini-major’ mall tenants. Other plans include incorporating family friendly, cultural and entertainment oriented tenants that could re-energize the mall and improve its perception as an unsafe place.

The mall opened in 1973. At the time, it was the largest mall in Arizona with five anchor stores and ranked in size among the largest malls in the United States. It housed an ice rink and incorporated a fuselage of a 747 airliner into a bar. But the mall began to decline in the 1980s during population shifts, changes in immediate demographics, and the opening of newer malls.

Carlyle Development Group recently purchased the 1.3 million square foot mall and is repositioning it after a few years in foreclosure and receivership. A gathering last week announcing Carlyle’s plans showed local support for reviving the iconic mall.

“I am very excited to see the enthusiasm and determination of Metrocenter’s new ownership team to turn Phoenix’s original mall into a destination once again,” said Phoenix City Councilwoman Thelda Williams. “It is about time somebody realized the potential of the mall and the surrounding area.”

Butler Design Group is the architect for the mall entrance project.

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