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               LOS ARCOS MALL: SCOTTSDALE, AZ

John's Commentary

Posted March 1, 2006 (user submitted)

You really don't have any information on Arizona malls, particularly Phoenix-area retail areas. The most 'famous' of these dead malls is Los Arcos Mall because of the way it came and went.

Los Arcos opened in 1969 on the southeastern corner of McDowell and Scottsdale Road in southern Scottsdale, south of the famous old town district. It was famous for the 'Los Arcos' sign which featured two arches. The mall itself was shaped sort of like an 'L'.

Los Arcos steadily declined during the 1990's, partially because of age, competition to the north in the Scottsdale Fashion Square and an economic downturn in southern Scottsdale as the city expanded rapidly towards the north. In 1998 the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team tried to convince the City of Scottsdale to let them build their new arena there. However, the plans fell through, but the damage had already been done - the mall was demolished in 2000. The site remained vacant for over five years through constant political battles between developers, the city of Scottsdale and voters. Steve Ellman, the developer responsible for the end of this mall, tried to bring in big boxes, but nobody seemed to want them. The old yet interestingly architectured strip mall on the southeast corner, also featured in the redevelopment plans and was going to be demolished, managed to survive and I believe it is still operating. Arizona State University now has the Los Arcos site and is currently building there, so the retail part of this parcel of land is at an end for now.

I was only in the mall once or twice when I was very little and don't remember much at all about it. I wish I did, there are other dead or somewhat dead malls in Phoenix that I've been to such as the Camelback Colonnade, Christown/Spectrum, and Park Central, though all three of these have been successfully redeveloped or sustained as opposed to demolished. El Con Mall in Tucson, where I am currently residing, seems to have aged considerably, but with a new In 'n Out being built next to the Target there, it has a good chance to sustain itself, and I think it is being remodeled as well.










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