Southern portion of the mall as seen from I-8
|Location||El Cajon, California|
|Address||415 Parkway Plaza, El Cajon, CA 92020|
|Developer||May Centers, Inc.|
|Owner||Starwood Retail Partners|
|No. of stores and services||186|
|No. of anchor tenants||6|
|Total retail floor area||1.3 million ft²|
|No. of floors||1 main floor, anchor stores have 2 stories|
|Parking||Multiple parking lots and parking structures|
|Public transit access||Arnele Avenue|
Westfield America, Inc., a precursor to Westfield Group, acquired the shopping center in 1998, and renamed it Westfield Shoppingtown Parkway, but dropped the "Shoppingtown" part of the name in June 2005. In 2013, Starwood Retail Partners acquired the mall, renaming the mall to its current name, Parkway Plaza.
Parkway Plaza was the first indoor shopping center to be built in the metropolitan area of San Diego, opening in the early 1970s. Although Plaza Camino Real, in Carlsbad, was the first indoor mall in San Diego County, opening in 1969. Constructing an indoor mall was ideal for the area, as El Cajon, its host city, is notably hot during summers. Since opening the mall, Parkway Plaza has expanded as necessary.
Sears Roebuck opened first, on the West edge of the property, in the 1969-1970 timeframe, as a free-standing anchor. The mall was built shortly thereafter, attaching to its East side. May Company originally anchored the mall's East end and a large Woolworth's maintained the middle anchor position on the South side. A 3 screen movie triplex was located on the South side of the mall as was a Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor, near May Co. The grand entrance on the North side featured an iconic-contemporary geometric roof, the surface of which has been altered over the years and did not originally feature branding. A simple understated illuminated red sign that stated "Parkway Plaza", along with a unique logo, was displayed on the brickwork to the right of the entrance. Initially, with the exception of Farrell's and the theaters, there were no small-shop storefronts anywhere on the exterior of the mall; only large sloping planters that served to hide the loading docks of the various shops. The interior featured skylights and a 70's contemporary decor, with numerous built-in planters and seating throughout.
The outlying wing of the shopping center, on the East edge of the property, was anchored by a Food Basket grocery store and Shakey's Pizza. Food Basket was eventually rebranded as "Lucky" (Lucky stores was Food Basket's parent company and they were essentially the same store; the rebranding was intended to create uniformity). This wing was rebuilt and now includes a Best Buy and Office depot.
Over the years a J.C. Penney, Mervyn's, Walmart and Regal Cinemas were added, and Parkway Plaza incorporated a second, parallel mall on the South side. When Mervyn's closed it sat empty for some time and ultimately was replaced with a Dick's Sporting Goods and Crunch fitness center. May Company evolved to Robinsons-May and then (and is currently) a Macy's. Woolworth's eventually became the food court. The only original anchor that remains is Sears.
- JCPenney (153,047 sq ft.)
- Macy's (115,612 sq ft.)
- Regal Cinemas 18 (85,000 sq ft.)
- Sears (255,622 sq ft.)
- Wal-Mart (160,000 sq ft.)
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