Biltmore Fashion Park
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|Address||24th Street & Camelback Rd|
|Architect||Welton Becket, Charles Luckman|
|No. of stores and services||55+|
|No. of anchor tenants||2|
|Total retail floor area||611,000 sq ft (56,800 m2)|
|No. of floors||1|
|Parking||Outdoor & Garage|
The Biltmore Fashion Park is a luxury outdoor retail and dining plaza located in the Biltmore District of Phoenix, Arizona, along the prestigious stretch of East Camelback Rd. The recently renovated and expanded mid-century plaza is the city of Phoenix's premiere address for high-end retail. The Biltmore Fashion Park, as well as the surrounding business and residential district, are named after the historic Arizona Biltmore Hotel, nearby.
Originally owned by Westcor, in 2002 Biltmore Fashion Park became part of The Macerich Company's portfolio. It is located in an upscale area of Phoenix, bordering the popular tourist sites of Scottsdale, Arizona and Paradise Valley.
Biltmore Fashion Park opened on 31 acres (130,000 m2) of land in what was once considered "the outskirts" of Phoenix, in 1963. Anchored at that time by San Francisco's upscale I. Magnin, Saks Fifth Avenue and The Broadway witch opened in 1968, it was the city's original luxury shopping and dining destination. The mall was designed by the prominent Architecture Firm of Welton Becket and Associates and built by the Chanen Construction Company. The original Saks Fifth Avenue featured native stone walls and concrete Native American hieroglyphics. The Broadway Building witch was the first expansion of the mall was designed by Charles Luckman and built by the Del E. Webb Corporation in 1968.
During the 1960s and 1970s, The Gittings Portrait Studio at the Biltmore photographed the likes of John Wayne, Bob Hope, Princess Grace of Monaco, Barry Goldwater, Red Skelton, Sophia Loren, and many other celebrities and well-known figures who frequented the Biltmore.
In the mid-1990s, the center was purchased by Taubman Centers for $115 million, helping Biltmore Fashion Park transform further into a premiere luxury shopping destination. During this period, the Biltmore underwent a transformation. Both original anchors changed hands, with Saks Fifth Avenue taking over I. Magnin's former space and Macy's taking The Broadway's former space. The center also introduced a number of new luxury retailers, including Cartier, Christofle, Cole Haan, Escada, Gucci, Landau, Lanciani, Louis Vuitton, Max Nugus and Ralph Lauren. The Biltmore was also chosen as one of three sites nationwide for The Galleries of Neiman Marcus; however, Neiman Marcus folded the concept two years later.
The Biltmore continued to remain as the dominant luxury collection in Phoenix, drawing the metropolitan area's at the time sole Allen Edmonds, Apple, Elizabeth Arden, Rangoni Firenze, Stuart Weitzman, and Waterworks stores. Tommy Bahama also opened a flagship store at the center.
By the early 2000s, due to growing retail competition from other, newer high-end retail centers in nearby Scottsdale, Arizona, the Biltmore Fashion Park was purchased by Macerich, and underwent a major renovation, with hopes of revitalizing the older, mid-century exterior of the center which some considered dated. With the plaza already considered a local Phoenix landmark, it was a controversial decision at the time.
The redevelopment's mission was to effectively sever a then-heated rivalry for the same prominent national retailers, between the Biltmore and the larger Scottsdale Fashion Square just six miles to the east on Camelback Road. In order to achieve this, Macerich initiated a relocation project of the more global brand names to the Fashion Square to allow more room for "home-grown" and "fashion forward" stores. Following Louis Vuitton's move to Fashion Square in 2002, Macerich also transplanted Betsey Johnson, Gucci. The center is signing younger stores, including CALYPSO Christiane Celle, Patagonia, Vera Bradley, and the first Roberto Botticelli in the United States. Despite these luxury movement, Saks Fifth Avenue has expanded its store due to high sales growth. The store has leased space to open Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Chanel Cosmetics, and the first-ever La Prairie boutiques. It also significantly expanded its Prada, Chanel and Gucci vendor shops.
It is known for many upscale dining establishments. James Beard award-winner Christopher Gross of Christopher's Fermier Brasserie and Paola's Wine Bar top the list of Biltmore Fashion Park's 12 restaurants and eateries.
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