Fiesta Mall

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Fiesta Mall
Fiesta mall entry3.jpg
Location Mesa, Arizona, USA
Address 1445 W Southern Ave, Mesa, AZ 85202
Opening date October 3, 1979
Closing date 2017
Developer Homart Development Company
Management Cushman & Wakefield
Owner Dimension Financial & Realty Investments
No. of stores and services 4 remaining
No. of anchor tenants 2 remaining
Total retail floor area 1,000,000 (approx)
No. of floors 2
Website Defunct

Fiesta Mall is a super-regional shopping center in the U.S. city of Mesa, Arizona (part of the Phoenix metropolitan area). Encompassing approximately 1 million square-feet of retail space, it is west of Alma School Road, between Southern Avenue and the US 60 (Superstition Freeway).

The mall could be categorized as a dead mall due to its great number of vacant stores.[1][2][3]

In May 2017, LNR Properties sold the mall to Dimension Financial & Realty Investments for $6.72 million. A spokesman for Dimension said the firm intended to convert the mall into a health and education campus. The deal does not include the mall's four anchor properties, which are owned by other companies.[4] In October 2017, Cashen Real Estate Advisors, which markets the property for Dimension, proposed the mall as a prospective second headquarters for Amazon.[5]

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

The development that would become Fiesta Mall was announced on October 8, 1970 by officials from the city and Sears, Roebuck and Company. Sears officials said the company would develop the mall, which would include one of their stores, through its subsidiary Homart Development Company. The mall was projected to cost $35 million to $55 million and encompass 1.2 million to 1.4 million square-feet of retail space on 120 acres. It's projected opening was 1973.[6]

Fiesta Mall officially opened Oct. 3, 1979 with Sears, The Broadway and Goldwaters as its first three anchor stores. A fourth anchor, Diamonds, would open later.[7] The mall was developed by Homart, which at the time of the opening of Fiesta Mall was developing several shopping centers nationwide anchored by Sears retail locations.[8][9]

Fiesta Mall and other large developments in the area such as Desert Samaritan Hospital were facilitated to a great extent by population growth in the southeast Valley and the construction of the Superstition Freeway.[10]

In June 1982, Sears, Roebuck and Co. sold a 50 percent stake in the mall to Grosvenor International. The selling price was not disclosed. Under the deal, Homart remained as the mall's management firm.[11]

Homart announced plans in 1985 to grow the mall by nearly 40 percent from 921,046 to about 1.3 million square feet. Part of the company's $50 million expansion plans included a fifth department store.[12] Homart withdrew plans the following year after several delays due to concerns about traffic and parking from the city and other developers with nearby properties.[13][14][15]

Fiesta's owners renovated the mall in 1989, doing away with the orange and brown color scheme of the 1970s and installing skylights.[16]

By the early-1990s, Fiesta Mall was at the zenith of its success. It was the commercial hub of the East Valley and ranked within the top 15 percentile of regional malls in the nation in sales.[17][18] A survey conducted by The Arizona Republic and The Phoenix Gazette in 1992 identified the mall as the preferred shopping center for most Valley residents and, in 1993, as many as a dozen companies were vying to purchase Fiesta.[19] L&B Real Estate Counsel of Dallas, a commercial real-estate investment firm, bought the mall for $124.3 million in December 1993. Citing continuing robust population growth in the southeast Valley, the owners announced new plans for a major expansion that again included a fifth anchor store.[20]

General Growth Properties Inc. acquired Homart and all of its malls in December 1995.[21] Fiesta's management announced in July 2001 that they were searching for a buyer, but said it had nothing to do with increasing competition from newer malls in the area.[22]

On April 13, 2004, pop music star Avril Lavigne hosted a free concert at Fiesta Mall, drawing about 3,000 people.[23]

Decline[edit]

Fiesta Mall started showing early signs of trouble in terms of shrinking customer traffic in the late-1990s. When Arizona Mills Mall opened in the neighboring city of Tempe in 1997, mall officials saw an initial decline in shoppers.[24] Fiesta management said the change was short-lived after initial interest in the new mall peaked.[25] When Chandler Fashion Center opened on Oct. 17, 2001, about eight miles away from Fiesta, the mall suffered its first sustained revenue drop due to a competing mall.[26][27]

The west-facing side of the former Macy's store at Fiesta Mall. Macy's closed in 2014.

In March 2004, a study commissioned by the city and conducted by The International Economic Development Council and The International Council of Shopping Centers said the mall faced significant obstacles as a future competitor in the local retail market. The study reported decreasing sales and difficulty attracting "top-tier stores" due to increasing competition from newer shopping centers and changing demographics.[28] The study also noted recent increases in crime and gang activity in the immediate area surrounding the mall.[29] Despite the mall’s challenges, the study's authors reported that sales per square foot remained "well above the threshold for 'vulnerable malls' of $275 or less, according to the Urban Land Institute." The authors also noted that there were "almost no vacant spaces in the mall."[30]

Fiesta Mall was acquired by Macerich for $135 million in 2004, a time when the center appeared to be showing significant signs of decline.[31][32][33]

The period between 2006 and 2008 proved to be pivotal in Fiesta Mall's overall decline. In 2006, the mall lost one of its four anchors following the merger between Macy's and Robinsons-May.[34] The mall's sales continued to dwindle following the economic recession and the opening of Mesa Riverview and Tempe Marketplace in 2007.[35][36]

During this time, reported crime at and around the mall continued to increase. In 2007, Mesa police reported a jump in gang activity at Fiesta, although mall officials denied there was a rise. Police officials said calls for service increased about 71 percent from 2005 to 2007.[37]

Visitors mill inside the mall's wing that Macy's department store once anchored. Vacancy rates hit unprecedented highs in the years following the 2008 recession.

On March 31, 2008, a man stabbed two mall patrons, including one fatally. Authorities said the suspect had links to gangs and had a history of mental health issues.[38][39]

Police reported a spike in property crimes including car thefts from 2007 to 2008.[40]

In January 2012, police arrested a documented gang member in the beating and attempted robbery of another man near Fiesta Mall.[41] On October 1, 2012, a woman was robbed at gunpoint at the mall.[42]

In March 2013, the mall was appraised at $39.5 million — a 72 percent decline from its worth in 2004. In September 2013, Macerich turned over Fiesta Mall to its lenders due to “imminent default relating to potential tenancy issues." [43][44]

Macy's closed in early 2014, sparking fears over the mall's possible demise.[45] As of October 2016, only 35 businesses were still operating at the mall, which has more that 100 tenant spaces.[46]

Redevelopment[edit]

LNR Properties sold the mall to Dimension Financial & Realty Investments in 2017. Dimension said it planned to spend $30 million to convert the property into a campus focusing on education and healthcare for community colleges and for-profit schools. The deal does not include the mall's four anchor properties, which are owned by other companies.[4]

Anchors & Majors[edit]

Fiesta Mall opened with three anchor department storesGoldwaters, The Broadway and Sears. Diamond's opened later as the mall's fourth anchor.[7]

Goldwaters became Robinsons-May.[47] The Broadway became Macy's. Macy's then moved into the Robinsons-May building after the two companies merged in 2006.[48] Macy's closed in the spring of 2014.[45]

The space previously occupied by The Broadway and the mall's first Macy's store hosted a Dick's Sporting Goods and a Best Buy in 2007. Both of those stores closed in 2016.[49][2] Sears officials announced in November 2017 that they would close the store.[50]

Diamond's is now a Dillard's Clearance Center.[3][51]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Drumroll. "Macerich Corporate - SEC Filings". investing.macerich.com. Retrieved 2017-04-06. 
  2. ^ a b Nelson, Gary (Nov 21, 2016). "Party time for Fiesta again?". East Valley Tribune. Retrieved March 11, 2017
  3. ^ a b Coppola, Chris (January 9, 2017). "Mesa's Fiesta Mall closures could bring redevelopment". azcentral.com. Retrieved March 11, 2017
  4. ^ a b "Developer buys Mesa's Fiesta Mall, plans makeover into health, education campus". azcentral. Retrieved 2017-05-19. 
  5. ^ Sunnucks, Mike (1 October 2017). "Could irony be what Amazon is looking for in its new headquarters?". Phoenix Business Journal. 
  6. ^ "Mesa approves Sears' plans for shopping center". The Arizona Republic. p. 21. 
  7. ^ a b "Mall will open Oct. 3". The Arizona Republic. June 24, 1979. p. D-8. 
  8. ^ "British firm buys half of Fiesta Mall". The Arizona Republic. July 1, 1982. p. C3. 
  9. ^ "Mesa approves Sears' plans for shopping center". The Arizona Republic. October 9, 1970. p. 21. 
  10. ^ McGowan, Dan (May 16, 1977). "Bonanza is expected in Mesa with arrival of delayed freeway". The Arizona Republic. p. B-1, B2. 
  11. ^ "British firm buys half of Fiesta Mall". July 1, 1982. p. C3. Retrieved March 29, 2017. 
  12. ^ Rose, Barbara (August 7, 1985). "Fiesta Mall weighing expansion move". The Arizona Republic. p. F1. 
  13. ^ Patten, Mike (April 25, 1986). "Fiesta Mall gives up bid for expansion". The Arizona Republic/Southeast Extra. p. 6. 
  14. ^ Rose, Brbara (August 16, 1985). "Fiesta Mall expansion stalled by parking issues". The Arizona Republic / Southeast Extra. pp. SE1. 
  15. ^ Patten, Mike (September 23, 1985). "Mesa planners reject Fiesta Mall expansion". The Arizona Republic. p. Extra 6-D. 
  16. ^ Deters, Barbara (March 5, 1995). "Evolution changing the face of malls". The Arizona Republic. p. E1. 
  17. ^ Novotny, Jean (October 21, 1990). "A mall springs to life". The Arizona Republic. p. F1. 
  18. ^ Novotny, Jean (October 21, 1990). "Fiesta doesn't expect its pinata to go bust". The Arizona Republic. p. F1. 
  19. ^ Gillespie, Phyllis (Oct 21, 1993). "Deal for Fiesta Mall". The Arizona Republic. p. D1. 
  20. ^ Gillespie, Phyllis (December 15, 1993). "New owner for Fiesta Mall". The Arizona Republic. p. C1. Retrieved March 29, 2017. 
  21. ^ Reuters (1995-12-27). "Sears Completes Sale of Its Homart Unit". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-03-31. 
  22. ^ Creno, Glen (July 20, 2001). "Midscale Fiesta Mall up for sale". The Arizona Republic. p. D1. 
  23. ^ Collom, Lindsey (April 14, 2004). "Avril, uncomplicated". The Arizona Republic. p. B1. 
  24. ^ Gonderinger, Lisa (November 1, 1997). "Arizona Mills debut robs Fiesta Mall of regulars". p. E2. 
  25. ^ Perez, Janet (April 28, 1998). "Fiesta Mall rides Arizona Mills challenge nicely". The Arizona Republic. p. 8 EV. 
  26. ^ Beard, Betty (April 20, 2002). "Mall, indeed, in high fashion". The Arizona Republic - Ahwatukee Foothills edition. p. 2. 
  27. ^ "Revitalization Strategy for the Fiesta Mall Super-Regional District" (PDF). The International Economic Development Council. March 3, 2004. pp. 6, 16. 
  28. ^ "Revitalization Strategy for the Fiesta Mall Super-Regional Retail District" (PDF). The International Economic Development Council. March 3, 2004. p. 3. Retrieved March 18, 2017. [dead link]
  29. ^ "Revitalization Strategy for the Fiesta Mall Super-Regional Retail District" (PDF). Wayback Machine. The International Economic Development Council. March 3, 2004. p. 27. Retrieved March 18, 2017. [dead link]
  30. ^ "Revitalization Strategy for the Fiesta Mall Super-Regional Retail District" (PDF). Wayback Machine. The International Economic Development Council. March 3, 2017. p. 16. Retrieved March 18, 2017. [dead link]
  31. ^ "Westcor buys Fiesta Mall". East Valley Tribune. 2004-11-06. 
  32. ^ "Fiesta Mall's clock is ticking, Westcor". The Arizona Republic. March 11, 2006. 
  33. ^ "Revitalization Strategy for the Fiesta Mall Super-Regional Retail District" (PDF). Wayback Machine. The International Economic Development Council. March 3, 2004. p. 15. Retrieved March 18, 2017. [dead link]
  34. ^ Beard, Betty; Shah, Tina (August 3, 2005). "Macy's, Robinsons-May merger to hurt Fiesta Mall". azcentral.com. Retrieved March 18, 2017. 
  35. ^ Nelson, Gary (November 13, 2012). "Mesa sales taxes on long climb back from recession lows". azcentral.com. Retrieved March 18, 2017. 
  36. ^ Woodfill, David. "Store closures, competition hurt Fiesta Mall". East Valley Tribune. Retrieved 2017-03-17. 
  37. ^ Woodfill, David. "Police calls show gang activity up at Mesa's Fiesta Mall". East Valley Tribune. Retrieved 2017-03-17. 
  38. ^ McDevitt, Katie. "Man stabbed to death at Mesa's Fiesta Mall". East Valley Tribune. Retrieved 2017-03-17. 
  39. ^ "Mesa man sentenced to life in prison in Fiesta Mall stabbing". archive.azcentral.com. Retrieved 2017-03-17. 
  40. ^ Soenarie, Angelique; Coe, Jackee (April 2, 2008). "Opinions mixed on safety at Fiesta Mall". The Mesa Republic. p. 11. Retrieved March 29, 2017. 
  41. ^ "Gang member charged in attack on Mesa man near mall". azcentral.com. Retrieved 2017-03-17. 
  42. ^ Tribune. "Man follows woman on freeway, then robs her at gunpoint at Mesa mall". East Valley Tribune. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  43. ^ Hansen, Kristena (November 13, 2013). "Macerich turns over Fiesta Mall to lender in lieu of foreclosure". Phoenix Business Journal. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  44. ^ "MAC - 9.30.2013 - 10Q". www.sec.gov. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  45. ^ a b Polletta, Maria; Nelson, Gary (January 15, 2017). "Macy's closing sparks fear of Mesa Fiesta Mall's demise". azcentral.com. 
  46. ^ "Fiesta Mall struggles to find new business - Mesa Legend". Mesa Legend. 2016-10-25. Retrieved 2017-03-17. 
  47. ^ "4 Robinsons-May stores to resurface as Macy's". archive.azcentral.com. Retrieved 2017-05-13. 
  48. ^ Woodfill, David. "Fiesta Mall swings out the old". East Valley Tribune. Retrieved 2017-04-26. 
  49. ^ Gately, Edward. "Best Buy, Dick's Sporting Goods to debut at Fiesta Mall". East Valley Tribune. Retrieved 2017-04-27. 
  50. ^ Sunnucks, Mike (November 5, 2017). "Sears, Kmart closing more stores — including Fiesta Mall". Phoenix Business Journal. 
  51. ^ "Dillard Department Stores Inc. Thursday announced an agreement to.." UPI. Retrieved 2017-04-27.