Maryvale Mall

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Maryvale Mall
Location Phoenix, AZ
Opening date 1960
Management Cartwright Elementary School District
No. of stores and services 3
No. of floors 1

Maryvale Mall was the second shopping mall in Phoenix, Arizona, before being redeveloped, it was located on 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. Today it exists partially as a middle school, elementary school and police station. Before conversion to an indoor shopping mall, Maryvale Mall was originally known as Maryvale Shopping City.

History[edit]

Maryvale Mall, originally known as Maryvale Shopping City was designed by Victor Gruen and developed by Phoenix's well known home builder, John F. Long, who also planned and developed the town he named after his business partner's wife, Maryvale.[1] At the time, Phoenix was a much smaller city, and the mall's location 7 miles (11 km) west of the state capitol had not yet been annexed into the city of Phoenix. When the 65-acre (260,000 m2) mall was completed in 1960, it originally an open-air configuration, the primary anchors were John F. Long's own Malcom's twin level department store as well as other such anchors as, Sears, Montgomery Ward, S.S. Kresge, El Rancho Market, and the Bowlero bowling alley.

As Phoenix quickly grew and as other suburban malls opened, Maryvale Shopping City was enclosed, expanded and renamed Maryvale Mall. Part of this mid-1970s expansion also included the new addition of a Zody's retail store and the addition of a new mall wing anchored by Mervyn's. Also during the expansion, the Montgomery Ward was closed and Malcom's relocated into the vacant space while the old Malcom's space was expanded to make room for the anchor LaBelle's. By the end of the decade Best Products bought out and converted the LaBelle's and the bowling alley eventually converted to Capin's department store. The tenant changes continued well into the 1980s, with the notable The El Rancho Market becoming a Silo Electronics store, and when the Malcom's brand went under, the space became The Boston Store.

The Maryvale area began to decline, thus shoppers began to prefer the suburbs, the mall was becoming ever more vacant with anchors switching from department stores to discount stores. The Zody's department store was closed shop and became a Target, a grocery store moved into another vacated anchor, while another was converted into an indoor soccer field and dollar cinema.

By the mid-1990s, the mall area had a crime problem and was virtually shuttered. John F. Long devised a plan to reinvent the area and possibly save some portions of the mall. The property was sold to the local school district at a heavily discounted price. Eventually portions of the mall became a Middle School, and Elementary School, police station, and community center, and the section that once housed a Mervyn's was demolished and became a Wal-Mart Supercenter. Only some of the mall's original buildings still remain, many have been razed or are significantly altered, making it difficult to determine what they were originally, although two of the mall's entrance towers remain and provide reference points to the original entrances.

Current tenants[edit]

  • Bret R. Tarver Elementary School - Occupying the original Malcom's, S.S. Kresge, Sears and the Bowlero.
  • Mark T. Atkinson Middle School - Occupying the original Montgomery Ward, and El Rancho Market / Pride Pavilion.
  • The former Zody's building still stands; after sitting vacant for several years it was redeveloped in 2014 to house the administrative offices of Cartwright Elementary School District, the local school district serving the Maryvale neighborhood.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ VanderMeer, Philip (2010). Desert Visions and the Making of Phoenix, 1860-2009. UNM Press. ISBN 9780826348937.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°29′51″N 112°10′15″W / 33.49738°N 112.17080°W / 33.49738; -112.17080