The area includes "out-of-town" style stores with car parks located outside the shopping area. A highly visible building in the area is the Plantasia - a large triangular tropical plant house. Entertainment in the area include a 10 screen Odeon cinema and a ten pin bowling alley.
The area occupied by Parc Tawe was once the North Dock. The North dock was opened in 1852 becoming the first dock in the Swansea docks complex. During the 1930s changes in methods of working, reduced trade and the increasing size of ships led to the North Dock being closed and subsequently filled in. For decades the North dock area was an industrial wasteland, until re-development as a shopping complex in the late 1980s.
Parc Tawe is divided into two shopping areas separated by the road linking the Parc Tawe Bridge with Strand Row: the original Parc Tawe area and the newer Parc Tawe North. Units located in Parc Tawe include Joe's Ice Cream, Toys 'R' Us, Staples, Mothercare World and Carpet Right. Retailers in Parc Tawe North include Homebase, Lidl, Outfit, JJB Sports, JD Sports, Pound Stretcher, Pets At Home and Home Bargains.