Southern portion of the mall as seen from I-8
|Location||El Cajon, California|
|Address||415 Parkway Plaza, El Cajon, CA 92020|
|Developer||The Hahn Company|
|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 (2 in JCPenney, Macy's, Sears, and Walmart, 4 in parking garage)|
|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 obtained the mall, renaming the mall to its current name, Parkway Plaza.
Parkway Plaza was the second indoor shopping center to be built in the San Diego County, opening in the early-1970s shortly after Plaza Camino Real, in Carlsbad. 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 freestanding 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, small-shop storefronts were not featured 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 1970s 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 JCPenney, 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 vacant for some time and was eventually replaced by 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. Sears is the only original anchor that remains.
In 1991, a 1926 Allan Herschell carousel was placed inside the mall, it ran until 2003, then it got relocated to Elyria, Ohio. In 2004, a two-story carousel replaced the 1926 Allan Herschell carousel. In January 2016, the double-decker carousel moved to Wichita, Kansas. On January 31, 2016, it has been rumored that a 1926 Allan Herschell carousel was returning to Parkway Plaza.
- "Malls - Starwood Retail Partners". Retrieved 18 December 2016.
- "San Diego Shopping: Parkway Plaza". Retrieved 18 December 2016.
- "Parkway Plaza Possible Carousel Close To Reality". 31 January 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2016.