Scottsdale Fashion Square
One of the entrances to the Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall
|Location||Goldwater Blvd and Camelback Rd|
|Address||7014-590 East Camelback Road
Scottsdale, Arizona 85251
|No. of stores and services||225+|
|No. of anchor tenants||5|
|Total retail floor area||1,858,371 sq ft (172,648.3 m2)|
|No. of floors||3|
|Parking||Outdoor & Garage|
Scottsdale Fashion Square is an upscale, super-regional luxury shopping mall located in Scottsdale, Arizona. It is the largest shopping mall in Arizona and the American Southwest, with approximately 2 million square feet (180,000 m²) of retail space, and is among the top 30 largest malls in the country. It is one of the top 10 most profitable malls in the country with over $740 sales per square foot, more than $400 over the national average. The mall is located on the northwest corner of Scottsdale Road and Camelback Road in Scottsdale, Arizona, and has been owned by Westcor, a subsidiary of Macerich, since 2002. With the explosion of new retail developments and dining options in the nearby vicinity, the term Scottsdale Fashion Square has become more generalized in recent years to include the retail shopping districts adjacent to the complex, including the Scottsdale Waterfront and Southbridge.
Scottsdale Fashion Square was originally built as a 3-story open-air structure in 1961 anchored by two local Phoenix stores, department store Goldwater's and supermarket AJ Bayless. At the time, the primary competitor was the Los Arcos Mall, a fully enclosed mall built in 1969, also located in Scottsdale. Its early financial success led to an expansion of the west-side of the mall in 1974, which nearly doubled the square-footage of the mall. This expansion also added an additional department store, Diamond's, to the northern section of the mall.
In 1977, a competing mall, the fully enclosed Camelview Plaza, was built just west of Scottsdale Fashion Square, on the other side of North 70th Street. Camelview Plaza boasted Los Angeles department store Bullock's and Houston's Sakowitz. The shopping center also included a Harkins Camelview Theatre on an outparcel.
For several years, the two malls competed for shoppers and tenants. However, in 1982 after Westcor's purchase of the mall, the owners agreed to connect the malls by building a two-story retail bridge across North 70th Street, replacing the shuttle service that ran between the two malls. In the process, the street separating the two malls was sunk below grade-level, widened to four lanes, and renamed North Goldwater Boulevard. The two malls were largely gutted and completely renovated. AJ Bayless was torn down and the space merged with Diamond's to be replaced by Dillard's. Goldwater's, which became J. W. Robinson's a few years before, was expanded to 235,000 square feet (21,800 m2). The lower level food court added the Harkins Fashion Square 7 Cinema. Fashion Square was also enclosed by a system of retractable glass skylights. A variety of tenants were able to remain in-place and operating throughout this redevelopment process. The redevelopment was completed in 1991.
In the early 1990s, luxury developers and retailers believed the desert city would be the next retail destination. Developments such as the Scottsdale Galleria, The Borgata and Fashion Square lured internationally renowned retailers to the center of the city, including Adrienne Vittadini, Armani Exchange, Bally, Escada, Gianni Versace, Royal Doulton, and Yves Saint Laurent. In 1992, Sakowitz was transformed into a 110,000-square-foot (10,000 m2) Neiman Marcus. While many retailers discovered the market was too young and eventually withdrew from the market, Neiman Marcus experienced high sales and remained. Others would return later on.
During the luxury explosion, J. W. Robinson's, after being acquired by May Department Stores, became Robinsons-May in 1993. In 1995, the old Bullock's space was vacated, and remained empty for several years. Throughout this time, while connected, the two malls retained separate ownership and identities. Signage within the malls indicated to shoppers the demarcation between the two structures. These separate identities continued until, in 1996, Westcor purchased Camelview Plaza and renamed the entire 1,800,000-square-foot (170,000 m2) shopping plaza, Scottsdale Fashion Square.
Despite the early failure of several luxury tenants, the mall attracted a number of the state's first major luxury brands in the mid-to-late 1990s during its second major expansion. The mall was redeveloped and expanded south. In 1998, a second retail bridge was constructed to connect the newly built, 235,000-square-foot (21,800 m2), 3-story Nordstrom. Three parking garages were built as well. Nordstrom's arrival landed Fashion Square a number of the state's first luxury names, including Brooks Brothers, Montblanc, Nicole Miller, Niessing, Tiffany & Co., and Swarovski. Dillard's also moved across the mall to Bullock's old space. Sears temporarily occupied the vacant retail space from 1999-2000. At the end of the entire redevelopment, Dillard's was expanded to 365,000 square feet (33,900 m2), the largest store in the Arkansas-based chain. This redevelopment brought the center to nearly 2,000,000 sq ft (190,000 m2) and made it the 13th largest enclosed shopping mall in the country.
The revitalized mall helped luxury stores see record-high sales. Coach, St. John, Tiffany & Co., and Louis Vuitton underwent several expansions throughout the years, with all four having nearly doubled or tripled their spaces today. The mall continued to bring in more unique luxury tenants, including the Bang & Olufsen, BOSS Hugo Boss, Dana Buchman, Max Mara, Max Studio, and TUMI. Banana Republic opened one of its first free-standing individual Banana Republic Men and Banana Republic Women stores. Neiman Marcus also opened one of its exclusive Horchow Collection Show Rooms at the mall. Moreover, in 2002, Sears closed and was replaced by the area's first Macy's.
In 2004, Fashion Square joined 7 other malls owned by Macerich to form the Lumenati Brand, a mission by Macerich to bring their malls to a new level of luxury. Macerich hoped to make Fashion Square rival other upscale malls in the nation such as South Coast Plaza in Orange County, California, Bal Harbour Shops in Florida, and The Galleria in Houston, Texas, all of which are famed centers for luxury collections. Lumenati has helped raise the level of luxury at Fashion Square. Westcor began the transformation by transplanting Gucci and Betsey Johnson from Biltmore Fashion Park (several miles to the west, in the Biltmore district of Phoenix). The mall also brought in several established international luxury brands including, Burberry, Kate Spade, and Lacoste. Other stores in the mall benefited from the new store additions and expanded to meet the greater demand for luxury in the region. Tiffany's is among several who expanded, adding a second entrance to the store, a men's room and private VIP viewing salon. Bang & Olufsen and Max Mara also doubled in size.
The merger between Federated Department Stores and May Department Stores in 2006 presented an opportunity for Macerich to take the Lumenati initiative a step further. Robinsons-May at Fashion Square was closed in June 2006, creating an availability for a new luxury department store. While the mall considered filling the vacancy with Bloomingdale's or another Macy's, negotiations with Federated were abandoned for a proposal to develop the area to incorporate a new wing and a smaller anchor, Barneys New York. Despite the Global Recession in the late 2000s and corporate change, Istithmar, Barneys' owner, remained committed to Barneys' expansion plan. Barneys' announcement helped lead several additional stores to open despite the global economic downturn, including Armani, Bottega Veneta, Bulgari, Carolina Herrera, Cartier, Jimmy Choo, Michael Kors, Puma and Salvatore Ferragamo.
Barneys New York and a new east wing providing room for 30 new luxury stores opened in October 2009. The redevelopment includes street-scape retail flanking Scottsdale Road on the parcel previously occupied by the Robinsons-May parking garage. The grand opening included the launch of Microsoft's first venture into retail operations, opening their first retail store at the mall, and the opening of one of three Banana Republic "Revolution" store concepts (the other two located in Las Vegas and SoHo). The launch of the east wing contrasted with the significant underperformance of the retail sector and continued drop in consumer confidence during the recession. Significant retailers that opened during this time include 7 for All Mankind, Christian Audigier, LTJ Arthur, Tory Burch, and True Religion.
Today, Scottsdale Fashion Square is known for its high-end tenants, surpassing Biltmore Fashion Park, located six miles (10 km) to the west, as the premiere shopping destination in the Phoenix area. A 2009 report by U.S. News & World Report revealed the mall to be one of the top 10 most profitable malls in the country. It is the only Arizona and Desert Southwest location for several marque brands and has a high occupancy rate. As such, the mall attracts over 12 million visitors annually . However, it is not ranked within the top visited malls in the country, the number is significant given the population of metropolitan Phoenix. Many visitors come from across the country during winter months while staying in the various resorts and spas in the state.
The mall continues to attract first-to-market retailers with David Yurman, Free People, Ted Baker, and Prada. This comes despite the fact that much has been made about Barney's New York performance in Scottsdale. In 2011, two years after opening, the restaurant, Fred's, at Barney's closed due to poor sales. In 2012 Barney's New York closed its location in Dallas, TX. In light of this, despite being five years old, the Scottsdale location's performance has continued to be questioned, with various media sources stating that it may be closed.
Municipal Bond Controversy
A parking garage adjacent to the Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall (aka the "Nordstrom Garage") was constructed by Scottsdale Fashion Square Partners and leased to the City of Scottsdale in 1998 for 50 years for $31,375,000. In 2012 Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane and the city council approved a prepayment of the lease, financed by issuance of municipal bonds. However, in 2015 the IRS notified the city that the issuance is being challenged for non-compliance with the federal tax code or rules. One possible basis for such challenges is failure of the "public purpose test".
Scottsdale Fashion Square is notable in not only Phoenix, but also most of the Southwest because the mall boasts over 40 exclusive stores. Some stores at Fashion Square include:
- Barneys New York (65,000 sq ft (6,000 m2))
- Dillard's (365,000 sq ft (33,900 m2))
- Macy's (236,000 sq ft (21,900 m2))
- Neiman Marcus (118,000 sq ft (11,000 m2))
- Nordstrom (235,000 sq ft (21,800 m2))
- AJ Bayless demolished for Goldwaters expansion merged to Robinsons merged to Rob May demolished for Barneys NY
- Diamond's then Dillards mens and home location moved to current Macys location first as Dillards then Sears now Macys Now original Diamonds converted to mall use and spaces
- Goldwaters Now Barneys New York
- J. W. Robinson's Now Barneys New York
- Robinsons-May Now Barneys New York
- Sakowitz first Dillards womans store Now Neiman Marcus
- Bullock's Now Dillard's
- Safeway food and drug expansion demolished for Nordstrom and Nordstrom garage
- Crate & Barrel (35,111 sq ft (3,261.9 m2))
- Forever 21 (15,000 sq ft (1,400 m2))
- H&M (24,000 sq ft (2,200 m2))
- Armani Exchange
- Microsoft Store
Restaurants & entertainment
- Godiva Chocolatier
- Harkins Theatres 7-Plex Cinema (28,412 sq ft (2,639.6 m2))
- Kona Grill
- Paradise Bakery
- Yard House
- Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
- Scottsdale Fashion Square | Leasing Opportunities
- Macerich - Investor Relations - Press Releases
- Mall Hall Of Fame: October 2007
- NATIONAL NOTEBOOK: SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.; Anchorless In the Desert - New York Times
- Dead Malls dot Com: Feature: Scottsdale Galleria : Scottsdale, Arizona
- Upscale retailers set sights on Valley
- Grand opening: Expanded Tiffany & Co
- Retail corridor: Three strip malls coming to East Valley | Arizona Business, personal finance, technology news for East Valley and Phoenix | eastvalleytribune.com
- "City Council Report, Scottsdale Fashion Square LLC Settlement". www.ScottsdaleAZ.gov. City of Scottsdale. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
- Hume, Lynn. "IRS: Some of Scottsdale, Ariz. MPC’s 2013 refunding bonds taxable". http://www.bondbuyer.com. Source Media. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
- "Introduction to federal taxation of municipal bonds" (PDF). http://www.irs.gov. Internal Revenue Service. Retrieved 16 August 2015.