Phoenix gets malled

I always end up lost. For people who are, like myself, directionally challenged, a $250 million power center like Tempe Marketplace, with its 25 football fields of stores and restaurants, can be a shrieking nightmare from hell. I go into Barnes & Noble, say, and come out later and head back the way I came. I'll pass a hangar-sized sushi restaurant and think, "Didn't that used to be a hangar-sized commercial for Lil' Kim's new album?"

There'll come a day, Tweed says, when those giant commercials will be the reason for walls to exist at all; that brick and mortar will be there only so that there's something onto which retailers can project more promos. "All that valuable wall space will be a canvas for more selling," he claims. "But not just yet. If retailers went that way today, it'd be too scary for people."

Giant malls are making a splash all over town.
Giant malls are making a splash all over town.

Location Info


Tempe Marketplace

2000 E. Rio Salado Parkway
Tempe, AZ 85282

Category: Retail

Region: Tempe


Got a least-favorite building you want to see covered here? Want to praise a cool Phoenix design element, old or new, that you've admired? Write to »e-mail link.

So why am I frightened now?

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Dear Robrt: I have a question, rather than a comment. At the end of the "Malled" print article you asked for suggestions of buildings to cover in your column. I am very curious about a building on the south side of East Van Buren at 47th Street which many years ago was a banquet hall and was surrounded by mature landscaping. It's just east of the freeway and the canal. You can't miss it. Several years ago, maybe three or four years, I can't remember how long, someone started "renovating" this old building. The construction activity has gone on so long I'm starting to wonder if it's a money laundering scheme. It was advertised as a breakfast, brunch, lunch place with small billboards of black and white cows. One of the cow signs is still there to the east, although it has been painted yellow, and there is a black and white cow statue on top of an old wooden wagon on the west side. I was looking forward the opening of the restaurant in my part of town, but construction was never completed and the restaurant never opened. Construction activity ebbs and flows. It looks like there is new activity astirring. Somewhere underneath the block and stucco is the old building. At some point, the north-facing windows of the old building were bricked up, then an expansion was built on the north side. The landscaping is gone. I hope you will investigate and write a story about the old banquet hall and the current activity. I enjoyed your article about Phoenix getting malled, as well as your other articles, and your reviews on KJZZ.