Fiesta Mall in Mesa is about dead. Los Arcos Mall in Scottsdale died years ago. Metrocenter is trying to reinvent itself as so many other malls are doing across the country. The changing retail landscape driven by increased online sales demands it. Look at Biltmore Fashion Park which now seems more a tony food court than mall.
That brings us to Scottsdale Fashion Square. Despite its pre-eminence it is not immune to the altering landscape.
That’s why its pending requests of the City of Scottsdale to allow greater heights and uses at the marquee mall are forward looking and smart. They will allow potential hotels, residences and other uses to keep the people coming and dollars flowing.
Fashion Square is a golden goose for the city. Sales tax revenue. Cache. Amenity. Scottsdale leaders previous made bold decisions to help position the property for prosperity. They need to do so again, even those with frequent aversions to allowing taller buildings for developers.
But this is Fashion Square. And without coordination with the private sector (who knows best what it will take to succeed), Fashion Square could begin a slow demise. Just as Mercedes-Benz of Scottsdale reimagined a dealership for a downtown Scottsdale setting, Fashion Square may propose some unexpected ideas. Let’s hope they do. The custodians of Fashion Square have impressively served themselves and the city for decades. And should be given every benefit, if there are actually any doubts.