Redevelopment of Phoenix's Christown mall into walkable, 'main street' could take decades

Redevelopment of Phoenix's Christown mall into walkable, 'main street' could take decades

Article Originally Posted By PhoenixBusinessJournal On August 26, 2021

The Alhambra Village Planning Committee on Tuesday got a look at the planned Christown Spectrum Mall redevelopment, which owner Kimco Realty Corp. is planning over the course of the next few decades.

Taylor Earl, partner at Earl & Curley and zoning attorney for the project, said at the meeting that it is important for Kimco as an owner to remain involved in the project, which will include demolishing some of the interior mall space to create a spine road, and building new apartments, offices and hotels, including on land that is currently used as surface parking. Earl said the full buildout could be 20 or 30 years away, and it is planned to be phased as the market is ready for new development in the area.

The vision includes having ground-floor restaurants, bars and outdoor dining along the interior spine road, creating a more walkable, main street environment. In the meeting, Earl said the plan integrates well with the city’s desire for higher density and urban development along the light rail route.

“We hope this becomes a crown jewel for the area,” Earl said. “We are responding to the call to bring urbanization next to the station.”

Mark Wendel, director of development for the western region for Kimco, said the redevelopment is in line with other projects Kimco is doing around the country, taking many of its shopping centers, which are mostly anchored by grocery stores, and adaptively reusing them and redeveloping them for more mixed-use functions. Wendel said Kimco is working on about 10% of its portfolio across the country to add density and a mix of uses.