6 Childhood/Teenage Favorite Shopping Malls/Centers in Arizona
June 8, 2023
Shopping malls and shopping centers in the state of Arizona have changed a lot since I was young. There used to be a new one popping up every few years. Today, many of those shopping malls have closed and been repurposed or torn down. Fortunately, some of them still exist today, but they are not the same as they were back when I was young and they were brand new.
After recently talking to my friends about my favorite shopping malls and centers still open in the state of Arizona, I decided to dedicate a post about the shopping malls and centers I used to love to go to growing up. Some are still around, but at least three of them have closed.
Superstition Springs Center
(Formerly Superstition Springs Mall)
This mall made it onto my favorite shopping mall/center list of malls currently open today, but back when it was brand new, it was my top favorite place to shop. Located off Power Road and the US-60 in Mesa, Arizona, it had a carousel, which is different from the one currently in the mall today. I loved riding on it! It had bookstores, which have now closed. It had my favorite locations of department stores, where were also anchor stores for the mall. And when the Disney Store opened in the 2000’s, I was in heaven. Of course, many of these things are no longer there (Two anchor stores closed as did the book stores) but there is still life inside the mall. Many small business made their way into the mall with store locations to shop and browse. Even though it is not the mall I knew it as when I was young, I still enjoy shopping there. Like me, it adapted to the times and the needs of the people who want to shop there. And a carousel is still there and running!
Fiesta Mall was “down the road” from Superstition Spring. Even though it opened in 1979 in Mesa, Arizona, in the 1990’s it was one of the best mall East of Phoenix. It was also close to doctors and a hospital, which made it the perfect mall me to shop at. (I had to go to the doctors in that area more often than not) Among its many aspects that made it memorable for me to visit is the Disney Store. If I remember right, Fiesta Mall was the first (If not one of the first) malls to have a Disney Store in the state of Arizona. It was awesome. There were animatronic figures of the Disney characters in the windows and on top of the store shelves. Everything there was so amazing to look at and at the back of the store was a huge area dedicated to plushies. I loved visiting Festa Mall after a checkup at the doctors. Today, Fiesta Mall is officially closed. There was an attempt to repurpose it in 2017, but it didn’t work out.
Candler Fashion Square Mall
Chandler Fashion Square Mall is the second newest mall I grew up shopping. It was built in the 2000’s, is, obviously, located in Chandler, and is still open today. Even though I didn’t grow up shopping there, I did enjoy it as a teenager. I have many good memories of shopping there with family and friends.
Tanger Outlet (Casa Grande Locations)
Before Tanger Outlet opened a location in Glendale, Arizona, there was a location in Casa Grande. Located off the 1-10, the Tanger Factory Outlet Center officially closed in the 2010’s. Even though many people know about the location near the I-10 off ramp at W Jimmy Kerr Boulevard, many people don’t remember, forgot, or just don’t know about the originally location next to the I-10 off ramp at Florence Boulevard. Both locations failed, but the W Jimmy Kerr Boulevard location is completely close with no activity in it what so ever. (At least that I know of!) As for the Florence Boulevard location, it is still alive with different local businesses located in the old shopping mall. There are also numerous eateries located outside the formal shopping mall area including a Cracker Barrel, Burger King, and Dutch Brothers. Even though this location is the first, the second location is the one many people like to talk about and record YouTube videos about.
Arizona Mills Mall
Arizona Mills Mall is located in Tempe, Arizona and opened in 1997. Back then, it was the hippest, coolest mall to shop at. It had a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in the area and a hotel you could stay at close by. It also had a two story IMAX movie theater run by local movie theater chain Harkins Theaters, a Virgin Music store with two entrances on either side of the mall, and Arizona’s first, and still to this day only, Rain Forest Cafe location. It was amazing to shop through the mall and all the stores. I still own a plushy I purchased there during its heyday!
Today, the mall is still alive, but things have changed, yet it is still a really cool place to visit. The Rain Forest Cafe is still open as is the two story IMAX theater, but Virgin Music has closed. Yet, there is now a Legoland Discovery Center, Sea Life Arizona Aquarium, and other family oriented places in the mall. Also, there are still a lot of stores in the mall. Some of them are outlet stores of major mall chain retailers while others are small businesses.
Casa Grande Promenade
Casa Grande Promenade is the youngest shopping mall/center on this list. When it was open for the first time, I was in my late teens. Still, I have many great memories of shopping there with my friends. Even though this mall is not my favorite childhood mall, it was one of the one I shopped at the most as a college student. Since then, many of the stores closed, including the Target location, which still makes me both sad and upset about. (I loved shopping at Target and still do to this day) Even though the mall is still alive, it’s location near farm fields, and my allergies from them, makes it hard for me to visit.
Well, that’s all for now! Thank you for reading!
Featured Image used in this post is by Baker Kosjan at Pexels.com