Arizona CenterEdit profile
Arizona Center is a shopping center and office complex located in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. Arizona Center was designed by the Rouse Company (on its festival marketplace model, which worked to great success in other cities) and opened in the fall of 1990 to great fanfare and high expectations, as it was considered one of the original components of the ongoing downtown revitalization efforts in Phoenix taking place since the early 1990s. The expectations were high since it was developed by the same firm that created the highly successful Faneuil Hall Marketplace ( Boston) and Harborplace ( Baltimore). Arizona Center was expected to be a retail, dining and entertainment magnet which would jump-start interest in downtown redevelopment, but some critics felt suburban-oriented Phoenix was not ready to embrace a downtown development of this caliber. To some extent the critics were correct; many of the initial retailers struggled to attract customers, and by 2003, the large second-story food court, similar to those found in suburban shopping malls, was closed and reconfigured into the Phoenix regional office of Detroit-based architectural firm SmithGroup. Critics have also pointed out the relative scarcity of permanent upscale apartment and/or condominium housing in the immediate vicinity as a factor in the lackluster performance of the mall. Most of the residential districts surrounding the downtown area are middle-to-lower income, not adequate to support the middle-to-high end marketing mix that Arizona Center set out to provide. Arizona Center features two office buildings, retail and a 24 screen AMC theatre. One Arizona Center is 240 feet (73 meters) tall and has 19 floors. It was completed in 1989. This tower houses various legal firms with Snell and Wilmer being the largest. Other tenants include the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitor's Bureau (PHX CVB) and the main corporate offices of the Harlem Globetrotters. Two Arizona Center stands at 260 feet (79 meters) tall and has 20 floors. It was completed in 1990 and is the headquarters of local electric utility Arizona Public Service or APS. Retail offers a variety of restaurants, boutiques and tourest shops which include; Sam's Cafe, Pizzeria Uno, Mi Amigo's Mexican Grill, Subway, New York & Co., Outwest Gifts, Cardware and many others. The large central plaza at Arizona Center includes richly landscaped courtyards and fountains designed by SWA Group, which won a National Merit Award by the American Society of Landscape Architects for its work on the plaza. While not the huge draw that was planned at inception, it still draws relatively healthy lunchtime office-worker crowds to its several eateries, as well as large numbers of local residents (from the largely blue-collar and middle-class neighborhoods surrounding downtown) on weekends to the movie theater, which is the only one for several kilometers. Out-of-town conventioneers, tourists and sports fans who come downtown to attend games of the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks also provide acceptably healthy foot traffic. Arizona Center's fortunes are expected to revive as a 30-story Sheraton Phoenix Downtown hotel opened in the fall of 2008. Also, several high-end condo projects in the downtown area are either under construction, newly opened, or in the planning stages.