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El Con Mall

El Con Mall

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El Con Mall is an enclosed shopping mall
Shopping mall
A shopping mall, shopping centre, shopping arcade, shopping precinct or simply mall is one or more buildings forming a complex of shops representing merchandisers, with interconnecting walkways enabling visitors to easily walk from unit to unit, along with a parking area — a modern, indoor version...

 in the city of Tucson, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Tucson is a city in and the county seat of Pima County, Arizona, United States. The city is located 118 miles southeast of Phoenix and 60 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border. The 2010 United States Census puts the city's population at 520,116 with a metropolitan area population at 1,020,200...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Originally opened in 1960 as an outdoor shopping center, it is the oldest shopping mall in the Tucson area. It features J. C. Penney
J. C. Penney
-External links:*...

, Ross Dress For Less
Ross Dress For Less
Ross Stores, Inc. , is a chain of American off-price department stores headquartered in Pleasanton, California, operating under the name Ross Dress for Less. It is the third largest off-price retailer in the United States, behind T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, both of which are owned by TJX Companies.As...

, Target
Target Corporation
Target Corporation, doing business as Target, is an American retailing company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is the second-largest discount retailer in the United States, behind Walmart. The company is ranked at number 33 on the Fortune 500 and is a component of the Standard & Poor's...

, Burlington Coat Factory
Burlington Coat Factory
Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corporation is a national department store retailer focusing on clothing and shoes, with over 450 stores in 45 states and Puerto Rico.. In 2006, it was acquired by Bain Capital, LLC in a take-private transaction...

, Century Theatres
Century Theatres
Century Theatres is a movie theater chain which operates many multiplexes in the western United States, primarily in California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona. In recent years, it has expanded into the inter-mountain states, the Pacific Northwest, Texas, and parts of the Midwest...

 and The Home Depot
The Home Depot
The Home Depot is an American retailer of home improvement and construction products and services.The Home Depot operates 2,248 big-box format stores across the United States , Canada , Mexico and China, with a 12-store chain...

 as its anchor stores. An additional anchor space, last occupied by Macy's
Macy's
Macy's is a U.S. chain of mid-to-high range department stores. In addition to its flagship Herald Square location in New York City, the company operates over 800 stores in the United States...

, has been vacant since 2008. El Con Mall is classified as a dead mall
Dead mall
A dead mall or greyfield is a shopping mall with a high vacancy rate or a low consumer traffic level, or that is dated or deteriorating in some manner. Many malls in the United States are considered "dead" when they have no surviving anchor store or successor that could serve as an entry into or...

, because it is largely vacant. Besides the mall's anchor stores, only a handful of stores remain open, although several store and restaurants have opened on the periphery in the past five years. Because of the center's low occupancy rate, it is slated to be demolished and reverted to an open-air complex, although no official announcement has been made on the mall's redevelopment.

History



El Con Mall opened in 1960 as the first mall in Tucson, Arizona, adjacent to the El Conquistador Hotel. Although initial plans called for the hotel to be part of the mall itself, these plans were later scrapped. An outdoor mall at the time of its opening, El Con Mall was anchored by the local department store Levy's, and chain stores Montgomery Ward
Montgomery Ward
Montgomery Ward is an online retailer that carries the same name as the former American department store chain, founded as the world's #1 mail order business in 1872 by Aaron Montgomery Ward, and which went out of business in 2001...

 and Woolworth. In 1967, the former El Conquistador Hotel space was demolished, and a new Levy's
Levy's (department store)
Levy's, also known as Levy Brothers, was a department store based in Tucson, Arizona, United States. It was founded in 1950 by Jewish brothers Jacob and Ben Levy, who acquired the former Myers & Bloom department store in downtown Tucson....

 store was built on its site. Steinfeld's moved from its historic Stone and Pennington downtown location into Levy's former store at the shopping center's NE corner. New Goldwater's
Goldwater's
Goldwater's Department Store was a department store chain based in Phoenix, Arizona. It was founded in Gila City, Arizona, in 1860 and moved to Phoenix in 1872. The store was founded by Michael Goldwater, the grandfather of U.S. Senator and 1964 presidential candidate Barry Goldwater.Goldwater's...

 (1978) and J. C. Penney
J. C. Penney
-External links:*...

 (1971) stores were built along a connecting link, and the mall was enclosed. Joseph Kivel, developer of El Con Mall, later opened another shopping mall, what is now Park Place
Park Place (Tucson, Arizona)
Park Place is a large indoor shopping mall located on the East Side of Tucson, Arizona, USA.-History:Park Place originally opened as Park Mall circa 1970, but was renovated beginning in 1998 and renamed Park Place. The mall is named after Sears Park, which was previously located at the same site...

, in 1975. After his death in 1995, his interest in both malls was left to his two sons. In 1996, Park Mall was sold to General Growth Properties.

Steinfeld's closed, and became a winter-time-only soup kitchen in 1984, & the Pavilion Food Court in 1993. Levy's (which was owned by Federated Department Stores) became Sanger-Harris
Sanger-Harris
Sanger-Harris was a department store chain from 1961 to 1987. It was formed by Federated Department Stores in 1961 from two Dallas, Texas chains, Sanger Brothers and A. Harris and Co., that dated from the 19th century...

 in 1985, marking the first of several name changes in the mall's western anchor store. Sanger-Harris became Foley's
Foley's
Foley’s was a chain of department stores owned by May Department Stores and headquartered in Downtown Houston, Texas. As of August 30, 2005, the division was dissolved and operation of the stores was assumed by Federated's Macy's West and Macy's South divisions. Foley's operated stores in Texas,...

 in 1987, and Robinsons-May in 1993. Goldwater's, in turn, became Dillard's
Dillard's
Dillard's, Inc. is a department store chain in the United States, with 330 stores in 29 states. Headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas, Dillard's locations are concentrated in Texas and Florida; with a major presence in other states including Arizona, Iowa, Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, Missouri,...

 in 1989. Woolworth's closed in 1993.

Renovations


El Con Mall is still owned by the heirs of its original developer, Joseph Kivel. Following the elder Kivel's demise in 1995, his descendants began renovations on the mall. A multiplex movie theater and food court
Food court
A food court is generally an indoor plaza or common area within a facility that is contiguous with the counters of multiple food vendors and provides a common area for self-serve dining. Food courts may be found in shopping malls and airports, and in various regions may be a standalone development...

 were both added behind J. C. Penney, although no restaurants were ever opened in the food court. Additional plans promised "a unique variety of retail stores", but competition from larger malls, most notably Park Place, caused El Con to lose more stores than it gained. Dillard's closed on May 9, 2000. It had decided to when Park Mall's Dillard's got a new building. Montgomery Ward was renamed Wards in 1997. In mid 1998 the whole entire northeast wing of the mall (including The Pavilion Food Court) was demolished.

In 2001, Montgomery Ward closed along with the company's bankruptcy. The Home Depot (2001) and Target (2003) were built on the east side of the mall, with the latter replacing Montgomery Ward, Don Juan's Tacos, Chinese Combo Express (formerly Docktor Pet Center), some mall space, as well as some parking space. The addition of these stores was considered controversial by local residents, many of whom did not want such big box retailers in the area. Neither Target nor The Home Depot is directly accessible from within the mall itself.

Although many retailers and restaurants opened on the mall's periphery in the 2000s, the enclosed mall itself continued to lose tenants. In 2005, May Department Stores
May Department Stores
The May Department Stores Company was a national department store chain in the United States, founded in 1877 by David May. The company ceased to exist in 2005 when it was merged with Federated Department Stores, Inc . Prior to the merger it was headquartered in Downtown St. Louis, Missouri...

 (then owners of the Robinsons-May name) was acquired by Macy's, Inc., and most May Department Stores nameplates were converted to the Macy's name. The Macy's store in El Con Mall was deemed unprofitable, and was closed in 2008, shortly after the addition of a Ross Dress For Less
Ross Dress For Less
Ross Stores, Inc. , is a chain of American off-price department stores headquartered in Pleasanton, California, operating under the name Ross Dress for Less. It is the third largest off-price retailer in the United States, behind T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, both of which are owned by TJX Companies.As...

 store in the Macy's wing. Later in 2008, it was announced that Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. , branded as Walmart since 2008 and Wal-Mart before then, is an American public multinational corporation that runs chains of large discount department stores and warehouse stores. The company is the world's 18th largest public corporation, according to the Forbes Global 2000...

 might move into the former Macy's, (plans have now been confirmed it will, but have a new building). In November 2009, Burlington Coat Factory
Burlington Coat Factory
Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corporation is a national department store retailer focusing on clothing and shoes, with over 450 stores in 45 states and Puerto Rico.. In 2006, it was acquired by Bain Capital, LLC in a take-private transaction...

announced it would open a new store at El Con Mall in the former Dillard's space. The store opened on Mar., 5th, 2010.

External links