Saturday, April 30, 2011

Desert Sky Mall

Desert Sky Mall, April 2011 (photos by Elenia Sotelo)

Southeast corner of 75th Ave and Thomas Road, west Phoenix

Desert Sky Mall, a popular west valley mall celebrated its 30 year anniversary this year. The mall is currently open 7 days a week, with various hours to accommodate its many shoppers. Although it’s been open for three decades, this mall has undergone many changes thorough the years. One change has been the name of the mall which originally was Westridge Mall then later became Desert Sky. It is important to note that the surrounding neighborhood demographics have essentially led to an increase in Hispanic-oriented merchandise to be sold in the mall (Jarman, 2010).
As several photographs illustrate, the tenants above all have a Spanish name as their store name. They range from La Curacao, which is a Latino import store, Cinema Latino where Spanish language movies are played, and the mall’s newest addition, Mercado de Los Cielos. These changes began in the late 1990’s early 2000’s to correlate with the growing Hispanic population in Phoenix and provide them a “Hispanic marketplace” (Jarman, 2010). The sole owner of Desert Sky mall is the company Westcor; which manages 20 shopping centers in Arizona, including Desert Sky. Interestingly enough, Desert Sky mall is the only shopping center that has their website translated to Spanish with a link located on the Westcor directory (Westcor 2011).
The significance of this mall is the indication of the power of community demographics to the type of services and products that are delivered or available to the community. As the community demographics shifted, so did the mall tenants (Jarman, 2010). The differential access to these goods are based on what the community demands and/or the merchants’ beliefs of what the community will want. The shopping center has also recently expanded their Sunday hours now also making it the only Westcor mall open until 8:00pm (DesertSkyMall, 2011). It would be interesting to keep a close watch to see the type of tenants that continue to move in and out of this shopping center.
- Susie Haslett, Elenia Sotelo, and Tomas Robles
Desert Sky Mall. 2011. Location and Hours. Westcore 2001-2011.
Jarman, Max. 2010. Phoenix Desert Sky Mall planning Mercado. The Arizona Republic. Retrieved April 2011.
Westcor 2011. Find a Westcor Center. The Macerich Company.

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