Queen Creek Marketplace, the town's first major shopping center, will add two new stores to its roster, the mall announced
Queen Creek Marketplace, the town's first major shopping center, will add two new stores to its roster, the mall announced on its Web site.
Bath & Body Works and Macayo's Mexican Kitchen will join two other retailers - Chick-fil-A and Yogurt Jungle - that recently announced opening plans at the outdoor mall, according to the Marketplace's Web site.
Yogurt Jungle is planning a July opening, followed by Chick-fil-A in October. It's not clear when Bath & Body Works and Macayo's will open, and Queen Creek Marketplace officials couldn't be reached for comment Friday.
The stores will join two of the Marketplace's most recent additions - Saba's Western wear and cosmetic retailer Ulta, which both opened in late February. In-N-Out Burger also announced plans around the same time to open at the Queen Creek Marketplace, but didn't specify an opening date.
The news hasn't always been so rosy for the Queen Creek Marketplace. OfficeMax became the second major retailer to announce its departure from the shopping center. It will close June 27. It follows electronics retailer Circuit City, which closed late last year.
John Kross, Queen Creek town manager, is upbeat about the 1.1 million-square-foot shopping center's growing roster.
"There's a net increase certainly in terms of tenants," he said. "That's a very positive sign, no question about it."
Bob Kammrath, a Phoenix-based retail analyst, said it's an encouraging sign, but the stores aren't big enough to offset the blow from losing major tenants Circuit City and OfficeMax.
"It sounds like a majority of what they're putting in there are pads," he said. "Certainly it's not bad news, but it doesn't take the place of a big draw."
Kammrath said a positive sign is that two strong retailers - Macayo's and Bath & Body Works - have decided the center is viable for them.
"On the other hand, the question is why did OfficeMax leave?" he said. "That's a viable company, too.
"Maybe what it amounts to is it takes time to figure out what the proper mix should be. Maybe OfficeMax just wasn't right for that location."
The area of Queen Creek where the mall is has seen an explosion of new shopping amenities in recent years, with a fourth shopping center - Queen Creek Crossroads at the southeast corner of Ellsworth and Rittenhouse roads - currently under construction. The five-acre center's developer - Mesa-based Pacific Western Partners - plans to finish work by the end of summer.
Another nearby shopping center, Queen Creek Fiesta, is also showing signs of life. The town's first McDonald's restaurant, which opened in March, joined Discount Tire at the 26,000-square-foot center at the southwest corner of Rittenhouse and Ellsworth roads. According to the town, proposed tenants include AmTrust Bank, Brake Masters, IHOP, KFC and Arby's.
Queen Creek Marketplace saw a half-million shoppers and reached 85 percent occupancy in its first year of operation, officials said in March.
Kross said the trade area has about 115,000 people, who include Gilbert and Pinal County residents. He said officials expect that number to grow to 300,000 within 20 years.
Mall officials have said in the past that they expect Queen Creek Marketplace to produce more than $80 million in sales taxes receipts for the town over a 20-year span.