A new partnership between Metrocenter and local business advocate Kimber Lanning marks the latest step by mall owner Carlyle Development Group to strengthen the connection between the retail landmark and its Phoenix community.
“We’ve spent more than a year listening, building relationships and creating a plan to meet the needs of our almost half-a-million nearby residents,” said CDG’s COO Warren Fink. “Kimber is part of our next great phase, which is to turn that plan into results.”
Lanning is an Arizona native and the founder of Local First Arizona, a nonprofit coalition of more than 2,100 Arizona-based companies working together to strengthen the local economy through the support of local businesses.
“I was raised in Glendale so I have a soft spot for this mall,” Lanning said of the 1.3 MSF property at Interstate 17, between Peoria and Dunlap roads in Phoenix.
“Thanks to Carlyle, Metrocenter looks great and is ripe to leap back into the spotlight with the right blend of national and local businesses.”
According to Lanning, local businesses provide unique experiences and one-of-a-kind products that set a mall apart from the status quo. They also keep three times more money in the local economy over national chains. This is because local business owners tend to hire other local service providers, such as accountants, graphic designers and web developers, which creates jobs and keeps more money re-circulating in Phoenix.
“Metrocenter has many locally owned, one-of-a-kind stores that respond to the needs of this area’s shopper and are thriving because of it,” said mall General Manager Brent Meszaros. “Kimber will help to increase that percentage of local representation.”
Lanning suggests options such as a furniture store, men’s clothier and hand-crafted gifts, and additional services near the mall entrances such as a musical instrument retail and repair shop.
Longtime Local First Arizona member, the Phoenix Conservatory of Music, recently relocated to the mall.
“This is one of the best schools in the country for learning about music — how to play it, how to write it and how to perform it,” Lanning says. “The school and its client list are stellar. They continually bring people through the doors.”
For Metrocenter, Lanning will actively seek out other local businesses to blend into the already diverse mall mix.
Built in 1973, Metrocenter is home to more than 125 retailers and department stores, including Dillard’s, Macy’s, Sears and a 12-screen Harkins Theatres. Other popular tenants include the Phoenix Conservatory of Music and in-line retailers such as Aéropostale, Bath & Body Works, The Children’s Place, Victoria’s Secret, Journey’s, Charlotte Ruse, Sports Chalet and Finish Line.