By Parker Leavitt| December 05th, 2016
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The owner and operator of Scottsdale Fashion Square on Monday announced plans to renovate the mall's luxury wing anchored by Neiman Marcus and add residences, office space and a new hotel to the facility near downtown Scottsdale.

A new entrance and arrival point, two-story storefronts and exterior-facing retail buildings and restaurants will be added in the luxury wing, with construction beginning in 2017 and an opening planned in fall 2018, according to a news release from the company.

The renovation will emphasize luxury amenities, including a dedicated luxury valet with a private lounge and house car, platinum-level concierge, personal shopping experts and style consultants, art installations, fine furnishings and resort-level restrooms, the company said.

Scottsdale Fashion Square's west wing features luxury retailers including Cartier, Bulgari, Bottega Veneta, Jimmy Choo and Coach next to Neiman Marcus and Dillard's department stores. Gucci, Tiffany & Co. and Prada have stores in other parts of the mall, and Louis Vuitton plans a major store renovation in 2017, Macerich announced.

Luxury department store Barneys New York, which anchored the eastern end of Fashion Square for six years, closed this spring, and the Macerich announcement did not address how the company might fill the empty space.

“This multi-phased project is part of Macerich’s long-term strategy, as well as the center’s own history, of continually reinvesting in irreplaceable retail destinations," said Robert Perlmutter, Macerich CEO, in a prepared statement. "We see great opportunity to heighten and expand our luxury presentation, capturing the unique demographics and growth in the Phoenix marketplace.”

Mixed-used development get inspiration from Virginia

The company said it plans to add high-end residential units, class A office space and a hotel/hospitality center on a seven-acre parcel immediately north of the mall, which reaches from Goldwater Boulevard to Scottsdale Road.

Macerich filed a development application earlier this year seeking approval for buildings up to 150 feet tall surrounding the mall, including the dirt lot on the north side and the former Camelview movie theater site. That could translate to about 10 to 15 stories per building. The increase in building height would require approval from the City Council and could face opposition from multiple council members.

Company executives have pointed to Macerich's mall in Tysons Corner, Va. as an example of their vision for mixed-use development. Tysons Corner has long been a major employment center for the Washington, D.C. area, serving as headquarters for corporations such as Capital One, Hilton Worldwide and Freddie Mac.

Macerich built a 22-story office tower next to Tysons Corner Center mall in 2014, followed by a Hyatt Regency hotel in 2015 that brought 300 guest rooms and 15,000 square feet of event space. A 30-story luxury apartment complex also opened in 2015.

Aggressive expansion

Scottsdale Fashion Square has expanded aggressively since opening in 1961 as an open-air mall anchored by Goldwater's Department Store and an AJ Bayless grocery store. The mall was purchased by Westcor in 1982 and eventually combined with the adjacent Camelview Plaza shopping center, according to Macerich.

When Fashion Square opened a major expansion that included Nordstrom and Tiffany & Co. in 1998, it became the nation's 13th largest enclosed shopping mall at nearly 2 million square feet, according to Macerich, which acquired Westcor and Fashion Square in 2002.

Last year, Macerich welcomed Dick's Sporting Goods and a new 14-screen Harkins Camelview movie theater as part of Fashion Square's 11th phase of development. The mall boasts more than 200 shops and restaurants and annual sales of over $650 million, according to Macerich.

Macerich is a real-estate investment trust based in Santa Monica, Calif. Its Arizona portfolio includes Biltmore Fashion Park, Kierland Commons, Arrowhead Towne Center and Chandler Fashion Center.

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