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Metrocenter Walmart intended to be anchor for decade of development

PHOENIX — Groundbreaking was Wednesday morning for a Walmart Supercenter at Metrocenter near Interstate 17 and Dunlap Avenue.

It is scheduled to open next spring.

Metrocenter was the largest mall west of the Mississippi River when it opened in the early 1970’s and in recent years has fallen on hard times with the loss of numerous stores, but that may all be about to end.

Warren Fink with Carlyle Development Group, which owns Metrocenter, says Walmart will bring in more customers to what he envisions as a future urban lifestyle project that goes away from the traditional mall.

“We can bring corporate offices, major healthcare facilities, medical offices, senior housing, multi-family housing and so forth,” Fink said. “Some of the buildings could be as high as 15 stories when you think about the visibility we have along I-17.”

Fink believes Metrocenter has a big future. It just needed a good kick.

“That kick in our mind was an urban-mixtures project,” he said.

Another big plus for Metrocenter is that it will be a future destination for light rail which should be a done deal by 2023.