ARIZONA NEWS

New owners plan to turn former Sears at Phoenix mall into Latino entertainment center

Nov 8, 2023, 11:23 AM

A view inside the Aztec Theatre in San Antonio, Texas. Melchor and Pedro Marques plan to replicate ...

A view inside the Aztec Theatre in San Antonio, Texas. Melchor and Pedro Marques plan to replicate some of the popular Latino-themed venue's features at a new entertainment center in Phoenix, Arizona. (Facebook Photo/The Aztec Theatre)

(Facebook Photo/The Aztec Theatre)

PHOENIX – The owners of a Spanish-language Valley radio station unveiled ambitious plans to convert a shuttered Sears department store in west Phoenix into a Latino entertainment center.

Brothers Melchor and Pedro Marques purchased the vacant Desert Sky Mall anchor building for $7.13 million, real estate agency NAI Horizon, which represented the buyers, announced Wednesday.

Sears closed up shop at the 120,000-foot space near Thomas Road and 75th Avenue in 2018.

What other businesses do buyers of Sears in west Phoenix own?

The Marques brothers own KSUN-1400 AM, a station known as “La Mejor” that airs regional Mexican music along with Spanish-language broadcasts of Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Suns games.

They also operate El Capri, a long-running venue for Latino concerts, dances, parties, weddings and quinceañeras on Van Buren Street near Interstate 10 in east Phoenix.

“They have always wanted to open a similar venue on the west side,” Jeffrey Garza Walker, NAI Horizon executive vice president, said in a press release. “This is the perfect spot, and the community is very excited.”

The seller, Seritage SRC Finance LLC of New York, was represented by CBRE’s Trent Steeves.

When will Latino entertainment center open in Phoenix?

The Marques brothers hope to open their west Phoenix entertainment center in late 2024 or early 2025.

They aim to replicate some of the features of the Aztec Theatre, a popular Latino-themed venue in San Antonio, Texas.

“The owners feel this entertainment facility is really going to serve the people – who are about 80% Hispanic – in the community,” Garza Walker said. “The elected officials who represent this part of Phoenix are excited about what the new owners are going to turn it into. They are thrilled that the community is behind it as well.”

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New owners plan to turn former Sears at Phoenix mall into Latino entertainment center