What's New & Why We Drive To Bell Rd.

What comes to mind as you think of these places: Bell Road, Arrowhead Mall, or P83? Some might say lots of shopping and dining; others might say horrible traffic. What is it that makes this area so desirable for retailers, developers, and restaurants? Why do we have to keep driving down there to get to the stores and restaurants we want closer to home?

Like it or not, the Arrowhead Mall/Bell Road area is and will continue to be the go-to area for shopping, entertainment, and food for the foreseeable future on the Upper West Side. It’s location just off the Loop 101 brings people from all over the West Valley and North Phoenix making it prime location for business owners. High traffic counts (because of Bell Road’s regional appeal) and infrastructure also contribute to its appeal to business owners. Did you know that the City of Peoria has the second highest number of car sales in the entire valley (behind Scottsdale)? High traffic counts, visibility, and accessibility all contribute to the success of the dealerships and businesses on Bell Rd. You may not realize how often you shop somewhere or go eat at a restaurant simply because you pass it regularly. Retailers know this and want their business in areas highly visible and accessible from the street. The more cars that drive by a store each day, the better chance to attract more customers.

Arrowhead Towne Center is a “unicorn” in the valley for its great location and large regional appeal. Before the recession there were plans for two more regional malls in the West Valley (Goodyear & Surprise) and Metrocenter still had stores open for business. When plans for these malls fell through and Metrocenter lost most of its tenants, West Valley residents had nowhere else to shop besides Arrowhead Mall. While many malls nationwide were closing their doors because of new e-commerce trends, Arrowhead Towne Center just kept getting busier. Did you know that Arrowhead Mall is the busiest mall in the state? It has the second highest sales numbers per square foot only behind Scottsdale Fashion Square. The mall has already secured a new tenant (though they won’t disclosed who it will be yet) for the large space that Sears will be vacating.

The Arrowhead area, Bell Road, & P83 have the infrastructure to support lots of consumers and even more businesses. There are multiple power centers with huge parking lots, a main road with 4 lanes in each direction, a freeway adjacent to the corridor with 4 lanes in each direction, and a mall with about 1,000,000 square feet of shopping space. For this reason, businesses are not afraid to open in these areas. Currently, the mall is marketing to sell/lease portions of its parking lot around the mall loop to developers to add even more retail to the area. Current tenants looking in the area for space to open their concepts are Original Chop Shop and Barrio Queen. Old Country Buffet will be shutting their doors and Buffalo Wild Wings will be moving in. There will also be an additional 3,000 square feet available for a second tenant adjacent to Buffalo Wild Wings. Redevelopments like this will continue to occur in the area during the coming years.

In short, the Arrowhead area is hot and will continue to be so in the future.

New Tenants, Redevelopment, and Repurposing:

  • Scandinavian Designs will take over the former Babies-R-Us space.

  • Chick-Fil-A on 83rd Ave. has submitted plans to the city of Peoria to expand & remodel their restaurant, and add another lane to the drive thru.

  • Cucina Tagliani recently closed their doors and the property will be redeveloped. It is currently on the market for lease. Preliminary plans show two buildings on the site, one with a drive thru.

  • Hooters will be closing their Peoria location and their space is currently on the market for lease.

  • Sears will be closing their Arrowhead location in August 2019 and the mall has already secured a replacement tenant. The tenant has not been disclosed.

  • The city of Peoria (in conjunction with CBRE), is marketing the former McDuffy’s space at 83rdAve & Mariners Way. The plan is to redevelop the building into a modern office space to attract a tech company. The city previously purchased this building to ensure that it would not be another restaurant.

  • The city of Peoria is working in conjunction with Plaza Companies to develop a 17-acre high-tech office campus where the current parking lot is in front of Peoria Sports Complex. Plans call for multi-level office buildings, a parking garage, and a boutique hotel, as well as dining and light retail. The city is seeking a large anchor tenant at the campus before beginning construction. Targeted industries are tech and financial services. The site was a top 2 choice for Allstate insurance last year, who ultimately chose a move-in-ready office complex in Chandler.

  • The vacant lot adjacent to the Cadillac dealership was purchased in 2017 by a group out of Nevada. Plans for the site have been rumored to be a Land Rover/Jaguar car dealership.

  • Marriott is getting plans approved with the city of Peoria to build two hotels at the SW corner of 75thAve & Paradise Ln (across the street from Ah-So). The SE corner will be an apartment complex.

By: Bryan Mortensen

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