$30M Adaptive Reuse to Turn Fiesta Mall into 1.2M SF ‘Campus’

Original Article via Phoenix Business Journal

Fiesta Mall in Mesa is slated for a $30 million adaptive reuse and redevelopment after the East Valley property sold for $6.72 million.

The mostly empty shopping mall will be rebranded as the “Campus.” The redevelopment is projected to total 1.2 million square feet with the mall connecting to adjacent office buildings.

Dimension Financial & Realty Investments Inc. (DFRI) bought the mall property. Developers Jerry Tokpoh and Wayne Howard are DRFI’s principals.

The mall has a Sears (Nasdaq: SHLD) and Dillard’s (NYSE: DDS) outlet and a few other stores but is mostly empty. That includes a former Macy’s (NYSE: M) and empty big-box spots.

Redevelopment plans include transforming portions of the empty retail space into health care and education uses. There will also be an office component, according to Ray Cashen, president of Cashen Realty Advisors.

Cashen brokered the Fiesta sale and is spearheading the redevelopment.

“This is a substantial adaptive reuse project in a great infill freeway location,” Cashen said.

Cashen said Sears will continue to occupy its space at the Mesa mall and Dillard’s will keep one floor.

Architects are being interviewed now and construction could start in the first quarter of 2018.

Cashen said Scott Jackson and Ernie Garcia own the former Macy’s and former Best Buy/Dick’s Sporting Goods spaces and the separate owners are working together.

The mall is at Alma School Road and the U.S. 60 freeway and Southern Avenue. It opened in 1979 but has seen stores and anchors close and leave as other malls and centers including Chandler Fashion Center, Arizona Mills and Superstition Springs Mall opened. The mall went into foreclosure in 2013.

Mesa Mayor John Giles welcomed the sale and redevelopment plans.

“Fiesta Mall is in the heart of the Fiesta District and I am excited to welcome DFRI to the team of developers working to revitalize one of Mesa’s greatest assets.”

Brad Smidt, senior vice president of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, said the adaptive reuse effort will appeal to corporate users and the economic development group will work with the new owners and Mesa on the project.

One of the first efforts will be to bring in a higher-education tenant.

Mesa Jobspage_1