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Midtown Phoenix Residents Excited About Park Central Redevelopment

A pair of developers is teaming up to “reinvent” Phoenix’s Park Central Mall. The mall, on Central Avenue between Thomas and Osborne, is the state’s oldest.

There’s a bit of a consensus, though, that it’s become a shell of its former self, and can use some love. In a statement, the developers say they plan to convert Park Central into a “modern, mixed-use, competitive economic engine for the Valley of the Sun.”

Sharon Harper, president and CEO of Plaza Companies, one of the developers, says the project will benefit the neighborhood.

"We believe that Park Central is a heartbeat for uptown. And we think with the vision that Holualoa and Plaza will bring forth with this, Park Central will be a signature opportunity for the improvement and the growth of the greater Phoenix region," Harper said.

Harper says developers plan to work with local arts and culture organizations, to give them exhibit and performance space at Park Central.

"This is our opportunity to create this exciting, urban, collaborative environment that will be great for the community, great for attracting jobs, and a great place for people to go to restaurants and to the clubs that will be there in the evenings," Harper said.

Harper says the developers will be closing on the mall next month, and will outline the project’s cost then.

To get a sense of what some of Park Central’s neighbors think about what’s happening there, I’m joined by Susan Thompson. She's a former president of the Midtown Neighborhood Association.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.