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Here's What Phoenix Light Rail To Metrocenter Will Look Like

Construction is getting underway to extend light rail to the former Metrocenter Mall in Phoenix. The projectincludes building a bridge over Interstate 17.

Phoenix’s light rail line currently ends at 19th and Dunlap avenues. The 1.6-mile extension will add tracks west along Dunlap, north on 25th Avenue, across I-17 at Mountain View Road and end near Metrocenter. That’s where the Valley’s first elevated light rail station will be built. The existing transit center for buses will be relocated below the elevated station. A four-story park-and-ride garage will be built next to the transit center that will be accessible to the light rail station.

An online presentationincluding the final design, construction schedule and other information is available on Valley Metro’s website through Sept. 4. Online comments can be made any time and two meetings will include call-in opportunities scheduled for Aug. 29 from 10-11 a.m. and Sept. 1 from 6-7 p.m.

The Northwest Extension Phase II includes upgraded utilities, six new bus pullouts and new trees along the light rail corridor.

On June 30, Metrocenter Mall closed its doors after 47 years in business. The New York-based development group that owns Metrocenter does not own the anchor stores — Walmart Supercenter and Dillard’s Clearance Center.

When the news broke that the mall was closing, Councilwoman Thelda Williams, whose district includes Metrocenter, told KJZZ, “I just want all the developers in town to recognize it’s a very valuable piece of land and it has great potential. It’s in the center of the Valley, it’s just ripe for good things to happen.”

As part of the online presentation, Valley Metro said, “... the city is working with the property owners to attract a developer motivated to redevelop the area similar to the revitalization seen at Park Central.”

In September 2018, the city announced Creighton Universitywould build a health sciences campus as part of the redevelopment of the former Park Central Mall. Plans for the property along Central Avenue between Thomas and Osborn roads included a 9-story apartment building, parking garage and mixed-use space.

The first phase of construction involves third-party utility relocation which began in late August. The Northwest Extension Phase II is expected to be completed in 2024.

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.