"Mall Wars" continue near I-19, Irvington - Tucson News Now

"Mall Wars' continue near I-19, Irvington

Ground being cleared for new mall on southwest side. (Source: Tucson News Now) Ground being cleared for new mall on southwest side. (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Workers have begun clearing 63 acres of property next to the off ramp at I-19 and Irvington for a new mall.

The new mall is right across the street from the Spectrum Mall which has proven to be one of the most successful malls in the state.

Both malls, while serving the local population, have the Mexican shopper in mind.

"That location is so strategic for the Mexican visitor," said Ward 1 city council member Regina Romero, one of the biggest proponents of the new mall. "It's the first stop in Tucson for the Mexican visitor."

The new mall, as yet unnamed, will also feature a hotel, setting it apart and adding to its lure.

"If a family comes to Tucson they have a place to stay," she said. "It gives them a base for shopping, dining or whatever."

The new mall is being developed by Don Bourn, who was not available for comment.

Although others we talked to in the organization agree the Mexican shopper can be a make it or break it for some malls, comprising up to 10 percent of their sales.

Another added attraction is a designated exit lane on I-19 which goes right into the mall. Traffic is already bad during rush hour at the exit and it's hoped the new lane will ease some of the traffic issues.

The new mall is part of the "mall wars" happening along the interstates. 

The Tucson Premium Outlet opened on Interstate 10 nearly 20 miles north of the new mall. When it opened, it was also billed as a destination for the Mexican shopper.

The opening of the outlet also put a dent on business at the Foothills Mall which depended on foreign shoppers.

"I think there's room for both," said Romero. 

The build out of the mall is expected to be 3 1/2 years.

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