Navigating the Wonders of Tempe Marketplace in Tempe, AZ

The Birth of Tempe Marketplace Mall

Tempe Marketplace Mall emerged as a visionary project in the heart of Tempe, Arizona, aiming to redefine the shopping and entertainment landscape. The concept took shape in the early 2000s, with the developers envisioning a vibrant, open-air complex catering to the local community’s and visitors’ diverse needs.

Vestar Development Co., known for its innovative approach to retail environments, spearheaded the project, bringing a new level of shopping and leisure experience to the area.

Construction kicked off in 2005, transforming a once barren plot of land into a bustling hub of activity. By September 2007, Tempe Marketplace had opened its doors, boasting over 1.3 million square feet of retail space.

The initial lineup of stores and attractions was impressive, featuring major brands like Target, Best Buy, and H&M. The marketplace quickly became a go-to destination for things to do in Tempe, AZ, offering a mix of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

The opening of Tempe Marketplace marked a significant milestone in the city’s development. It provided a new shopping destination and became a community gathering place.

The complex’s design, with its open walkways, contemporary architecture, and public art installations, reflected the vibrant spirit of Tempe.

From its inception, Tempe Marketplace was more than just a shopping center; it was a place where people could come together, explore, and enjoy what the city offers.

Architectural Marvel and Design

Tempe Marketplace stands out for its unique architectural design that blends urban style with desert beauty.

Vestar Development Co.’s developers aimed for a layout that encouraged outdoor activity and community gatherings.

They achieved this by incorporating open spaces, interactive water features, and fireplaces for chilly evenings.

The marketplace opened its doors, showcasing a modern yet welcoming environment, with wide walkways and ample seating areas inviting visitors to linger.

The design reflects the local landscape, using materials and colors that echo the Arizona desert. Using sustainable and energy-efficient materials was a priority, aligning with Tempe’s commitment to environmental stewardship.

The marketplace’s lighting, designed to reduce light pollution, enhances the shopping experience while respecting the natural night sky.

Art plays a significant role in the marketplace’s design. Local artists contributed sculptures and murals, adding a cultural dimension to the shopping experience.

These art installations beautify the space and foster community and regional pride. Tempe Marketplace’s blend of commerce, art, and sustainability makes it a standout destination in the retail world.

Main Tenants of Tempe Marketplace, AZ: A Closer Look

Tempe Marketplace in Tempe, AZ, stands out as a bustling hub, attracting a diverse crowd with its main tenants.

Tempe Marketplace
Tempe Marketplace Cygnusloop99, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Big Box Majors

Tenant Short Description
Target A one-stop shop for home essentials, groceries, clothing, and more.
Best Buy The go-to place for electronics, appliances, and tech support services.
Nordstrom Rack Designer fashion and accessories at discounted prices for the style-conscious.
ULTA Beauty Premier beauty destination for cosmetics, skincare, and salon services.
PetSmart A comprehensive pet store offering food, toys, and services for your furry friends.
JCPenney A department store with a wide range of clothing, home goods, and beauty products.
DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse offers a vast assortment of shoes for all ages.
Old Navy Affordable fashion for adults and kids, perfect for casual wear and basics.
Michaels The ultimate destination for craft supplies, art materials, and home decor.
Ross Discounted clothing, home goods, and accessories for budget-conscious shoppers.
Total Wine & More An extensive selection of wine, beer, and spirits for every occasion.
Famous Footwear A retail store featuring popular brands of shoes for the whole family.
Cost Plus World Market Unique home goods, furniture, and international food items from around the globe.

Majors in The District

Tenant Short Description
Harkins Theatres State-of-the-art movie theater offering the latest blockbuster hits.
Barnes & Noble A vast selection of books, music, and café items for the bookworms.

These tenants make Tempe Marketplace a dynamic and attractive destination for shopping, entertainment, and dining, catering to various tastes and preferences.

Whether you’re in for a quick visit or a full day of shopping and fun, these stores provide a comprehensive and enjoyable experience.

Tempe Marketplace isn’t just a place to grab a bite or catch a movie; it’s a shopping haven with various popular stores that cater to every taste and need. Among the bustling lanes and vibrant storefronts, several names stand out for their quality, variety, and appeal.

Fashion enthusiasts flock to H&M, a staple for those seeking trendy yet affordable apparel. The store offers a wide range of clothing, from casual daywear to elegant evening outfits, ensuring shoppers find something for every occasion.

Its commitment to sustainability and fashion-forward designs makes it a favorite among eco-conscious and style-savvy customers.

For those looking for unique and high-quality denim, Buckle is the go-to destination. The store prides itself on providing personalized customer service, helping shoppers find the perfect fit from a selection of leading brands.

Beyond jeans, Buckle offers a variety of apparel, including casual tops, dresses, and accessories, making it a comprehensive stop for fashion-forward shoppers.

Lane Bryant stands out as a champion for plus-size fashion, offering stylish and flattering clothing for women.

Lane Bryant ensures every woman feels confident and beautiful in her clothes, from everyday wear to special occasions. The store’s commitment to inclusivity and body positivity has earned it a loyal following.

J. Crew brings classic American style to Tempe Marketplace, offering high-quality apparel for men and women.

Known for its timeless designs and refined casual wear, J. Crew is the place to shop for wardrobe staples that always stay in style. Whether you’re looking for a crisp button-down shirt or a cozy cashmere sweater, J. Crew has you covered.

Tempe Marketplace
Tempe Marketplace Cygnusloop99, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Athleisure and fitness enthusiasts are drawn to Lululemon, a brand synonymous with high-quality workout and yoga wear. The store’s innovative fabrics and functional designs cater to its customers’ active lifestyles, ensuring comfort and style in and out of the gym.

Lululemon’s commitment to community and wellness extends beyond its products, making it a hub for those looking to lead a healthy and active life.

These popular stores, along with many others at Tempe Marketplace, offer a diverse shopping experience that caters to the needs and preferences of every visitor.

Whether you’re updating your wardrobe, searching for the perfect gift, or treating yourself to something special, Tempe Marketplace has something for everyone.

Famous Dining Options at Tempe Marketplace

Tempe Marketplace isn’t just a shopping destination; it’s a culinary adventure. Among the bustling walkways and vibrant shops, you’ll find an array of dining options that cater to every taste and occasion.

Starting with fast casual and quick bites, Chipotle offers a fresh take on Mexican cuisine with customizable bowls and burritos, perfect for a quick lunch or dinner. Jimmy John’s is the go-to for sandwich lovers, boasting speedy delivery and fresh ingredients.

For pizza enthusiasts, MOD Pizza provides a modern twist, allowing customers to create their masterpieces. Noodles & Company brings flavors from around the world to your plate with its international noodle dishes.

At the same time, Panera Bread offers a cozy atmosphere for enjoying bakery items, sandwiches, and healthy salads.

Smashburger introduces a unique burger approach: smashing the burgers to sear in the juices. Yogi’s Grill caters to those seeking lighter, Japanese-inspired meals.

Tempe Marketplace shines just as brightly when satisfying your sweet tooth. Boba Toko is a haven for bubble tea lovers, offering a variety of flavors and toppings. Churro Nest serves freshly made churros, perfect for an afternoon treat, for a taste of Spanish sweetness.

Cinnaholic is the destination for those who love cinnamon rolls, offering gourmet, customizable options.

Ice cream lovers will find their bliss at Cold Stone Creamery, where the ice cream is made-to-order with various mix-ins, and at Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream, known for its unique flavors and homemade touch.

For chocolate enthusiasts, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory provides a wide range of chocolate treats and confections that are hard to resist.

Tempe Marketplace
Tempe Marketplace Cygnusloop99, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The sit-down restaurants and bars at Tempe Marketplace offer a more relaxed dining experience. Bar Louie is a neighborhood favorite, blending a laid-back atmosphere with American cuisine and signature cocktails.

Barrio Queen brings the authentic flavors of Mexico to the table, accompanied by an extensive tequila selection. For those looking for fun with their meal, Dave & Buster’s combines entertainment and dining with its array of arcade games and American cuisine.

Korean BBQ fans will delight in Gen Korean BBQ, where guests can grill their own meats at the table. Genghis Grill offers a unique dining experience with its build-your-own stir-fry concept, allowing diners to customize their meals with various fresh ingredients.

For a taste of the sea, King’s Fish House presents a menu filled with fresh fish and ocean-inspired dishes. Pizza fans will appreciate Lou Malnati’s, home to the famous Chicago-style deep-dish pizza.

It is known for its buttery crust and generous layers of cheese and toppings. It’s a slice of the Windy City right in the heart of Tempe.

Barbecue enthusiasts will find their haven at Lucille’s BBQ, where the aroma of Southern-style barbecue fills the air. Comfort food takes center stage with tender meats, savory sides, and a warm, inviting atmosphere.

For a unique dining experience, LumberjAxes Axe Throwing Bar & Grill combines food, drinks, and the thrill of axe throwing, offering a night out that’s far from ordinary.

Health-conscious diners have options, too. MAD Greens serves up hearty salads, wraps, and bowls packed with fresh, nutritious ingredients.

MOD Pizza and Mojo Yogurt offer quick, customizable options balanced with flavor and quality. Nektar Juice Bar provides refreshing smoothies and juices, perfect for a post-shopping pick-me-up.

For those craving Asian flavors, Kabuki Japanese Restaurant stands out with its extensive menu of sushi, ramen, and other Japanese favorites, all served in a contemporary setting. Meanwhile, Genghis Grill offers a fun, interactive dining experience where you can build stir-fry bowls from various fresh ingredients.

Italian cuisine gets in the spotlight at Portillo’s, where the menu boasts hearty Italian beef sandwiches, Chicago-style hot dogs, and more. Red Robin offers gourmet burgers and a friendly atmosphere for a casual meal with friends or family, ensuring everyone leaves satisfied.

Every visit to Tempe Marketplace is complete with indulging in dessert. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory tempts with its array of handmade chocolates and confections. At the same time, Cinnaholic offers a twist on the classic cinnamon roll, with customizable rolls topped with your choice of frostings and toppings.

From casual bites to sit-down meals, Tempe Marketplace caters to every palate and occasion, making it a true culinary destination in Tempe. Whether you’re in the mood for seafood, barbecue, sushi, or a sweet treat, you’ll find something to satisfy your cravings and make your shopping experience even more enjoyable.

Tempe Marketplace
Tempe Marketplace Cygnusloop99, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Community and Cultural Events

Tempe Marketplace is not just a shopping center; it’s a vibrant community hub that hosts various events catering to Tempe’s cultural and social life.

There’s always something happening, from outdoor concerts and movie nights to holiday celebrations and charity runs. These events draw crowds from across the region, enhancing community and togetherness.

Art and culture take center stage with exhibitions, live performances, and art walks. Local artists and musicians showcase their talents, adding a unique cultural dimension to the shopping experience.

Seasonal events, like the Halloween Spooktacular and the Christmas Tree Lighting, become cherished community traditions eagerly anticipated yearly.

The marketplace also partners with local organizations and charities to host events that give back to the community. Tempe Marketplace contributes to the local community’s well-being through fundraisers, awareness campaigns, and educational workshops.

Through these events, the marketplace strengthens its ties with the people of Tempe, fostering a spirit of community and mutual support.

New Retailers and Expansions at Tempe Marketplace

As the holiday shopping season approached in late 2023, Tempe Marketplace in Tempe, AZ, welcomed a flurry of new retailers, enhancing the shopping experience for locals and visitors alike.

Phoenix-based Vestar, the management company, has proactively revitalized the shopping center, adding over 54,000 square feet of retail space filled with new tenants.

Among the notable new arrivals is Lululemon, the popular athletic wear company, which opened its doors on November 17, 2023. Fitness enthusiasts and fashion-forward shoppers seeking high-quality athletic apparel and accessories have eagerly anticipated this addition. 

Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream and the national escape room concept, Escapology, also debuted at Tempe Marketplace, offering unique experiences beyond traditional shopping.

Handel’s offers an array of homemade ice cream flavors, adding a touch of sweetness. At the same time, Escapology provides an adventurous escape from the ordinary, challenging visitors with its puzzle-filled rooms.

Tempe Marketplace
Tempe Marketplace Scenes” by gem66 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

These new tenants join recent additions like Nike and LumberjAxes, further diversifying the shopping center’s offerings. Nike, a giant in the sportswear industry, has been attracting shoppers with its latest athletic gear and footwear.

Meanwhile, LumberjAxes offers a unique entertainment option, combining the thrill of axe throwing with a friendly, competitive atmosphere.

The influx of new stores and experiences at Tempe Marketplace reflects a broader trend of shopping centers evolving to meet changing consumer preferences.

By offering a mix of retail, dining, and entertainment options, Tempe Marketplace continues to be a vibrant community destination and a strong contributor to the local economy.

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