New Developments

On Baseline Road from around 16th street to 24th street a newly built strip mall is packed with cars and people during the weekday lunch hour.  When I think about a strip mall I typically picture a small corner of an intersection packed with a few stores.  On the contrary, this strip mall is enormous.  All of the store fronts are exaggerated in size to implicate a higher status of products and services offered.  The parking lot is vast and sprawled out enough to accommodate a large turn out.  Corporate chain stores like Payless Shoes, GNC, Applebee’s and Subway are some of the corporate emblems displayed in the store fronts.  The location of such a strip mall is the most perplexing.  What is a brand new strip mall doing in the middle of South Phoenix?  One might point out that almost the entire west side of Baseline Road and parts of the East side of central have already been heavily developed and turned into residential communities.  The strip mall seems to be strategically located to conveniently serve the residents of the newly built gated communities nearby. 

            Most of South Phoenix is occupied by lower income minorities.  However, that is changing due to the influx of out of state residents and other middle class home buyers moving into the area.  According to Grady Gammage Jr., Phoenix is not characteristic of unplanned urban sprawl, but rather the result of social forces and deliberate regulatory decisions. 

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