PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Workers are beginning construction on a new Walmart that'll be opening in Metrocenter by knocking down the former Broadway building on the south side of the mall that's been vacant for decades.
The arrival of the new Walmart was announced in June of 2014 and pegged as a "linchpin of ongoing Metrocenter revitalization." The mall has been around for about 40 years and Walmart says their new store will be the single largest capitol investment made in Metrocenter in decades.
When the mall opened, it had five department stores and now, there are only two that don't seem to be drawing substantial crowds. People who live in the area say they can't wait for Metrocenter to be the booming shopping destination they remember from years ago.
"I remember coming to metro as a kid and it was a big, booming place and I think the Walmart will help get restored again maybe and bring more people here," Amber Bender said.
Another nearby resident thinks the new Walmart will bring in more traffic to Metrocenter.
"It was real busy, had a lot of company, a lot of business, a lot of traffic in and out of it," John Smith said. "Now, it's just dead. It has nothing inside. The only thing it has is the movie theater."
The new Walmart Supercenter will open in 2017 and employ about 250 people. It's also a bigger part of the plan to clean up the area and make Metrocenter as popular as it was when it first opened in 1973.