Scottsdale Peek into the Past: Scottsdale Fashion Square

Scottsdale Historical Society

Photo courtesy Scottsdale Historical Society.

The Scottsdale City Council recently approved the conceptual expansion of Scottsdale Fashion Square to include more than up to 150 feet in height, additional retail, residential, office space and potentially a hotel.

It was a controversial zoning case that drew support from downtown merchants and protests from nearby residents.

This 1962 photo shows Fashion Square 55 years ago. The northwest corner of Scottsdale and Camelback roads had been farm fields, then the Scottsdale Jaycees’ rodeo grounds for a few years in the late 1950s. Scottsdale’s first shopping mall, Scottsdale Fashion Square, opened at the corner in the fall of 1961, with Goldwater’s as the anchor tenant.

Fashion Square Mall now produces $13 million in sales tax revenue annually and is one of the most successful malls in the southwest, but the latest expansion mirrors the conversations and concerns around zoning, setbacks, traffic and density that started when the city incorporated in 1951.

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