McALLEN — La Plaza Mall’s food court overhaul should finish in mid-October, leaving the destination for Mexican shoppers with a modern look — and taste to match.
While La Plaza kept staples like McDonald’s, the expansion added several new vendors that aren’t typical food-court fare, including sushi restaurant Zushi and Green Leaf's Beyond Great Salads. The expansion also includes three new stores, a playground and new restrooms.
“I feel like it goes a lot more with what McAllen is now,” said Isabel Rodriguez-Vera, area director of marketing and business development for Simon Property Group, which owns the 1.2 million-square-foot mall.
La Plaza also overhauled the food court’s look with a two-story, glass-walled entrance that floods the dining area with natural light. Outside, next to the valet parking, brightly colored “paper planes” — crafted from stainless steel — decorate the entrance.
Inside, the food court’s offerings include Gorditas Doña Tota, Charleys Philly Steaks and chickenow, among others. A seating area with 500 chairs separates the restaurants from a playground, which is still under construction.
As part of the overhaul, Deutsch & Deutsch expanded and La Plaza created space for three new tenants: Clarks, a British shoe store; Zumiez, which sells athletic shoes and clothing; and a Samuels Jewelers.
After construction finishes, Rodriguez-Vera said La Plaza plans to hold a grand opening Nov. 2.
For property tax purposes, McAllen estimates the newly remodeled food court, which adds more than 12,000 square feet to La Plaza, is worth $5.5 million, according to a summary of Simon Property Group’s mall improvement plans dated Aug. 17. Other planned improvements include a 175,000-square-foot second floor, additions to two department stores and two parking garages, which will handle the increased traffic.
Dave Hendricks covers McAllen and general assignments for The Monitor. He can be reached at email@example.com and (956) 683-4452.
Follow Dave Hendricks on Twitter: @dmhj