La Plaza Mall expands food court, adds stores - The Monitor: News

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La Plaza Mall expands food court, adds stores

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Posted: Monday, October 1, 2012 9:30 pm | Updated: 9:47 am, Tue Oct 2, 2012.

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.

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Dave Hendricks covers McAllen and general assignments for The Monitor. He can be reached at dhendricks@themonitor.com and (956) 683-4452.

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