assets/Uploads/_resampled/SetWidth518-Untitled-2.jpg

Checking Out the Emerging 'Hispanic Mall' Concept: Fort Worth's 'La Gran Plaza'

Staff Writer
19/01/2014

 

The Latino Post

Direct Link to Article

As the political pendulum goes, so goes business as well. Today, the Republican and Democratic Parties are each "reaching out" to Hispanics (while their opponents are "pandering"). But politics isn't the only part of the American landscape that has recognized the growing power of Latinos.

Businesses as well are clamoring to become more "Latino-friendly." One of the newest phenomenon emerging are "Hispanic Malls."

Most recently,"Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads" in Oklahoma City received a Hispanic facelit to revitalize a former mall that had fallen into economic hard times. It is one of eight properties the developer, The Legaspi Company, has developed into a "Hispanic Mall."

An earlier effort can be found in Fort Worth, Texas. It is called "La Gran Plaza," and it is operated by Grupo Zocalo. The Fort Worth property, like the one in Oklahoma, had become known as a "dead mall."

According to a press clipping from Forbes on the Legaspi Web site, the mall was purchased in 2005, by 2008 it was at 90 percent capacity and once again contributing to Fort Worth's business scene.

The first thing that identifies La Gran Plaza as a "Hispanic Mall" is the entertainment offered on its grounds. Unlike many "standard" shopping centers located nearby, La Gran Plaza is also a weekly entertainment stage. With at least two (and possibly a third) stage available for performances, this shopping center offers weekly choices in Latino music and entertainment.

Of course, it also dictates the prevailing flavors available in the mall's "food court." While there is a Chinese restaurant ("El Chino" the Spanish description), there is a definite leaning toward flavors derived from south of the border.

On the main floors of the shopping center, stores more or less resemble the standard mall fare (in fact, name brand retailers are actually found in the mix). There is a movie theater that does offer some movies in subtitled form, and some are offered in two languages or in English, though last Saturday the offerings were standard Hollywood titles. But there is a feature that most likely legitimizes this center as "Hispanic" (let's face it, anyone can book a Mariachi band or sell Mexican food). This is "the Mercado."

Tucked away on one side of the center is a sprawling three-story conglomeration of very small shops that does resemble the type of shopping that is more familiar to those who have visited Mexico. Most "stalls" measure only a dozen or so feet in any direction, and there are lots of them. Within the maze of small business operators there are also legal services, computer repair and income tax help. There is an entire wing of hair care salons. Latino entrepreneurs have long been able to set up small shops in "hole in the wall" locations. Many success stories have depended on this, and the Mercado at La Gran Plaza does have that feel. But this is not a hole in any wall. This place is big ... very big.

Underlying what seems like a small business haven is a very active and well-financed corporation. This is actually their second go-around with the Hispanic Mall concept. "The company's second project, La Gran Plaza de Fort Worth, is the epitome of Grupo Zocalo's philosophy," reads the company Web site. "Formerly known as Seminary South and Fort Worth Town Center, this million square foot mall provides a mixture of retail, office, and community centers for the neighborhoods and surrounding areas of North Texas." Grupo Zocalo is a subsidiary of Boxer Property, a real estate company based out of Houston, Texas.

 

News

  • Thumbnail
    Retailers: Ignore Latinos at your own peril
    CNBC
    09/16/2014
    read more
  • Thumbnail
    Checking Out the Emerging 'Hispanic Mall' Concept: Fort Worth's 'La Gran Plaza'
    The Latino Post
    01/19/2014
    read more
  • Thumbnail
    Mall Owners Woo Hispanic Shoppers
    The Wall Street Journal
    08/13/2013
    read more
  • Thumbnail
    'Hispanic Malls' Drawing Crowds by Being Culturally in Tune
    AdAge | blogs
    05/22/2013
    read more
  • Thumbnail
    [BLOG] Bringing life back to Crossroads Mall
    The Journal Record [Blog]
    05/02/2013
    read more
  • Thumbnail
    Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads: new name, new direction for ailing Oklahoma City mall
    The Oklahoman
    04/25/2013
    read more
  • Thumbnail
    Turnaround plan for Crossroads Mall focuses on Hispanic community
    The Oklahoman
    03/27/2013
    read more
  • Thumbnail
    El rey de los centros comerciales
    Su Socio de Negocios
    01/25/2012
    read more
  • Thumbnail
    Hispanic Youth Boom Puts Futbol Under Texas Friday Night Lights
    Bloomberg
    07/26/2011
    read more
  • Thumbnail
    Shopping Center at Former Farah Site Leading El Paso Retail Resurgence
    El Paso Times
    06/02/2011
    read more
  • Thumbnail
    The Best Cities for Minority Entrepreneurs
    Forbes.com
    03/31/2011
    read more
  • Thumbnail
    Phoenix Desert Sky Mall planning mercado
    The Arizona Republic
    10/10/2010
    read more
  • Thumbnail
    Ethnic Power Fuels Store Growth
    Kiplinger Business Resource Center
    06/09/2009
    read more
  • Thumbnail
    The Call of the Mall
    The Economist print edition
    01/02/2009
    read more
  • Thumbnail
    In Ethnic Enclaves, The U.S. Economy Thrives
    Forbes.com
    11/21/2008
    read more
  • Thumbnail
    CENTER STAGE: LA GRAN PLAZA
    Shopping Centers Today
    01/01/2008
    read more
  • Thumbnail
    Savvy Talk on the Hispanic Market
    Real Talk LA
    01/01/2008
    read more
  • Thumbnail
    At the Mall, Mariachi Instead of Muzak
    New York Times Real Estate
    05/20/2007
    read more