SCOTTSDALE, AZ - Work is underway on a massive expansion at Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall.
Construction crews have broken ground on a 130,000 square foot addition that will soon be home to a new movie theater and a sporting goods store.
"The economy is improving and my experience in the shopping center business is the economy today is not the economy of next year. So you don't build it for today you build it for long term expansion in the market. And the market looks really good right now," said Steve Helm of Fashion Square Mall.
Located on the mall's northeast side, Harkins Theaters new 14 screen movie theater is scheduled to open in Spring of 2015.
The sporting goods store has so far declined to identify itself, but mall managers said it will be located directly underneath the new theater.
The move by Harkins means that two other movie theaters near the area will close.
Mall officials said that both Harkins 5 and Harkins Fashion Square 7 will close.
Harkins 5 is located just outside of the mall and primarily shows independent films.
Fashion Square 7 is located inside of the mall. An official deal hasn't been reached yet but mall officials said talks are underway to fill the space left by Fashion Square 7 with the Desert Stages performing arts center.
Desert Stages currently occupies a separate building north of the mall.
Mall officials said one of the factors behind the decision to expand is a change in Scottsdale's real estate market. Nearly 2,000 apartment units are currently being filed or built in the downtown Scottsdale area.
"I think there is a movement by people who did move out to the suburbs that now want to downsize and come back in. They appreciate the convenience of having restaurants and shopping nearby so we want to be ready for that," said Helm.