Target, Harkins Theatres on wish list for huge Buckeye shopping center, documents show

Audrey Jensen, Phoenix Business Journal

A rendering shows the design for the planned Verrado Marketplace in Buckeye, which will be developed and operated similar to the developer’s other projects in the Valley, such as Desert Ridge Marketplace.

A new Target, Harkins Theatres and more could be some of the first tenants secured for the planned Verrado Marketplace shopping, entertainment and dining center in Buckeye, according to city documents.

The $125 million Verrado Marketplace was announced in 2022 by Phoenix-based Vestar and Scottsdale-based DMB Associates, the master developer of the 8,800-acre Verrado community.

It’s expected to include 500,000 square feet of mixed-use space across 48 acres at the northeast corner of Interstate 10 and Verrado Way at the entrance of the Verrado community, but no tenants have been formally announced for the project.

On July 18, Buckeye City Council is scheduled to vote on a new development agreement with Vestar. A public presentation document included in the item shows a proposed site plan for Verrado Marketplace with potential high-profile tenant names including Harkins Theatres, Target, HomeGoods, Marshalls, Ross Dress for Less and Total Wine & More.

A Target Corp. spokesperson said the company is continually evaluating potential store locations but didn’t have any specifics to share. Harkins did not immediately respond to a request for information.

Vestar declined to say whether any tenants have been confirmed for the shopping center but said in a statement that the “community-oriented center” is expected to break ground in the summer of 2024 with an opening slated for late 2025.

The project, Vestar said, will encompass a department-store anchor, specialty shops featuring leading apparel, home furnishings and personal care brands, a state-of-the-art theater and entertainment concept, a variety of dining including upscale restaurants and fast casual options, a grocery store and neighborhood services.

Verrado would create 1,500 permanent jobs

Verrado Marketplace will be developed in the same fashion as the company’s other major centers Tempe Marketplace and Desert Ridge Marketplace and is estimated to generate 1,500 permanent jobs and $50 million in revenue for Buckeye over a decade. Between construction and operations, the company estimates the project will have an output of $1.8 billion.


“The City of Buckeye has been a tremendous partner as we work together to bring this new retail destination to their fast-growing community,” said Jeff Axtell, executive vice president of development for Vestar, in a statement. “They share our vision for Verrado Marketplace to become a lively community space where residents can socialize, unwind and connect with their favorite brands.”


In addition, Verrado Marketplace will host gathering spaces including a public plaza with outdoor fireplaces and a performance venue.

The proposed development agreement says that in addition to the retail center, Vestar will provide a 2,000-square-foot police substation at no cost to the city for 20 years, an event plaza available to the city and residents and other infrastructure for a reimbursement from the city of up to $3.7 million, to be paid through construction sales tax and permit fees from the project.


“We are thrilled that Vestar has selected Buckeye as the site of their next signature project,” said Buckeye Mayor Eric Orsborn in a statement. “Verrado Marketplace will be a major attraction for our city, creating jobs, retail and entertainment options and providing a community space for our residents.”


Ryan Desmond, Charles Skaggs and Justin DiBiase of Western Retail Advisors are the leasing brokers for the project. Desmond said the tenant mix at Verrado Marketplace is expected to rival Vestar’s other projects across the Valley.


“Interest has been extremely strong across a range of restaurant, retail and entertainment uses, and negotiations are moving forward at a rapid pace,” Desmond said in a statement. “The desire that tenants have to locate here speaks to both the strength of the Verrado trade area and the quality of product that Vestar develops.”


A general contractor and architect have not yet been selected.

The four corners surrounding the major intersection has been booming with growth. Just south of Verrado Marketplace, a new Costco store just opened in July and is set to anchor another retail center totaling 411,000 square feet called Buckeye Commons while Abrazo Health is planning to build a hospital campus across 27 acres at a corner on I-10 and Verrado Way.

Vestar has also opened or planned large centers in Queen Creek and west Phoenix such as the Laveen Towne Center that will total 400,000 square feet.

Originally published by The Phoenix Business Journal on July 14, 2023.