Former NFL Stars Looking to Score on Laveen Development
Emmitt Smith, the former Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals football star and the National Football League’s all-time leading rusher is in negotiations with city officials to develop a 25-acre acre retail center on the northwest corner of 35th and Southern Avenues. The project, to be called South Mountain Crossing, is a joint venture between Smith and Cypress Equities, an affiliate of Staubach, led by Roger Staubach, a two-time Super Bowl champion, who also played 10 years in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys.
The development group met with the city’s Development Services Group last month to discuss plans for the project that is set to include a Mervyn’s department store and other retail establishments, such as a bank, multiple restaurants and a full-service car wash, among others.
“I’ve always loved Phoenix,” Smith explained. “We want to bring something special to the Laveen area.”
Laveen resident Carole Borrego is thrilled. The city of Phoenix employee still lives in the house her father built in 1954.“Growing up there was nothing around,” she said. “In order to go shopping we had to go to the west side. It will be a tremendous improvement for the area.”
While this is Smith’s first Phoenix development project, it’s the second project for the intersection of 35th and Southern Avenues. Construction is currently underway for a Walmart Supercenter on the southwest corner. TCF National Bank also plans to build there.
“There’s an old saying ‘retail follows rooftops’,” said Derek Horn, deputy director of the city’s Commercial Services Division of Developmental Services. “They’re (Smith and Cypress Equities) looking to have Mervyn’s open in October of next year.”
“I met Smith a couple of times,” said Horn. “He’s very savvy, nice and wants to work with us. I was very impressed.”