Originally Published: April 27, 2001 7:15 p.m.
The formulaic plot for the development of cities is almost as set in stone as "Boy-meets-girl; boy-loses-girl; boy-gets-girl-back."
It usually runs "City-with-vital-downtown-gets-mall; city-loses-downtown; city-revitalizes-downtown."
Prescott, however, with its unique, historic downtown, had to do things a little differently. Prescott got Ponderosa Plaza Mall, but the area's rapid growth created market conditions to support a much larger regional mall. Prescott, through a painful, acrimonious rite of passage, got a regional mall.
However, Sears and J. C. Penney's, the anchor stores in Ponderosa Plaza, are planning to relocate to the regional mall, which makes one wonder if Ponderosa Plaza will go the way of the downtown area in the classic scenario.
Perhaps not if some of the scuttlebutt around town is true. Mayor Sam Steiger recently said on his radio show that a deal is in the works for Wal-Mart to buy the land and building of the Sears store when it leaves for a standard Wal-Mart store.
Other talk has a major clothing retailer locating in another part of the property.
Rumors most often are insidious. Let's hope these are true. The best scenario is for the city's commercial base to expand but not at the expense of the existing businesses.