By Megan Taros | Arizona Republic
South Plaza may appear nondescript to outsiders, with its classic Southwest-style strip mall feel and its pale orange exterior, but for longtime residents, it serves as an anchor point definitively placing them in the heart of south Phoenix.
Its iconic sign, with oblong font from another decade, sits squarely at the corner of Central and Southern avenues and invites the community to shop at places still lingering from their childhoods. It was once the place to be on the weekends to watch the lowrider cruises, catch up with friends and neighbors and watch live music.
These days there are more empty storefronts than when it opened in 1961, and residents seeking economic development opportunities were hoping to transform the aging plaza into a cultural hub where families could gather and feel proud of their community.