Park Central Shopping City, as it was originally known, was first envisioned by Ralph Burgbacher and his older brother, A.J. Burgbacher. The two men purchased the 46-acre property, then home to the Central Avenue Dairy, in the 1950s.
Park Central Mall opened in 1957, and quickly became the center of activity along Central Avenue, thanks to its proximity to some of Phoenix’s best neighborhoods and easy access from Central Avenue, Thomas Road and Indian School Road. The location made mass transit a viable option for visitors as well.
As Phoenix quickly grew, the area around Park Central Mall saw an increasing number of mid-rise and high-rise office buildings built along Central Avenue, and the area eventually became known as the Central Business District. But over time, Park Central was unable to compete with newer, enclosed shopping malls. By the late 1980s and early 1990s, Park Central had lost most of its major retailers. The owners of the property then successfully converted the project to office space, with some retailers and restaurants included in the mix.