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by Tom Ryan
RetailWire.com

Phoenix, AZ - While most malls largely support national stores, an upscale mall in Phoenix area is creating some room for a few local independents.

Biltmore Fashion Park in early November opened a new retail section called Union dedicated to 18 retailers, almost all Valley-based. Each individual store in the 7,200-square-foot strip located on the east side of the open-air center ranges from 200 to 500 square feet.

To set it apart from the rest of the mall, Union has an urban and rustic feel with a mix of concrete and reclaimed barn wood, as well as unfinished ceilings that expose lighting and ducts. The upscale mix of independents features Whoopie Baking Co., Queen Creek Olive Mill, Smeeks candy store, the Willows Home and Garden, and a restaurant and wine bar.

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