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PHOENIX -- Metrocenter Mall has dealt with its fair share of challenges in the past few years but received a shot in the arm Tuesday.

Walmart announced it will break ground next year on what is being called a linchpin in revitalizing the west Phoenix shopping center.

"This center needs a good energy kick and we believe Walmart is the type of retailer to do that," said Warren Fink, CEO with Carlyle Development Group, which owns the mall.

The former Broadway building, which has been vacant since 2006, will be demolished and replaced by the 148,000-square-foot Supercenter.

The retail giant said the store will bring 250 full and part time jobs.

Fink said plans called for working with the city on rezoning that will allow for multifamily and seniors housing, corporate offices and health care facilities and medical offices.

"We're talking with a small college and a charter school about coming to Metrocenter," Fink said.

Marcia Veidmark, chairwoman of the North Mountain Business Alliance, said the store should attract more customers and capital investment to the area.

"Walmart's investmement should be a catalyst for economic growth and job creation," she said.

Metrocenter Mall opened in 1973 as the biggest shopping center in Arizona and one of the largest in the nation.

Jim Cross, Reporter

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