November 15, 2023 | Rebecca Scott for Travel Phoenix Oregon
Whether you’re driving south toward Ashland or up to Medford and beyond, it’s hard to miss the Shoppes at Exit 24 along the I-5 corridor.
Purchased in 1996, the Shoppes was originally built as an outlet mall specifically designed to develop jobs in the Rogue Valley. In the nearly 30 years since, the Shoppes has undergone a variety of transformations, but always remained a vital part of Phoenix.
An epicenter of the community
The Shoppes has been a part of the Rogue Valley for many years and experienced some ups and downs, but has always managed to make opportunities out of the challenges it has faced.
At one point, some of the larger stores moved out, which left a hole in the community, according to Lisa Dunagan, property manager for the Shoppes.
Lisa started working with the Shoppes about five years ago, and one of her first goals was to look for longer term tenants who would bring value and diversity to the shopping center. While some tenants had to leave due to circumstances beyond their control—such as the pandemic—it also created new opportunities.
“When Dollar Tree became part of the Shoppes, that helped bring in more tenants and customers,” said Lisa. “It also created a hub where people could gather and get resources after the Almeda fire.”
In recent years, the Shoppes has increased and diversified their tenants, including a new vet who just renovated his facility, and a local dentist.
Another exciting addition is a medical professional who offers vision therapy and has clients from as far away as Eureka and Eugene.
“She works with kids who have reading issues related to how the brain processes vision, and she also helps people with brain injuries,” said Lisa.
The Shoppes also has some eclectic restaurant selections, including Charm Thai Cuisine and a new Mexican restaurant—Los Portales.
Looking toward the future
The Shoppes is a thriving retail center for people to get a variety of services, and shows people are willing—and want—to travel to Phoenix.
Since its inception, the Shoppes has been a great spot for businesses who serve clients from across the Rogue Valley because of its easy access. It has also been an exciting adventure for Lisa.
“The previous property manager retired when I was working on some other projects that brought me to Phoenix,” said Lisa. “I’ve worked in real estate since 2003 but property management and commercial real estate were new to me. I hadn’t done either, but I learned quickly and my dad mentored me.”
From what started as a hodgepodge of businesses, the Shoppes has transformed into an inviting and diverse shopping center.
While they are full, Lisa said she always has an eye out for potential tenants that can help the community and have a positive impact in Phoenix. Currently, The Shoppes still has some of the most affordable retail space in the valley. When paired with an extremely desirable location, it’s an attractive spot for businesses.
“I want people in the community to see the value in The Shoppes—its location and all of the great businesses here,” said Lisa. “I think as the community grows, that will bring in even more new and different businesses to the area.”
Photo Credit: The Shoppes at Exit 24 Facebook page