Phoenix residents have vocalized complaints about a lack of grocery stores in downtown Phoenix, but those complaints will be put to rest in 2018.
Developers of downtown Phoenix's CityScape said they are currently in the process building a 55,000-square-foot Fry’s near that development between between First and Second streets and Washington and Jefferson streets — right in the heart of the city.
Jeff Moloznik the vice president for RED Development, the company that leads the development for CityScape, wrote in an email that his company has been considering opening up a grocery store since CityScape's inception.
“We knew it was just a matter of time before we found the right fit to respond to consumer and public demand here in downtown Phoenix,” Moloznik wrote in an email.
Currently there is no grocery center downtown, except for the Safeway near Seventh Avenue and multiple CVS and Walgreens stores in the area. That poses problems for residents and student alike, many who don't have cars.
Moloznik wrote that the Fry's would provide a full-service grocery store experience and help support a number of residential units downtown.
“It’s not only an opportunity to serve those currently living and working in and near downtown, but it’s also a driver for future growth in the area,” he wrote in an email.
Moloznik wrote that the plan is for the Fry’s to open in 2018 and that Phoenix will still own the land, while a developer will enter into a long-term lease agreement.
“The project would seek a development agreement with the City of Phoenix to assist with the higher costs associated with the construction and operation of a full-sized grocery store within an urban environment,” Moloznik wrote in an email.
Social work freshman Breanna Carpenter said she hadn’t really thought about the possibility before, but that it would be an accessible option for students to be able to walk to a grocery store.
“A lot of downtown is businesses, so you wouldn’t really need a grocery store in the middle of a downtown urban area." Carpenter said. "But there is all of this construction, and apartments are going up left and right so I don’t think it’d be a bad idea.”
Undergraduate Student Government Downtown president Corina Tapscott said she’s excited about the prospect, and that she thinks students will end up liking the possibility of going to a Fry’s in CityScape. Because it's a recent development, Tapscott said USGD hasn't discussed it with students, but plan to as plans progress.
USGD provides shuttles to a local Safeway on Sundays. She said that USGD is not sure the service will continue due to the Fry's proximity. Tapscott said they plan to wait and see the outcome of the store's development, and that shuttles could be useful to help students take their groceries back to campus.
“We are waiting to see what kind of products that Fry’s offers because I know sometimes CityScape is a little restricted for space so it could end up being that (Fry's) still doesn’t offer all the supplies that people want that they’re able to find at Safeway,” Tapscott said.
She said she thinks a lot of the customers will be students because students already go to CityScape often.
“It’s nice to see new businesses coming downtown,” Tapscott said. “Especially when they’re nearby our students, especially when it comes to anything offering groceries.”
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