mercy of freeway plans
Gila River retail development in limbo
Leonard wants to
develop 85 acres on the Gila River Reservation with offices, stores, restaurants
and an RV storage lot. His project would stretch for about half a mile south of
Pecos Road, east and west of 32nd Street.
The Transportation Department in November removed an interchange at 32nd Street from plans to spare 100 to 150 homes and condos.
"If they put the freeway there and there is no interchange, I can't do the project I envisioned with 85 acres. If they build a bridge that just goes north and south, I can do something limited but nothing of any substance. If there is no bridge and I'm totally cut off, it probably won't be developed," Leonard said.
"It's just kind of a big mess. I have to wait six to eight months to figure out what the final (freeway) plan is going to be."
Meanwhile, plans are going well for another retail project planned south of Pecos Road at 40th Street that would include space for a store as big as a Wal-Mart Supercenter or SuperTarget. No tenants have been signed. That center is near a proposed site for a South Mountain Community College branch.
Paul Gilbert, an attorney representing the developers, said he expects construction to start in about 18 months on the 483,000-square-foot Village at Broadacres center.
He still has to work out details with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Gila River Indian Community, such as how to handle sewage.
Plans for the South Mountain Freeway, which would run north of the center, include an interchange at 40th Street. If the freeway ended up south of the project on the reservation, Gilbert said the project would still work.