A new Fry’s will be the anchor store on the Sundome property in Sun City West.
Todd Kjar, a representative with developers Brown Group Inc. in Scottsdale, said construction would begin on the Sundome Crossing development at the end of 2013 or beginning of 2014.
“We’ve been looking at this project for a very long time,” said Kjar. “And Fry’s is developing a store for Sun City West that will be first class.”
Kjar said it hasn’t been determined whether it will be a Fry’s Marketplace but will at least be “one or two steps” above the regular neighborhood grocery store.
Along with Fry’s, Brown Group Inc. is in negotiations for the remainder of the development, which includes a multi-tenant shop building, a bank, a retail pad and medical offices.
A restaurant also might be a part of the project, Kjar said.
In March, Arizona State University accepted an offer from Brown Group Inc., to buy the Sundome for $2 million. ASU has been attempting to sell the once-successful venue for years.
The Scottsdale firm has built a number of shopping retail centers in the West Valley, including Surprise Marketplace, Surprise Towne Center and Arrowhead Crossing in Peoria.
In addition, Kjar said the firm will be working closely with Maricopa County Department of Transportation.
New lanes and lights are expected to be added to control the traffic that will occur from the new development.
Bill Hansen, board president of the Sun City West Property Owners and Residents Association, said he’s pleased Brown Group Inc. will address traffic with MCDOT.
“That’s been my major concern from the very beginning with this development because it could be a safety issue if they don’t add extra precautions,” Hansen said.
Patricia Tomlin, board vice president of the Recreation Centers of Sun City West, said she’s pleased the property will be developed and no longer an eyesore.
“We work hard to keep our community presentable, but it’s hard when you have a property that doesn’t belong to you that’s full of weeds,” Tomlin said.
Tomlin said she understands people will miss the Sundome. The performing arts center has hosted a number of national acts and Broadway tours over the years.
But she believes that it’s time for a change and hopes residents embrace the development.
“I’m sure folks want it back as an arts venue, but it turned out not to be a viable enterprise in the long run,” Tomlin said.
District 4 Maricopa County Supervisor Max Wilson said he’s enjoyed performances at the Sundome and will miss the facility.
Wilson said Sundome Crossing could be beneficial to Sun City West.
“There are a lot of people in the area and this could be a great advantage for people, who don’t want to drive far to shop,” he said.
For Hansen, a shopping retail center is a risky venture in the current economic climate.
“It’s an ambitious development in a struggling economy, but we’ll see how it works in the end with a project of this magnitude,” he said. “But once they get the ball rolling, I’m sure it’s going to be a real asset to the community.”