By Roland Murphy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange
Brentwood Developments’ plan for a 124KSF Fry’s Marketplace (AZBEX, Dec. 11, 2015) store and gas station on 16.3 vacant acres in Tucson has taken the next step after the Planning Commission voted 5-2 on Wednesday to approve needed amendments to the Houghton East Neighborhood Plan.
The measure now moves to the mayor and city council for review without an official recommendation from the commission. According to City of Tucson Principal Planner John Beall, all seven members would have had to vote in favor for an official approval to be granted. Plans proceed to the mayor and council without that recommendation when the commission delivers a simple majority vote.
To be located at the northeast corner of Houghton Road and 22nd Street, the building design calls for a height of 26-feet with a four-foot parapet. That height required amending the neighborhood plan, which sets a maximum 20-foot height for non-residential development in the area.
In its recommendation to the commission, planning staff found the proposed land use and building heights consistent with other nonresidential projects in the area and that the building setbacks enable development with minimal impacts.
In addition to the marketplace, plans for the site feature two additional buildings of 4,500SF and 12.9KSF, which could be used by other retail tenants, such as restaurants, hair salons, dry cleaners or other stores.
The new, larger Fry’s Marketplace will replace an existing Fry’s Food and Drug operation at 22nd Street and Harrison. That store will be closed and sold. The new operation expects to employ approximately 160 people when fully operational.
During the public comment period, commission staff received 48 letters of protest and two in support of the project. Concerns included the larger than usual size of the development for a neighborhood grocery center, existing vacant retail developments in the area, potential traffic impacts, wildlife and view protection, and potential impact on night sky viewing.
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