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Edison Pointe

Dirt is moving in the Edison Pointe lot as developer Vintage Partners starts grading work. Photo by Mason Callejas

Construction equipment and earth movers began lining up Wednesday in the Edison Pointe lot just south of Fry’s Marketplace on John Wayne Parkway, an encouraging sign after what has been a multi-year struggle to develop the site.

Despite what appears to be a commencement of the project, there has been no official ground breaking.

Casey Treadwell, leasing director for Vintage Partners, the developer of the project, said there are still a few ducks left to line up before the project officially gets under way. The work beginning this week is an effort to prep for larger scale construction that now seems imminent.

“The previous development had some utilities and also some grading that didn’t exactly match what we’re going to do.” Treadwell said. “So, what the public is going to see out there is us going out there correcting some things from the previous development that started and then stopped.”

Though the activity is certainly preliminary to the larger project, Vintage Partners still has not released a set timeline for construction.

Stores looking at space in the new development include a big box pet store, clothing retailers, an automotive service center and restaurants.

The Edison Pointe development by Vintage Partners includes four major retail spaces, four mini major spaces and four pads.

The Maricopa City Council heard a presentation during their work session on Nov. 1 pertaining to a developer’s reimbursement request for public improvement expenses to the Edison Pointe development site.

The empty retail lot is next to Fry’s Marketplace.

Vintage Partners Leasing Director Casey Treadwell formally requested reimbursement of costs incurred while developing public improvements on John Wayne Pkwy and Edison Road. The improvements are necessary for private development of the 15-acre site but ultimately will be part of public roadway.

The developers have been marketing the project for approximately four years and are close to securing the leases needed to move forward. However, some of the potential tenants have been hesitant to sign their leases until the developers shore up an agreement with the city about public improvement.

“If this reimbursement is in place, we do think that we can execute the final leases with the tenants over the next few weeks and get this project on schedule to deliver and open in the fall of next year,” Treadwell said.

Five major tenants are firm in their intent to lease or purchase property at the Edison Pointe site, Treadwell said. However, two potential major tenants are holding out pending a decision on the reimbursement.

If everything goes well and reimbursements are agreed upon, Treadwell is confident the development could break ground before the end of the year, though he does recognize the agreement could make or break plans for development.

“Without this it would probably push the project into 2018 if we can do it at all,” Treadwell said.

The council went into executive session to discuss details of the request. After returning to the council chambers, Mayor Christian Price and the council advised city staff to pursue negotiations with Vintage Partners and to continue to work out an agreement regarding the reimbursements.

Potential tenants at Edison Pointe, according to Treadwell’s presentation, include a pet supply store, restaurants and other “soft goods” (or clothing) stores.

The Edison Pointe development by Vintage Partners includes four major retail spaces, four mini major spaces and four pads.

If all goes as planned, Edison Pointe will start construction in summer 2016 and be open for business in spring 2017.

The lot next to Fry’s Marketplace was purchased four years ago by Vintage Partners. The project is doing business as VP Edison 15, LLC.

Michael Treadwell, senior vice president of development leasing at VP, said the plan will allow for 14-15 businesses in 130,000 square feet of retail space.

VP is “finalizing tenants,” said Treadwell, who is not identifying those prospects. He said VP is building for the specific requirements of the tenants, however.

“We like Maricopa and we think there is a need for more retail,” Treadwell said. “And we really like the location of Edison Pointe.”

That location is on the east side of John Wayne Parkway, south of Fry’s and north of Edison Road.

Economic Development Director Denyse Airheart said there will be two phases to the project. There are four major retail buildings and four “mini major” spaces designed for the parcel plus two pad sites. The second phase contains two more pad sites.

“It looks like 80 percent is in Phase One, and the rest is in the last two pads,” Airheart said.

Edison Pointe was one of the developments Mayor Christian Price referenced, unnamed, as a point of progress in his State of the City address in October. “We hope to break ground on several privately owned, developer-controlled retail locations within the city,” he said. “This will bring a myriad of new options, from eateries to different types of stores, things of that nature.”

One of the Edison Pointe pads is designed for a sit-down restaurant. Another is for an auto-repair business.

“We don’t have information on who the tenants will be,” Airheart said. “We know there will be a major retailer.”

She said developers come to the city to learn what businesses would be a good fit and then market their property to those industries.

Because of the pace at which Vintage Partners completed Maricopa Station once it broke ground (seven months), Airheart said she anticipates the work at Edison Pointe to go “pretty quickly.”

A development review permit has been before the Maricopa Planning & Zoning Commission, which recommended it for approval.

The project is one of the first major developments to operate within the city’s new zoning code, which became effective Dec. 5, 2014.

Airheart said that will give the project a different look and layout from Maricopa’s older commercial developments because of modern elements in the facade. At the same time, it is meant to fit visually with Fry’s Marketplace. Its planned color scheme for the major buildings is whites, creams and tans.

There are also plans for raised pedestrian crosswalks in the parking area.

Treadwell said the plans are coming together exactly as VP envisioned when it bought the property.

Access from John Wayne Parkway has been a point of concern as the project moves through development. Southbound drivers on JWP wishing to access Edison Pointe must either turn left at the Fry’s light and drive through the Fry’s parking lot or turn left at Edison Road.

City planner Rudy Lopez said there would be up to three access points off Edison.

Edison Road is two lanes. Resident Lee Murray said traffic on Edison trying to get onto SR 347 already backs up at rush hour.

Airheart said there have been no recent discussions about adding lanes to Edison. Lopez said traffic review is part of the development conditions.

The zoning code’s Transportation Corridor overlay district applies to the first 150 feet of parcels fronting State Route 347 and other major throughways. The TC overlay is meant to “prevent developments which would conflict with the vision in the General Plan for these corridors or interrupt the transit, bicycle and pedestrian experience,” according to Article 301 of the zoning code.

Treadwell said VP has a long-standing, strong relationship with the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), which has authority over John Wayne Parkway. Most recently in Maricopa, VP worked with ADOT to add northbound exits for its Maricopa Station project.

“We work very well with ADOT, and we’ll certainly be discussing this with the city,” Treadwell said.

He said VP intends to announce each tenant as paperwork is finalized.

This story appeared in the January issue of InMaricopa News.

Utility lines mark the space for a future development called Edison Pointe at the corner of SR 347 and Edison Road next to Fry’s Marketplace. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson
Utility lines mark the space for a future development called Edison Pointe at the corner of SR 347 and Edison Road next to Fry’s Marketplace. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Elevation of planned stores at the Edison Pointe development.

Though worried about the traffic flow, Maricopa Planning & Zoning commissioners approved a development review permit for the proposed Edison Pointe south of Fry’s Marketplace.

The commercial development is designed for stores and shops, an auto-repair business, a sit-down restaurant and a fast-food restaurant. The property is on the northeast corner of the intersection of John Wayne Parkway and Edison Road.

As VP Edison 15 LLC, Vintage Partners is developing the property. The plan calls for 130,000 square feet of retail space.

City planner Rudy Lopez said there would be one access off John Wayne Parkway, possibly three access points plus the delivery road off Edison, and entry from the Fry’s lot.

“I believe they captured the spirit of the zoning code we carefully wrote,” Commissioner Bob Marsh said.

Lopez said the city wants to “de-emphasize” parking so there is not the appearance of a sea of cars. An alternative design element includes a raised walkway.

Edison Pointe site location
Edison Point site location

Commissioner Ted Yocum called the plans “very well thought out and designed.”

“This is something that we need for economic development,” Commissioner Michael Sharpe said, adding he felt it was forward thinking to include possible electric car charging stations.

But Sharpe also raised the issue of traffic access by vehicles southbound on John Wayne Parkway. He said he could foresee the same issues the city has with Maricopa Station but on a property two or three times larger.

He asked Lopez whether a U-turn would be created.

Lee and Barbara Murray, who live in The Villages at Rancho El Dorado, also told the commission they were concerned about the traffic. Lee Murray said the traffic on Edison already backs up.

Commissioner Jim Irving, also a Villages resident, said the idea of a U-turn at the intersection “really scares me” because he frequently cycles on Edison and his wife walks. He wanted to emphasize traffic review as the plans move forward.

Edison Pointe site plan
Edison Pointe site plan

“How in the world are people going to get in and out of this place?” he asked.

Lopez said traffic review is built into the conditions of the property development. He also said any traffic configurations affecting John Wayne Parkway, a state highway, must be reviewed by the Arizona Department of Transportation.

VP must present the plans to ADOT for review. Maricopa City Council must also review and approve plans.