Brake Masters gets P&Z approval

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South elevation of proposed Brake Masters.

Brake Masters received approval for a development review permit from Maricopa Planning & Zoning Commission on Monday. The company plans to open a 5,400-square-foot shop west of Culver’s off Edison Road.

The building is planned on the first pad to be developed in the future Sonoran Creek Marketplace anchored by Sprouts. The pad is about 0.68 acres.

East elevation of proposed Brake Masters, which will face Culver’s.

Jim Egan, a representative of Heights Properties, a sister company to Brake Masters, said they held out until they could get the right location in Maricopa.

“Most of our customers are women,” Egan said. “That’s why we’ve waited. We’ve been looking at this property for five years, but when Sprouts announced, we decided we had to be here.”

With the construction of the building comes the closing of the current access from Edison Road frequently used by Culver’s customers. Instead, that north access will move to the west side of Brake Masters. Culver’s customers exiting the restaurant’s drive-thru lane will have to turn left and drive around the automotive repair shop to access Edison.

Rodolfo Lopez, deputy director of the Economic & Community Development Department, said the current alignment at Culver’s was always temporary. The new access to the property will align directly with Ancon Avenue north of Edison in the Acacia Crossings subdivision.

Commissioner Jim Irving expressed bemusement at the location.

“I guess I’m just curious, because that will be five auto repair shops within a quarter of a mile,” Irving said.

Commissioner Michael Sharpe agreed, noting it was a business behavior.

“In my time as a mini developer, you see the same clusters of businesses look at the same demographics, and magically once one jumps in the pool everyone jumps in the pool, so you end up with these clusters in a very small spot,” Sharpe said.

Egan explained the company’s mindset: “The demographics for new store construction is about 100,000 people. So, when you chop it up, we think we’ll get a better share of the customer base. The economics are very strong for Brake Masters. We have a great relationship with Discount Tire, one of the principals going into this project.”

In a September letter to Economic Development Coordinator Adam Shipley, Egan stated the location will employ an average of seven people. Expected hours of operation are 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The current entrance off Edison Road will be moved from behind Culver’s to behind Brake Masters.