CHANDLER, AZ-Denro, a Phoenix-based retail developer, will break ground this month on a neighborhood grocery store project in Chandler that already is about half leased.

Denro, an entity of residential developer Communities Southwest, spent about $1 million for seven acres at the northwest corner of McClintock Drive and Ray Road in Chandler. The site is destined for 35,000 sf of shop space in three buildings and a 5,000-sf restaurant pad. Based on industry averages, Denro’s investment in the project will be more than $4 million for the land and buildings.

The project is going up adjacent to a 58,000-sf Albertsons, which will own its building. Denro and Albertsons will kick off construction simultaneously, eyeing a spring 2002 delivery, Charlie Hickcox, a Denro executive vice president, Denro, tells Denro liked the area because of the draw of the Albertsons store and that it is on the going-home side of the street. The prevailing traffic during the evening commute will be headed south on McClintock Drive.

“The surrounding area is very mature and has very high demographics,” Hickcox says. “Hopefully, they will want to come to our place and park right in front and get their services.”

The project is within a mile of the Chandler Fashion Square, which is under construction at the southwest corner of the Price Freeway and Chandler Boulevard. The two million-sf mall opens in the fall.

Denro has signed a number of tenants to shop space, including Supercuts, Smoothie King, Post Net, LA Nails and Magic Touch Cleaners. The tenants have reserved about 12,000 sf. Hickcox says Denro is talking with some regional retailers that want to open shops in the area because of the proximity to Chandler Fashion Square Mall. Denro also is looking for a restaurant operator for the pad site. Denro purchased seven acres in April from Albertsons.

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