GILBERT, AZ-Power Ranch, a sprawling residential community springing up in the desert near Power and Queen Creek roads, will soon be the site of two new power centers that will bring a mix of retail stores to an under-serviced area.

Construction presently is under way on a 92,814-sf retail complex, located on 11 acres at the southwest corner of the intersection. It will be anchored by a 56,930-sf Albertsons grocery store. Across the street on five acres at the northwest corner, a 4,344-sf McDonald’s restaurant is set to open later this month, followed by a 14,490-sf Walgreens, which will open in fall 2003. Safeway, the grocery store chain with a strong presence in the Phoenix market, also is eyeing a third corner for its newest location.

“The residential growth is so strong in this area, that stores are willing to make their presence early and capture the market share as soon as they can,” Curt Smith, executive vice president of Sunbelt Holdings, tells Smith’s company is working in partnership with developer DMB Associates to develop the northwest parcel. The southwest corner of the intersection, which in addition to the Albertsons will offer a mix of retail, restaurant and office space, is owned by the partnership of LDR-Queen Creek and Power LLC.

The area is indeed primed for success. Located adjacent to the 1,414-acre Power Ranch master-planned community, the two power centers will draw from the more than 5,000 homes that are expected to be built in the area over the next few years, Smith said. With 1,000 new residents moving into the town every month, the need for more retail space is certain to grow.

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