PHOENIX-The long wait for a major retail complex in South Phoenix is finally over.Legacy Village, the largest shopping center to move into the area in years, will bring 335,000 sf of retail space to the northwestern corner of 24th Street and Baseline Road under a plan approved by Phoenix City Council.

“We’ll be 100% pre-leased before we even break ground,” Shelby Tworek with NAI Horizon’s Phoenix office tells of the $30-million plaza that will bring a Target and Fry’s supermarket as anchors to the area, which has long been without any major retailers.

The Pederson Group, which will develop the project, spent nearly $4 million to buy the 42-acre site, dropping slightly more than $3 million for 22 acres from TPI Land Development of Phoenix and another $1.7 million for a 20-acre parcel owned by Baseline 20 acres LLC of Phoenix. Tworek, along with Chris Gerow, also with NAI Horizon, represented the Pederson Group in both land sales in addition to TPI Land Development. Randy Tiszek of Hogan & Associates represented Baseline 20 acres LLC.

The center, which is set to open in July 2004, will include an Ace Hardware, Applebee’s restaurant, Ross Dress for Less, a sandwich shop, hair salon and bank. It is expected to bring about 1,000 new jobs to the area.

During the past five years, the South Phoenix area has become a focal point of residential developers who have built hundreds of new homes along acres of desert and farmland at the base of South Mountain. It took years to persuade retail developers to enter that submarket because of the area’s reputation as a low income area with a high crime rate. The area’s new demographics, however, changed that perception. Now, along with Legacy Village, a centering featuring a CVS drug store and a Pei Wei Asian restaurant is being planned nearby at the northeast corner of 32nd Street and Baseline Road.

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