Meeting Wednesday to hear Groseta development plans<br>New Bashas' part of proposal<br>

Want to see some business action on Arizona 89A?

The first phase of a proposed development in northwest Cottonwood includes 54,000-square foot Bashas' grocery store and other retail spaces. But there is more to the Groseta Ranch Master Plan than that. The plan covers more than 144 acres from Verde Heights Drive to just beyond Groseta Ranch Road.

Cottonwood is hosting a neighborhood meeting on the proposal April 18 in the Civic Center in Old Town. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. The consulting firm representing developer W.M. Grace Development will make a presentation and answer questions.

The area is currently zoned residential and commercial. The proposal includes a change to a planned unit development zoning district.

In the master plan, the Bashas' complex is planned for 11 acres at the corner of Verde Heights and 89A.

"We're always excited about what we can bring a community and the way we are able to develop stores," said Mimi Meredith, public relations director for Bashas'. "I know it's frustrating for people who get their hopes up that a new store is coming in and then they find out it's a very long process."

If the proposal comes before the Cottonwood Planning and Zoning Commission at its May meeting, it could be before the city council for a first reading by June 5. In that case, the second reading would be June 19. If accepted, final adoption would be in July, according the Cottonwood Planner Mark Baker.

The P&Z commission's hearing of the issue might be postponed until June, pushing the timeline back a month.

Bashas' is not getting into schedules yet.

"Until we're farther along in the process we don't develop a timeline," Meredith said. Even if zoning is approved, it could be another year and a half before development begins.

A preliminary site plan for the Bashas' store and 44,000 square feet of additional retail space will be displayed at the meeting and is currently available for review at the Cottonwood Planning and Building Department.

The actual design of the building is a long way off, though the grocery chain does have a general philosophy about its services.

"A new store might include a pharmacy, a Cubhouse child care center, a full-service deli," Meredith said. "A broad range of things can be considered in the development of a new store."

She added that Bashas' is considering the move from its present location in midtown to offer customers more services. A new facility offers opportunities for the store that are not available when "working in the constraints of the existing building," she said.

The Groseta Ranch Master Plan includes 53 acres for commercial and retail uses, 35 acres for multi-family residential use, nine acres for a business park and 18 acres of open space.

For more information about the neighborhood meeting, contact the Cottonwood Planning and Building Department at 634-5505.

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