Thu, Sept. 19

New tenants heading to busy intersection

The intersection of Arizona 89A and Arizona 260 will look different in the fall. Local landowners have decided on development plans, and the Chamber of Commerce building may get a new look.

Landowner Rod Sheehan has proposed a new development project. He plans to lease out restaurant, retail, fast food and other business space off 89A in the area between Kentucky Fried Chicken and 260.

Sheehan said the "ultimate goal" is to construct two buildings with a total of roughly 9,000 square feet of lease pace.

The buildings are proposed to include a retail center, a Mexican cuisine restaurant with drive through and "several" other restaurants. Sheehan said a tropical smoothie café and a company called America Cash Advance would also be future tenants.

"It's going to be a nice place," Sheehan said.

Sheehan said there are two more spaces to lease -- one of them could have a drive through.

Sheehan has been in the real estate business since he relocated to the Verde Valley 11 years ago. He and his father have worked on multiple projects such as New Frontiers and Old Marketplace in Sedona, as well as the new Chevron and retail in the Village of Oak Creek. This will be their first Cottonwood project.

Another project currently in the works involves the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce building. For the last few months Chamber President Margie Beach and others have been asking opinions and drawing up options as to what to do with the existing building, which many believe is no longer large enough to accommodate the rising population and growing number of businesses.

According to a February President's Message by Beach, "The Chamber of Commerce had been in litigation over the real estate boundaries with an adjacent landowner for about 14 years. Now that court case is finally settled, thanks largely to the diligent efforts of long-time Board Member Paul Haywood and Attorney Rick Mabery, the Chamber has clear title to just under one acre of land on the busiest intersection in Cottonwood."

Community Development Director George Gehlert said one option that is still "on the drawing board" would result in the development of a two-story structure with a new chamber office along with additional retail and fast food.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Pete Sesow said this is only one option. The only thing that has been firmly decided on, he said, is that the existing chamber building will stay in the same location.

"The two projects would create a series of new driveways on the private cut-through drive behind the Chamber," Gehlert said. "We're still trying to come up with the best possible situation to accommodate them, but the resulting traffic situation is going to be interesting."

The Sheehan project is expected to go to the development review board later this month. Options are still being examined in regards to the chamber building.

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