PEORIA, Ariz. (Nov.
2, 2009) – Peoria is celebrating the emergence of new tenants for not one,
but two, vacant “big-box” locations.
Hobby Lobby will be
taking over the former Circuit City on the south side of Bell Road between 75th
and 77th avenues, while M.D. Pruitt’s will be moving into the former Walmart
location on Peoria Avenue near 83rd and Grand avenues.
“When you are able to
fill an empty big-box store you are able to re-energize a power center. It’s
like getting a breath of air,” says Scott Cooper of Peoria’s Economic
Development Services Department. “It brings people back to an area that was left
behind – and draws new people as well.”
The two stores also
will bring new jobs to the city, and the sales taxes they generate will help pay
for city services.
“To be able to fill two
big boxes at once in this economy is a real coup,” says Susan J. Daluddung,
Peoria’s deputy city manager for Development and Community Services. “It’s vote
of confidence in the city’s ability to emerge from this downturn stronger than
supplier M.D. Pruitt’s has been operating in Phoenix since the early 1950s. It
has leased 117,000 square feet in Peoria Town Center, a location that housed
Walmart until the latter moved a few blocks down Peoria Avenue to a new
Supercenter. The store is expected to employ 10-to-12 people and open this
Councilmember Vicki Hunt says the arrival of M.D. Pruitt’s is a big deal for
area she represents.
“I’m thrilled that
Pruitt’s has committed to joining our downtown economy,” Hunt says. “I know they
will bring an outstanding effort and influence in revitalizing our downtown.”
Hobby Lobby is an
Oklahoma City-based retailer of materials for crafts, picture framing, jewelry
making, fashion fabrics, floral arts, cards, parties, baskets, wearable art,
home accents and holiday supplies. It operates more than 400 stores in 35
According to Vincent Parker, its director of training and customer service,
“Current market conditions have made our growth in the Valley more attainable,
and we have been able to expand in order to meet our growing customer base.”
Hobby Lobby will take
over a 50,000-square-foot former Circuit City location that has been vacant
since the end of 2008. The store is expected to employ 30 to 50 people and open
in the late spring or early summer. Willow District Councilmember Joan Evans
calls it “a welcome addition to the Sports Complex area.”