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1:55 PM Tue, Sept. 25th

New shopping center's plans for a grocery store fires up Trader Joe's rumor mill

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier<br>
The Shops At Prescott Gateway shopping center, to be located at the base of the Gateway Mall near the intersection of Lee Boulevard and Highway 69, will likely be anchored by a grocery store, fueling speculation that a Trader Joe’s is coming to town.

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier<br> The Shops At Prescott Gateway shopping center, to be located at the base of the Gateway Mall near the intersection of Lee Boulevard and Highway 69, will likely be anchored by a grocery store, fueling speculation that a Trader Joe’s is coming to town.

Are Prescott's specialty food store prayers finally being answered?

The City of Prescott is poised to land a yet-to-be-announced grocer at the intersection of Lee Boulevard and Highway 69, according to Brett Heron, managing partner with Red Development, who spoke at a neighborhood meeting in council chambers Monday night.

Heron led the discussion on plans for The Shops At Prescott Gateway shopping center that is slated to go in below the Prescott Gateway Mall.

The developer is working on an application for a site plan for six buildings. Four of the pads range from 4,000 to 6,500 square feet. Another larger pad comes in at 8,000 square feet. The main pad, which is drawing the most speculation, is a 12,000-square-foot space.

That's the space where Heron said he's working on bringing a "grocer" to the community, and some people at the meeting were openly speculating that it was Trader Joe's.

The plan is to develop the center in phases, according to Heron.

A Trader Joe's chain spokesperson said via

e-mail Monday after-

noon that she didn't have anything to confirm at this time.

Acting City Manager Laurie Hadley said the city doesn't have any agreement or contract with the chain, but that doesn't mean the developer doesn't.

"We have been trying to work them for five or six years," she said.

Heron said he wasn't able to make any tenant announcements at the meeting, but he said some type of grocer was earmarked for the largest pad and an announcement could come in the next week or two.

The development plan would go to the council next month, construction would begin in the second quarter and the grocer would open its doors in October or November, according to Heron.

On his last day on the job, former City Manager Steve Norwood said there is some movement on bringing Trader Joe's here.

"Are the 'i's' dotted and the ink dried? No, but there's definitely some progress.