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Thu, April 25

New shopping center in the works: Lakeview Plaza will bring McDonald's, CVS pharmacy to northeast Prescott

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier<br>The land located at the intersection of Willow Creek and Willow Lake roads will be the site of a new shopping center named Lakeview Plaza. The plaza’s first tenants will be McDonald’s and a CVS pharmacy. Work is expected to begin on the site in the next 60 days.

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier<br>The land located at the intersection of Willow Creek and Willow Lake roads will be the site of a new shopping center named Lakeview Plaza. The plaza’s first tenants will be McDonald’s and a CVS pharmacy. Work is expected to begin on the site in the next 60 days.

PRESCOTT - A shopping center that got its plat approval in the midst of Prescott's growth spurt about seven years ago is now nearing the construction phase.

Todd Sergi of Capital Development Partners of Scottsdale said Thursday that dirt-moving work is scheduled to begin soon to make way for a 13-pad shopping center. The Lakeview Plaza will be located on a 14.2-acre parcel at the southwest corner of the Willow Creek Road/Willow Lake Road intersection.

"We anticipate the start date in this quarter," Sergi said. "Within the next 60 days, we should be moving dirt."

Anchoring the shopping center will be a new McDonald's restaurant and a CVS Pharmacy.

At its Thursday meeting, the Prescott Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the signs that are being proposed for the two anchor businesses. The recommendation now will go to the Prescott City Council for a final decision - possibly by Feb. 4 and 11.

City Planning Manager George Worley noted after the meeting that construction work on the new shopping center could begin independently of the sign approval, because the project already has its plat approval from the city.

That approval oc-curred in 2007, according city officials, who say

plat approvals have no expiration timeframe. Despite the delay in building, the project still maintains its earlier plat.

Worley said the Lakeview Plaza also was not subject to site plan review by the Planning and Zoning Commission. "It doesn't fall under any of the criteria (for site plan review)," he said.

That left the Planning and Zoning Commissioners to discuss only the "comprehensive sign plan" this week.

Sergi, who was at the meeting to represent owner/applicant Ken Mabarak, said afterwards that the preliminary grading and infrastructure work would take about six months to complete.

Preparing the rugged, hilly site for the shopping center will require considerable excavation of dirt, Sergi said.

City Engineer Scott Tkach said later that the project would require about 152,000 cubic yards of cuts and about 85,375 cubic yards of fill - leaving about 66,500 cubic yards of dirt to be exported off the site.

The site will feature a terraced grading plan, Tkach said, adding that the engineering services department is still reviewing the grading plan, and could be ready to release it to the developer sometime today.

"This has been a very challenging site, no doubt about it," Sergi told the commission. "It's been quite an undertaking to get to this point."

The shopping center has existing lease agreements with McDonald's and CVS, and Sergi said other tenants have also expressed interest and could come on board after the start of construction.

"Right now, our main focus is on the site," Sergi said.

The sign proposal includes sizes that exceed what is allowed individually in the city's codes, according to a city memo.

"The Land Development Code allows either monument signage for the Plaza or monument signage for individual businesses, but not both," the memo states. "Therefore a Comprehensive Sign Plan is appropriate."

Planning and Zoning Commissioners were mostly receptive to the sign plan, although Commissioner Don Michelman expressed some concerns about the proposal by McDonald's to substantially exceed the city's size limits.

But Commission Chairman Tom Menser pointed out that the McDonald's total size includes the company's signature golden arches - an inclusion that he questioned.

"I don't see (the arch) as a sign. That really skews the numbers," Menser said. "To me, it looks like an architectural yellow stripe on the building."

The commission voted 5-0 to approval the sign plan, with Commissioners Mabarak (the project's owner/applicant) and Terry Marshall declaring conflicts of interest and not participating in the discussion or vote.

If all goes as planned, Sergi said the anchor businesses should be ready to open in about 10 months.

Follow Cindy Barks on Twitter @Cindy_Barks.

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