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12:30 AM Fri, Nov. 16th

Cordes Junction Family Dollar store aims for July 31 opening

Cheryl Hartz/BBN Photo<br>
MIke Huesman, Hutton Development project manager, right, shares a lighthearted moment with Jerry Schultz, owner of the Cordes Junction Motel & RV Park and the ‘50s Backseat Diner after a brief tour of Cordes Junction’s new Family Dollar store on Thursday.

Cheryl Hartz/BBN Photo<br> MIke Huesman, Hutton Development project manager, right, shares a lighthearted moment with Jerry Schultz, owner of the Cordes Junction Motel & RV Park and the ‘50s Backseat Diner after a brief tour of Cordes Junction’s new Family Dollar store on Thursday.

Cordes Junction's newest business, a Family Dollar store, is shooting for a July 31 opening date.

"We're trying to be ready to open then," project manager Mike Huesman said on Thursday. "We plan to start stocking on July 21. We need a certificate of occupancy from the county."

The company broke ground in February at the I-17 and Highway 69 interchange. The completed big box store, at 8,300 square feet, is "the Cordes Mall," according to Jerry Schultz, owner with his wife, Robbin, of the Cordes Junction Motel & RV Park and the '50s Backseat Diner - and a guy with a well-developed sense of humor as well as business sense.

Still, the latest Family Dollar store in Arizona is only "medium-size," Huesman said, noting the chain authorizes three sizes of buildings.

Huesman, who manages construction projects for Hutton Development out of Chattanooga, Tenn., has overseen the building of several Family Dollar stores.

"They expect the store to do really well, and have high hopes based on the number of people coming by," Huesman said. "They even upped the size of the freezer/refrigerator banks to 56 feet. Those are usually 48 feet long."

Some 20 million people drive past Cordes Junction annually, said Cliff Hersted of the junction's High Desert Heritage Museum, who called it a natural rest stop between Phoenix and Flagstaff. He noted that any time an accident occurs on the interstate that backs up traffic, thousands of people take advantage of the junction's amenities.