By Matt Roy, Independent Newsmedia
Residents of Sun City West will soon have another medical office, but at the expense of several long standing small business.
Iora Health will open a primary care doctor’s office in October, filling the space that had once accommodated other longstanding small businesses in Sun City West Plaza, 13940 W. Meeker Blvd.
Among those who left or will soon be leaving the retail strip, located just north of the Basha’s Grocery Store, are Alta Villa Pizza, D’Ambrosio’s nail salon and the RE/MAX real estate office.
Abart Properties, parent company of property manager LineageCRE, received approval from Maricopa County in May to demolish portions of the retail strip’s interior. Silver Creek Construction was listed as the contractor of record for the project, which will transform a cluster of businesses into a single, larger office.
June Hensley, D’Ambrosio’s manager, said the move came as an unpleasant surprise.
“Our lease wasn’t up until September, but they called and said we couldn’t renew and had to be out by the end of May,” said Ms. Hensley. “We couldn’t find another location in Sun City West, so we had to leave. We’ve been here 20 years.”
The salon has already reopened at its new location at Grand Village Center, 14291 W. Grand Ave., Surprise. Though the new salon is only 1.2 miles away, the manager said she worries the move will be bad for business.
“A lot of people don’t want to leave the walls of Sun City West,” Ms. Hensley said. “We have already had people say that. We had no other option and didn’t have a lot of notice to let everybody know.”
She said the owners of Alta Villa Pizza next door had similarly been induced to leave, but unable to find a suitable location have since closed up shop. Because the restaurant is already vacant, Sun City West Independent was not able to reach Alta Villa’s management for comment about the closure. Only three other businesses remain at the plaza, one of which is in the process of moving.
Ken Dawson, RE/MAX managing broker, said their office at Meeker and R.H. Johnson boulevards is moving to Surprise, too.
“We are consolidating and relocating to a larger office in Surprise,” said Mr. Dawson.
He said RE/MAX did not have a choice about moving, either, but declined to comment further on their business interaction with LineageCRE. The newly combined office is located at 15003 W. Bell Road, Ste. 100, Surprise.
Despite numerous requests for comment by phone and email, representatives of LineageCRE and Abart Properties did not respond as of press time.
Medical office opening
When Iora Health opens, it will occupy 6,000 square feet and serve Medicaid eligible adults 65 and older, as well as clients with Humana Medicare Advantage, according to Kelsey Matheson, a public relations associate with the company.
“We take a team-based approach to health care and build the practice up as we grow our patient base,” Ms. Matheson stated by email. “We will open in October with one doctor and a surrounding group of health coaches and nurses. Our doctors serve half the number of patients of a typical primary care doctor to be able to spend more time and deliver truly comprehensive primary care.”
The primary care office will have an on-site lab, as well as coordinated transportation, if needed. The office will take same- or next-day appointments for urgent needs and closely coordinated care with local specialists, she added.
Iora already operates across Arizona, including medical offices in Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale and Tucson. The company looks to continue its expansion, according to Ms. Matheson.
“We would love to serve older adults throughout all of Phoenix and Arizona,” she stated. “We are excited about our new location in Sun City West and as we grow and fill our practices, we will look into adding more locations where there is a need.”