The Sundome is gone, but it will not be forgotten at the Fry’s food store in Sun City West.
Todd Kjar, principal with the real estate development company Brown Group, Inc., and Fry’s director of real estate Dennis Barr, addressed the governing board Monday during the Recreation Centers of Sun City West general manager operations meeting.
Barr said in recognizing what the Sundome meant to the community, there will be a dual-sided fireplace, seating and tables with “great views of the golf course” on the south side of the Fry’s building.
Barr added that the Sundome had some interesting features that “we just didn’t want to lose,” including some that will be incorporated into the building, such as iron gates that will be part of the arch design on the storefront, four light sconces from the courtyard, the fountain and the circular logo.
The fountain will have its place on the front south corner of the building. “We’re trying to bring back those items.
“We were trying to pay homage.”
In addition, the developer wanted to take advantage of the Hillcrest Golf Course scenery east of the store.
The building was tilted back to “accentuate the views,” Barr said. “We felt that it was that important,” pointing out there will be no delivery truck access to spoil the view customers will have.
With four entrances into the Fry’s development, delivery trucks will come in on the north side through the main entry, to the back of the store and circle back out the same way so they won’t be interfering with pedestrian or vehicle traffic, Barr said. The goal is “to keep our own internal operation as least intrusive as we can.”
He said there will also be a large indoor seating area, creating “a sense of place. It will be a great area for gathering.”
The 94,000-square-foot store will have drive-thru pharmacy and some upscale features that are part of Fry’s Signature stores. The opening date was not announced, but the Fry’s fuel center is set to open July 30. Hiring for the store will start July 5 and 175 to 200 people are expected to be employed.
Other businesses going in the development will be a Dunkin Donuts, Subway, Great Clips, Nationwide Insurance, a day spa, dentist, plus there are also plans for a 20,000-square-foot clothing retailer.
As far as a restaurant, while discussions have taken place, none has signed on. “One of the challenges that we’ve had is there is a large number of restaurants already along Grand Avenue,” Kjar said.
Barr said speed bumps will not be installed in the parking lot, which will have 450 spaces, plus others for tenants of the center.
“Speed bumps are kind of a good news, bad news. They’re great for controlling that traffic that’s coming through there, but they also create trip hazards for the pedestrian. I think at the beginning we will not have them and see how it goes, see if we really have an issue.”
Kjar also spoke of how the builder used recycled materials. “We took and ground up the parking lot and used the vast majority as a sub-base.” He added that the steel, concrete and wood from the Sundome was also recycled. “It’s not like it was in the old days. Even the chairs were recycled.”