Long-awaited Peoria shopping center a step closer after pushback from residents

Long-awaited Peoria shopping center a step closer after pushback from residents

Article Originally Posted By PhoenixBusinessJournal On April 14, 2022

A long awaited shopping center could finally be developed in Peoria if it receives approval needed from the city, but new plans for the project have already received pushback from residents.

Called The Trailhead, the 40-acre property is located on the northeast corner of 83rd Avenue and Happy Valley Road just south of a master-planned community called Aloravita, which is slated for nearly 2,000 single-family homes.

The Trailhead project was originally proposed as a $40 million, 25-acre upscale neighborhood lifestyle center with a 62,000-square-foot Safeway and several high-end restaurants. It is being developed by Phoenix-based Pederson Group Inc.

It was expected to be developed by 2020, but due to the site being comprised of five different landowners, including the Arizona State Land Department, the city said it has taken time to coordinate with everyone on the project.

Now, Pederson Group is looking to build a similar mixed-use development with a 150,000-square-foot retail center anchored by a grocery store, restaurants, a 15,000-square-foot worship space and a three-story multifamily building with 336 units northeast of the commercial space.

On Tuesday, the city will hold a final vote on a development agreement with Pederson Group, as well as a rezoning and minor change to Peoria's general plan, which guides the city's growth, and a planned community district amendment, which would replace 110 single family homes in the Aloravita plan with the apartments.

The agreement requires Pederson Group to include at least four "quality" restaurants that offer a unique/boutique culinary experience, upscale placemaking amenities and public spaces, trail connectivity to the surrounding community and public improvements.

Through the agreement, the city will reimburse the owner up to $2 million when certain requirements are met. Pederson could receive up to $125,000 for each quality restaurant secured, according to the agreement.

Controversy over project, apartments

The vote comes after the planning commission unanimously approved the requests for The Trailhead on April 7 after multiple residents spoke either in favor of or against the project for various reasons, including the proposed apartments.

Leading up to the planning commission meeting, the city said it had received nearly 100 letters in support of the project and 40 letters against The Trailhead from longtime Peoria residents who live near the property.