OPINION: Readers suggest what to put in old Fry’s Food & Drug building

When Velocity Retail Group announced that it had sold the vacant Fry’s Food & Drug store at the southwest corner of Apache Trail and Idaho in Apache Junction, Editor Richard H. Dyer posted to Facebook asking for comments from readers on what they thought should fill the space. The 62,602-square-foot vacant big box was purchased by Simon CRE and will be redeveloped for three junior anchor tenants. A Goodwill banner has been observed on the vacant building. Here are the e-mails received:

“Please, please, please no Goodwill. We have one on Signal Butte; good enough.
“We in Apache Junction would absolutely love a Ross or Sprouts or even a Trader Joes.
“So this big building, other then the new Frys, will be one of the establishments people (visitors or people passing through our great little town) coming into town from the east will see. Please don’t let it be a Goodwill.
“Let’s make a good impression for passers-by. A new Sprouts and or Trader Joe’s or Ross would be great.
“Anyway that is my thought. Thanks for reading and I hope to see a Sprouts at least. You know, everyone is trying to get healthy nowadays.
“A resident of AJ and I love it here.”
– Sandra Triplett

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“We could use something that’s going to help AJ be great and help lose some of that stigma of being a poor town, so let’s put something like a Bass Pro Shop with all the lakes around here or how about a movie theater of our own.
“The snowbirds would love it, we would love it. It’s gotta be something to help build up our community and that’s going to last. We have enough thrift stores.”
– Jason Krause

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“Please nothing else that makes AJ look like slumville. Ross, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, just to name a few. AJ has enough Goodwill stores in the area. No more grocery stores either, please. Something affordable and more classy than the Dollar General. Former Apache Junction resident.”
– Deborah Del Llano

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“A Golden Coral would be a great place to put into the old Fry’s location.”
– Kathy Pacheco

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“I have been thinking about what would be nice there since they closed.
“If I had the money I would invest and open a Peter Piper Pizza.
“Apache junction needs a family friendly place. There aren’t very many places to take young kids in AJ besides the parks or library (but at library they have to keep it down/quiet, and 2-5 year olds don’t understand that).
“It gets too hot here in the summers for kids to play on the playgrounds and be outdoors for a long time.
“Peter Pipers would be good to bring in jobs for teens and (hopefully) keep them out of trouble.
“There are quite a few restaurants here in AJ, but none that kids can go in and be their crazy selves without parents getting crazy looks from others.”
– Roxanne Steffen

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“I would love to see a Ross clothing store. There is no decent clothing store until Signal Butte. Everyone is buying either there or Walmart. Everyone needs clothing.”
– Cherie Peck

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“Roller-skating rink.”
– Jim Mooney

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“I would like to see a health-food store, something like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or Sprouts. I hate driving all the way to Mesa just to find the more healthier foods options me and my wife like to get that we cannot find at Walmart or Fry’s.
– Ricky Guzman

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“A main event-type space, a variety of youth-oriented activity spaces.”
– Art Helfgott

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“Watching the post on Facebook about business we would like to see come to our area.
“I would like to suggest a bowling alley. A place for kids, family, seniors to all enjoy. It would be a gold mine as others put it. Especially in the winter months when all our visitors are here.
“But most importantly it would do well with local people in the hot summer months.
“A wonderful indoor place to have fun, meet new people.”
– Linda Place Woods

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