After 18 years serving the Ahwatukee Foothills community Seattle Espresso closed its doors this past week.
The owner, Dave Lockhart, said he was told by the property owner that they weren’t going to renew his lease because they were going to go with national or regional tenants in the center.
The Foothills location, located near Target at 48th Street and Ray Road, was one of two Seattle Espresso locations left in the Valley. The other is in Tempe at 1840 E. Warner Road.
Lockhart didn’t say much about the closing, other than that he appreciated all the success they’ve had there over the years.
“It’s amazing just how many customers we’ve had, literally since the day we opened, that are still customers there,” he said. “People we’ve met have gotten married and all the different things in life people go through have occurred there over 18 years. I really just want to say that I appreciate their business. It’s a tough call for everybody involved I guess.”
Vestar, a management company based in Phoenix, owns and manages the center. Rick Hearn, director of leasing for Vestar, said the shopping center has simply evolved over the past 18 years.
“There’s a constant evolutionary change in retail,” Hearn said. “What we’ve learned at this particular shopping center is the consumer that is there, predominantly female, predominantly family oriented, they’re looking for other family oriented-type businesses. The tenant that we’ve got that will replace Seattle Express is Cool Cuts 4 Kids. Within that family dynamic, the mother and female shopping patterns we see with Target and Hobby Lobby and all the new retail coming in, it was a natural fit for the new tenant base we’re working on for the shopping center.
“It’s sad when things like this happen but at the same time this is what the marketplace is telling us... We do respect the mom and pop individual store owner, but in this case it was more about use and not about user.”
Lockhart said he’s unsure if Seattle Espresso will open another location in Ahwatukee Foothills. For now, he plans to focus on the Tempe store.
“Down the line we may look at opening a new place but whether or not it’ll be in Ahwatukee, I’m not sure,” Lockhart said. “It’s a good area.”
For more information on Seattle Espresso, visit seattle-espresso.com.
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