Strip mall demolition
Crews remove the remnants of an old strip mall that was demolished to make way for a new Walgreens on Elliot Road east of 48th Street Tuesday morning. Ari Cohn/AFN

Two of Ahwatukee Foothills' oldest commercial buildings faced the wrecking ball this week to make way for a new Walgreens.

Construction crews demolished an old strip mall, situated on Elliot Road east of 48th Street, which for decades housed The Original Burrito & Co. before the restaurant moved into a stand-alone building next door. An adjacent convenience store also was torn down.

Clay Schad, founder of the Ahwatukee Foothills News and a longtime resident, said the convenience store location once housed the area's first Circle K market.

"Back in the old days it was the only place you could buy a can of pop or anything," Schad said. "It was a popular stop for some of us old-timers."

Robert Elfinger, a Walgreens spokesman, said an existing Walgreens location about a block to the west in a strip mall anchored by a Safeway grocery store will be moving into a new, nearly 14,500-square-foot building. The company is transitioning to stand-alone stores with drive-through service, he said. The new location is expected to open next summer.

One of the strip mall's former tenants, Express Shoe Repair owners Flora and Mario Velastegui, said they had difficulty in finding a new location in Ahwatukee small enough for their family business after having been there for 22 years. The couple spent several thousand dollars on the move, and on advertising its new location at the southwest corner of Warner/Elliot Loop and Equestrian Trail.

"We only hope that people get our new address," Flora said.

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(1) comment


Does anyone know what's going on with the old Walgreens' building? I don't necessarily mind them building the new one although I don't like the mom and pop places being torn down. I don't like the idea of another empty storefront in the Safeway shopping center.

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