Neighbors upset over Circle K expansion plans

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- A new Circle K is getting some flack in Phoenix's Garfield Neighborhood.

Residents met with Circle K representatives Tuesday night for a meeting of the minds. "The last thing we want is for a bad neighbor to expand any more," said 30-year Garfield resident Dana Johnson.

Just five blocks from the neighborhood's charming homes and bungalows is Circle K's two-pump gas station and convenience store at 7th Street and Roosevelt.

Circle K wants to expand, and is applying for a liquor license across Roosevelt on the south side of the street for a bigger six-pump gas station.

"It's going to be a headache," said Kim Moody. He says it's already difficult to get in and out of that gas station where it is, and thinks a bigger store will bring bigger problems.

"It's not the right thing for that location," said Thomas Topero.  He says that corner is a gateway to the Garfield neighborhood and should better reflect those neighbors.

Circle K sent us this response to the opposition: "Our new focus is food service and grocery offering, which requires more square footage than we have in our current facility. Our goal is to provide our customers with healthier choices. Additionally, the new store will provide expanded vehicle parking for the safety and convenience of our customers."

Johnson says Circle Ks have a history of higher crime than other convenience stores. And his statement is backed up by a 2011 ASU study on the subject. He says "hang-arounds" that the stores attract do not benefit his neighborhood.

The new Circle K's liquor license is on the Phoenix City Council agenda for Thursday, October 31.