PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Some west Phoenix residents are disappointed with plans to turn the remains of a burned-down Safeway store into a gym.

The Safeway near 35th Avenue and Northern caught fire July 11, 2018, when monsoon rain damaged an electrical system in the building.

[WATCH: People are not happy about Phoenix Safeway being replaced by gym]

“Now we have to go either all the way to 43rd for Fry’s or down to Glendale for Food City,” says Debra Edwards who lives near the Safeway.

[RELATED: Gym to replace west Phoenix Safeway that was destroyed in 2018 fire]

Traveling an extra mile to get groceries might not sound like a big deal to some, but for Edwards and other individuals who do not have reliable transportation, it’s a major challenge.

Residents also say the loss of the Safeway created a barrier between low-income residents and access to healthy and affordable food.

“We got a certain income,” says Perry McCantz who uses a power chair to get around because he is unable to walk long distances.


Yesterday a developer announced plans to build a gym where the Safeway once stood. It’s part of an $18 million investment to revitalize the mostly-vacant plaza and attract more stores and services.

[SLIDESHOW: Massive fire erupts at a Safeway in west Phoenix]

The City of Phoenix says a developer can open any type of business at the site as long as it meets zoning requirements.

Edwards says a gym will not solve any problems.

“It doesn’t matter what it is, just like, not a gym,” says Edwards. “We need some food source going on around here.”


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.



Recommended for you