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.
“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.
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.”