A new Circle K is “coming soon” to Green Valley along I-19 and Continental Road, according to the company’s website.
The roughly six-acre parcel across from the Green Valley post office was sold to Circle K Stores Inc. in May, according to Pima County records. The lot is already zoned for local business (CB-1), meaning indoor retail and residential uses have the green light.
The new location will be the company’s third convenience store in the area, both in Sahuarita – one on La Canada Drive south of Duval Mine Road and another on Nogales Highway near Walmart.
Though it’s unclear if the new location along Continental Road will operate as both a Circle K convenience store and a gas station – the company did not respond to a request for comment – some residents in nearby neighborhoods are raising concerns about how the new business could affect the area. Robert L. Baker, manager of Continental Road LLC, which made the sale, also did not return a call for comment.
David Palmer, president of Desert Meadows Townhouses I HOA – the neighborhood that borders the new store location – said several neighbors he’s spoken to are simply “not in favor” of the plans.
Palmer raised questions about increased traffic congestion, bicycle and pedestrian safety along Continental Road, excessive noise and light pollution from the store’s potential 24/7 operation, and that developers will have to contend with an arroyo on the property.
“I think it’s a safety issue as much as anything,” he said.
Jim Shaw, who also sits on the board of Desert Meadows I HOA, shared similar concerns, adding his dismay that more nearby homeowners were not directly notified of the property’s sale or the development plans earlier in the process.
“I think everyone wants to be the last one in here and sort of close the door behind them, so to speak. But I think as residents we have to be aware of things happening around us, like these new developments, what they could mean for our resources here…and where we still could have an impact on the outcome,” Shaw said.
Palmer and Shaw said they are working to get more information about the potential new convenience store out to neighbors and the broader community.
A new Circle K store would be one of the first business developments that Continental Road has seen east of I-19 in a while, but it likely won’t be the last.
In 2014, the Pima County Board of Supervisors approved a request from Farmers Investment Co. (FICO) to rezone nearly 1,100 acres for residential and commercial use as part of their Continental Farms Specific Plan.
The Continental Farms property extends from the northern edge of Canoa Ranch north, straddling both sides of Continental Road. It's bounded on the east by the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and on the west by the Santa Cruz River. The Circle K property near I-19 is not part of the specific plan.
The plan represents a long-term vision for FICO's land holdings, which would phase out the pecan orchards over the next several decades and create space for light business development, assisted living communities, about 1,500 home sites, a small-scale resort and recreational space.
Most of the businesses would be along Continental Road, and about two-thirds of the area would be preserved as open space, part of a 12-mile design for a Santa Cruz River corridor from Continental north through Sahuarita.
While big plans are in the works, a representative for FICO said Friday that there is “nothing imminent” regarding development in the Continental Farms area right now.
Mary Glen is a North Carolina native who's excited to explore the Tucson area through her reporting with Green Valley News. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill's Hussman School of Journalism and Media in 2019.
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