For the past 20 years, Lida Stewart said she has been waiting for Lowe’s – or something like it – to come to south Scottsdale. Now she only needs to wait 20 more days.
Lowe’s of south Scottsdale, a home improvement store, is set to open Jan. 20 on the northwest corner of Hayden and McDowell roads, with grand opening festivities planned for Jan. 25.
South Scottsdale residents say they’re ready.
“Everybody that I know in my neighborhood is looking forward to it,” Stewart said. “We’ve been so cut off from any kind of retail for so long we might just go ballistic.”
The store is another piece of a south Scottsdale redevelopment puzzle that includes other projects like the recently-launched SkySong technology center, said Laurel Edgar, city revitalization manager.
“They fit in with our overall revitalization strategy in bringing new retail to the area,” she said.
The feeling is mutual. Lowe’s spokeswoman, Karen Cobb, said south Scottsdale is the sort of community the company looks for when it sets down new roots.
“We believe there is still plenty of growth potential in the south Scottsdale area,” Cobb said.
The hope is Lowe’s will deliver in two key ways. First, by spurring more growth and, second, by offering owners of older homes an opportunity to improve their property.
“There’s just so many people in this general neighborhood of Scottsdale who are looking to upgrade and remodel,” Edgar said.
Darren Childers is one of them.
Childers, who lives a little more than a mile away from the new Lowe’s, stopped his current remodeling work as soon as he heard the store was coming to town.
“This is the perfect time for this to come here,” Childers said.
It also happened to be the perfect time for him to switch jobs. Looking for a change from the grocery industry, Childers submitted an application to Lowe’s when he heard the new store was hiring.
Now, he’s one of an estimated 175 new employees who will staff the south Scottsdale location. Like Childers, a majority of the new employees are expected to come from the surrounding community, store manager Henry Martinez said.
Though he’s not done, Martinez estimates nearly 95 percent of those he’s hired live within five miles of the new location.
Julie Buchkowski is happy to see development come to south Scottsdale — she just wishes it wasn’t in the form of competition.
Buchkowski is vice president of Paul’s Scottsdale Hardware Inc., a chain that started with her grandfather and the original Paul’s Ace Hardware now located at Scottsdale and Thomas roads.
Though Lowe’s is likely to chip away at the family-owned business’s profits, Buchkowski is confident her store offers a few things Lowe’s can’t.
“We’re always that place that people come to find that little thing that nobody else has,” she said. “I think we certainly share customers, but I think different people shop different places.”
And with more revitalization on the horizon, Buchkowski said there’s enough room for businesses big and small.
“I don’t think revitalization means closing the mom-and-pop stores,” she said. “I think the family businesses are definitely for revitalization. We want to see this area grow. We want to be involved in that. We’re definitely proud of where we live.”