It is unknown whether a supermarket ever will set up shop in downtown Tempe, but a grocer apparently plans to open a mile away.
According to city documents, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is poised to move into a soon-to-be-empty storefront on the southeast corner of Mill Avenue and Broadway Road.
The British grocery chain is applying for a beer and wine store liquor license, and the matter goes before the City Council on Thursday night.
On the application, the grocer's address is listed as 83 E. Broadway Road, which now is occupied by a Walgreens. But spokeswoman Vivika Vergara said the drugstore is relocating Thursday into a newly constructed building on the intersection's southwest corner.
The timeframe is uncertain for Fresh & Easy's opening. The company did not return messages seeking comment.
At that location, Fresh & Easy will be downtown's nearest full-service grocer. Currently, the closest are a Safeway at 926 E. Broadway Road and a Food City at 1338 E. Apache Blvd.
City leaders long have wanted a supermarket to serve the growing residential population of Mill Avenue and along Tempe Town Lake. Not since 2000 has there been a supermarket in downtown, when Arizona State University bought and closed the IGA Stabler at Mill and University Drive.
Until earlier this year, it seemed the void would be filled by upscale supermarket Whole Foods. A developer planned to have the store occupy the bottom two floors of the proposed Mosaic condominium building, at University and Ash Avenue. But the collapse of distressed lender Mortgages Ltd. halted Mosaic before any work could be done.
Fresh & Easy has one other Tempe location, at 425 W. Baseline Road.