White Mountain Village Shopping Center (copy)

White Mountain Village Shopping Center was purchased by The Pederson Group of Phoenix last year and they plan to remodel the structure.

PINETOP-LAKESIDE — The new owners of the White Mountain Village Shopping Center took a key step in their effort to revitalize the property by convincing Navajo County to abandon a road easement along which the shopping center hopes to expand.

Presidio Ventures LLC bought the struggling shopping center last September, which includes a Safeway grocery store.

“We’re working to bring new life to this center,” said Bryan Cook, senior engineering project manager. “It has a very high vacancy, so we want to expand center the center to the north.”

However, the unbuilt-on road easement would cut four parcels in half. “We’re really looking to see if we can help with the expansion of the Safeway. They have not committed to that — but we are working and trying to get them to entertain an expansion. It’s already one of the best-performing Safeways. But to do that we have to acquire the additional land and this is just a step in that direction.”

The supervisors unanimously approved the request after the public works department said the easement’s weren’t necessary to assure access to the shopping center or any of the neighboring parcels. A utility easement would remain in place. The county notified all property owners within 300 feet of the abandonment, but no one attended the public hearing.

Peter Aleshire covers county government and other topics for the Independent. He is the former editor of the Payson Roundup. Reach him at paleshire@payson.com

Peter Aleshire covers county government and other topics for the Independent. He is the former editor of the Payson Roundup. Reach him at paleshire@payson.com

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