By Brandon Brown – Reporter, Phoenix Business Journal
Apr 10, 2019, 1:32am EDT
Hometown movie chain Harkins Theatres is bringing a new multiplex to west Phoenix with shows likely ready for the screen in 2020.
Company head Dan Harkins — alongside Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and councilmembers Michael Nowakowski and Felicita Mendoza — announced Tuesday at Cesar Chavez High School in south Phoenix the company would open a theater in a forthcoming retail development in Laveen.
The new Harkins will be near 59th Avenue and Baseline Road in southwest Phoenix. “The community is perfect for a Harkins Theatres,” Harkins said. “It is young, vibrant, growing and long overdue for a luxury megaplex theater.”
The new location will feature 12 screens with state-of-the-art projection and audio technology, a large kitchen for more food options and a bar, Harkins said.
Exact dates for the project have not been set, but it is expected to open in 2020.
Harkins said he has looked to open in Laveen for 10 years, but it took time to find the right site and the right developer with which to work. Harkins will move into a development from Phoenix-based Kitchell Corp.
Kitchell is developing 100 acres along 59th and Baseline that will include a 300,000-square-foot mixed-use complex with a shopping center and industrial employment.
With the Loop 202 extension coming soon to the southwest corner of Phoenix, the area is rife with potential retail and residential development. Last week, the Phoenix Business Journal wrote about Sprouts Farmers Market’s plans for a store in the area set to open before the end of 2019. German grocer Aldi also has purchased land in that area.
“This is arguably the last power center that is going to be built in the interior loop for Phoenix,” Gallego said. “It will attract people from multiple different communities and the Gila River Indian Community.”
Gallego and Phoenix Economic Development Director Christine Mackay said there are still a number major of retail and dining tenant announcements to come in the near future.
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“We’ve tried to work as much as we can to make infrastructure improvements and advance things on the city’s side so they can hit the ground running when the freeway opens,” Gallego said.
The 22-mile extension of Loop 202 connects Chandler to west Phoenix. It is scheduled to open in late 2019.
The Laveen area is in the middle of tremendous residential growth. The area’s population has increased more than 430 percent from 2000 and is expected to grow another 9 percent by 2023.