The first phase of the recently approved Bigelow Junction project will open sometime in 1996, according to developer Steve Smart.
That includes new offices for Environment West Landscape Services and a wholesale plant nursery. A convenience store, gas station and retail nursery should open there by mid-1997.
A zoning change for the property, located at the southwest corner of Bigelow Gulch and Argonne, was approved two weeks ago by the county hearing examiner committee. Smart, who is also president of Environment West, said workers have already begun clearing the old farmland to make way for the nursery.
The nursery will slowly expand over the next 10 years, eventually taking up 12 acres. Only three acres will be used for the retail nursery, the rest for growing or wholesale operations.
Environment West would run the nursery, while the store and gas station space would be leased out. The firm now has a nursery in Airway Heights. That nursery, as well as Environment West’s current offices at 1618 W. Dean, would close.
“What we’re trying to do is centralize everything,” Smart said.
Smart expects the store and gas station to thrive. Neighbors there are constantly visited by motorists with car problems.
“(They’ve) just been inundated with people breaking down on that corner,” he said. “People are constantly wanting gas or a phone or a jump.”
Smart said his primary interest in the store and gas station, though, is as a means to display Environment West’s landscape work. He wants to prove such a business doesn’t have to look like a neon-lit shoe box.
The architecture will have a country feel to it and will complement the nursery. The grounds will be heavily landscaped with trees and shrubs.
“It’s going to be very aesthetically pleasing,” Smart said. “We want to be able to use that as a showcase.”
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