City email records show Surprise pitching itself to popular retailers that its residents have requested for some time.

Those residents who asked for a Costco or Hobby Lobby in Surprise’s retail survey could get their wish.

The survey lists the two stores among residents’ “top 10 desired retailers.”

It appears the city’s been listening.

Pitches to Costco to open a store at Prasada and a pitch to Hobby Lobby to consider a store at the former Albertsons location by Bell Road and Loop 303 were discussed in city emails obtained through a public-records request.

The emails between members of the Surprise economic-development team discussed “Priority Economic Development Projects.”  

The two companies were the first and second most-requested stores, respectively, according to the city’s retail survey for 2017.

Prasada has struggled to attract retailers to the 4,200-acre property. Developers and city officials originally envisioned a mega-development with a mall, movie theaters, office space and more. If it is built, Costco would join Fry’s and Walmart to become the third major retailer in the development.

A large auto mall and several small businesses make up the rest of the development.

Follow-up tour with Alamo Drafthouse

Emails from March also indicate city staff are scheduling a follow-up tour with Alamo Drafthouse in or around City Center. The Austin-based dine-in movie-theater chain opened its first location in Chandler in December 2016 and is building a second location in Tempe.

The dine-in movie-theater chain offers entrees along with beer, wine and cocktails delivered by staff before and during the movie. The chain enforces a zero-tolerance “no talking or texting” policy while a movie is playing and isn’t afraid to boot out those who don’t heed the warning.

The AMC Surprise Pointe 14, which likely will serve alcohol at some point, would be the only other competition in the city. 

Surprise Communications Director Diane Arthur would not comment on the projects or their status, explaining the emails in question were confidential and mistakenly included in the records request. Arthur said the city would have more information to offer in the future but didn’t offer a time frame.

Bob Miller, a communications coordinator for Hobby Lobby, said the company had “nothing to report” regarding a location in Surprise.

A Costco representative refused to comment on future locations due to company policy. 

Alamo Drafthouse representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


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