Posted by Robert Homann on Aug 09, 2017
Today's speaker was E'lan Vallender, Senior Economic Development Specialist for the City of Apache Junction.  He was introduced by Bryant Powell, City Manager of Apache Junction.  E'lan has a Bachelor's degree in business from Ottawa University and a Master's degree in Public Administration from ASU.  He has been with the city for four years.
His talk today is to bring us info about recent developments in Apache Junction.  One is the opening of the new city Park on Rte. 88 across from Best Hardware.  Rotary helped with the creation of a splash pad at the park and E'lan says he sees kids using it regularly.  Another big story is the new Fry's Marketplace store being built.  Fry's is expanding from their current 63,000 sq. ft. to 120,000 sq. ft.  There will be an additional 16,000 sq. ft. available for other businesses.  The new store is targeted to open in November, 2017.  There has been some interest expressed by businesses in the old Fry's store.
Two new housing developments are starting up in the city limits. One on Superstition will be multigenerational and one on Tomahawk will be a 55+ community.  They will bring an estimated 100-250 new homes into the city of AJ. 
ADOT is planning the installation of a roundabout at the intersection of Rte 88 and Idaho Rd.  It is an awkward corner for turning and the roundabout will alleviate that problem. The tentative start date for construction is Jan. or Feb., 2018. 
Finally, Pinal County is going to put a 1/2 cent sales tax increase on the ballot.  If approved, the funds will be used to accelerate transportation improvements in Pinal County.  One projected improvement is a north-south connecting highway that will have AJ as its northern terminus.