Four neighborhood associations and Ward 5 Councilmember Richard Fimbres were honored for their work on the Tucson Marketplace at the Bridges.
Eric Davis of Retail West presented Councilmember Fimbres, as well as Charlotte Cruz of Las Vistas, Cindy Ayala of Pueblo Gardens, Willie Blake of Western Hills and Maggie Gerring of South Park, with Certificates of Appreciation for their work.
This presentation was made during the opening of the new Wal-Mart Supercenter at the Bridges, Friday, October 26.
“Your leadership and unselfish contribution of time to help bring about positive change in your community has brought about new development that is truly transformational in the City of Tucson and Southern Arizona,” Davis wrote on the certificate for Councilmember Fimbres.
The certificate goes on to state, “Without your support and guidance through what were at times seemingly insurmountable odds, we would not have started our project … You believed that commitment to doing the right thing would lead to a bright future that included well planned development of a previously blighted area, job creation for local residents and a convenient source of goods…”
Councilmember Fimbres appreciated the Certificate, but added, “Thanks to Maggie Gerring of South Park, Cindy Ayala of Pueblo Gardens, Willie Blake of Western Hills and Charlotte Cruz of Las Vistas, the Bridges Project would have still been a dream, but thanks to their efforts, as well as the efforts of my office, this dream has become a reality.”
The opening of the new Wal-Mart created 300 new jobs for Ward 5 and Tucson. In the past month, this store and Curacao, located at 36th Street in the Southgate Shopping Center opened, created 540 more jobs and opportunities for residents of Ward 5 and for Tucson.
“The opening of the Wal-Mart is another step in the Renaissance of Ward 5, providing many opportunities for residents of Ward 5, and as well as for the City of Tucson,” Councilmember Fimbres said.
Councilmember Fimbres went on to say, “I want to thank Rick Velasco, Wal-Mart’s Marketing Manager and Brian Schield, the new manager of the Wal-Mart at the Bridges, for going the extra mile to meeting with and working with the four surrounding neighborhoods. This resulted in many of the neighbors from Las Vistas, Western Hills, Pueblo Gardens and South Park working at the Wal-Mart.”
“More than two years ago, around the conference room table at the Ward 5 Office, two of the local developers, Eric Davis of Retail West and Jim Portner, were sitting with the neighborhoods and city staff discussing how the Bridges project could be resurrected and thanks to those conversations and actions, the Bridges project is a reality, the Costco is the highest grossing store of that chain, creating a new market for business,” said Councilmember Fimbres.
After the ribbon was cut, an announcement was made about the future of the Bridges Project.
“Even after today, the work will continue with the construction of three new retail buildings totaling 23,000 square feet in late February early March of 2013. Two of these will be in the area of the Wal-Mart and one by the Costco. Soon, a McDonald's will also be breaking ground as well here at the Bridges Project,” said Councilmember Fimbres.
The Wal-Mart Super Center at the Bridges opened their doors Friday, October 26. Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild was present as well Kal Patel and Scott Doepke from Wal-Mart Corporate Offices. Fifteen community organizations received checks from Wal-Mart as part of their effort to give back to their local community. In 2011, the Wal-Mart Foundation also donated $342 million to groups and programs dealing in many areas, including: job training and education for military veterans and to help women around the world learn job and entrepreneurial skills.