A brand-new Circle K gas station and mini mart opened last month at 9418 N. 7th St., on the property where a former Shell gas station and drive-through car wash once stood.
The built-from-the-ground-up store at the northwest corner of 7th Street and Hatcher Road replaces the older, smaller Circle K at the southwest corner of 7th Street and Mountain View Road, less than half a mile to the north. That store had two aging gas pumps—and a wealth of problems, according to nearby neighbors. Drug activity, panhandling, theft, loitering by transients and more issues plagued the small store, spilling over to the public bus stop adjacent to it on 7th Street.
The property at Mountain View, purchased by Circle K in January 1998, has been fenced off, and the company says it will be sold with deed restrictions that prevent another convenience store, liquor store, smoke shop or gas/motor fuel station opening there.
But it was the single-serve liquor sales, residents contend, that kept bringing the transients to the area, with their pockets full of change to buy a single can of beer or 40-ounce bottle.
The new Circle K store is selling single beer/wine, “but we will not sell in containers of 40 ounces or greater,” says Suzy Peel, director of Circle K’s Real Estate Development-Arizona Division.
That’s small comfort to residents who worry the same “bad element” will now travel the short distance down the street to continue to purchase their single beer/wine at the new, larger location, which is open 24/7, 365 days a year.
“Security needs are continually evaluated and we are working with local law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of our employees, customers and the community,” Peel said, adding that the new store has 20 security cameras with 24/7 monitoring from the Circle K Arizona Security Center. Law enforcement has immediate access to video.
In addition, the site is very well lit and the back of the store is fenced “to deter vagrancy and trespassing,” Peel said. An Authority to Arrest is on file with Phoenix Police Departments for any vagrants or trespassers.