The Fry's Food grocery store at Grant and Alvernon in Central Tucson closed its doors in early February.
Tucson Botanical Gardens, which is just south of that shopping center, hopes that Kroger might consider donating the land and facilities for an expansion of the gardens.
The grocery store, which is 55,000 square feet, is adjacent to the Garden property and sits on the north side. If the Gardens were to acquire the building, the remaining retailers (IORA Primary Care, UPS store, Pawn Shop, a tobacco shop, and a few other stores) would not be impacted.
Originally founded in 1964, the Tucson Botanical Gardens is a historic property with plentiful charm in mid-town Tucson. Enter the iron gates and you’ll find a small oasis of vegetation – including an herb garden, cactus and succulent garden, backyard bird garden, children’s discovery garden, and more. The gardens are also host to a number of culinary, art, and holiday events throughout the year.
Since TBG sits in the middle of town, the garden is currently somewhat "landlocked" and a partnership with Kroger would provide a unique opportunity for the gardens to expand and offer improved parking & new amenities.
The Grant & Alvernon area has historically been riddled by crime and drug use. Thus, an expansion of a serene nature space would inevitably be an asset for the immediate vicinity and the city at-large.
Michelle Conklin, Executive Director of the Tucson Botanical Gardens, had this to say, "This plan represents perhaps the only opportunity for the Gardens to expand, dramatically altering the landscape and greenspace of the surrounding area."
If you would like to see the Tucson Botanical Gardens grow, you can mail or email a letter of support to TBG at 2150 N. Alvernon Way, 85712. You can also show support by liking the Tucson Botanical Gardens on Facebook.