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  Fiesta Mercado, Page 31Fiesta Mercado Food City Market & Retail Shops
CDG Architects, Ltd.
345 East Toole Avenue, #202, Tucson, AZ 85701-1823

South Tucson, Arizona
Food City Market At Fiesta Mercado
Total Square Feet: 47,845
Fiesta Mercado Retail Shops
Total Square Feet: 27,190
Construction Period: Apr 2000 to Jan 2001

Construction Team
General Contractor: BFL Construction Company, Inc. - 140 S. Euclid Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719
Structural Engineer: A.V. Schwan & Associates, Inc. - 4700 E. Thomas Road, #100, Phoenix, AZ 85018
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: Tandem Engineering Southwest - 4518 N. 12th Street, #201, Phoenix, AZ 85014
Landscape Architect: The Groundskeeper - 5225 S. Swan Road, Tucson, AZ 85706
Cost Estimator: BFL Construction Company, Inc. - 140 S. Euclid Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719

CDG Architects provided full architectural services for "Fiesta Mercado", a 9-acre retail development in South Tucson, Arizona. The "Mercado" was developed to be an integral part of neighborhood revitalization and occurred during a busy period of investment by the City of South Tucson in its public infrastructure. The challenge for the developer, architect and builder was to create a viable retail center with an open market feel, a vibrant, colorful shopping environment, and a safe place for families to shop together. Fiesta Mercado serves to perpetuate South Tucson's ethnic character, evident in its widely known Mexican restaurants, its architectural style and colorful outdoor art.

Food City by Bashas, a full-service supermarket whose parent company is local to Arizona, is the anchor store for the development. The original Food City store, located in Phoenix, was founded in the 1940's. It became an institution unto itself, with families shopping in the store generation after generation, enjoying its emphasis on Hispanic specialty items in every department. Great care was taken to design this first Tucson area Food City market according to the very successful building program of Bashas and their long-time consultants. CDG contributed exciting design ideas, including an enormous neon Food City sign, (signage as architecture) that can be seen from the adjacent freeway from a mile or more away.

The Bashas organization has had a great deal of success around Arizona finding niche markets, such as Hispanic and Native American communities, and adapting their successful full-service supermarket program to meet specialized cultural needs. For instance, the South Tucson Food City provides a 24-hour tortilleria so that they can sell fresh, homemade tortillas on a continual basis. Bashas has honed a food service design program to accommodate such unique features and continue to utilize local engineering consultants to perpetuate the success of their markets. The South Tucson Food City has become the most successful Bashas market in Southern Arizona in its short life span.

Due to the nature of this developing neighborhood, the safety of shoppers was of prime concern to City officials, the developer and to shop owners. The spacious parking lot was landscaped with individual native trees rather than masses of shrubs so that maximum visibility is provided. Parking lot lighting was carefully designed also to promote nighttime visibility. On a typical day it is a pleasure to watch families arrive to do their daily or weekly shopping, greet their neighbors, and partake of the "Mercado" experience long ago abandoned to the lackluster strip mall of today.

Undertaken as a design-build project with BFL Construction, Co. Inc., Food City and the retail shops of Fiesta Mercado were designed using "typical" building materials "concrete masonry units" that are relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain on an ongoing basis. The masonry facades have been "dressed up" with bright paint color schemes and with details that reflect marketplace functionality and decor " hung metal awnings, colored concrete walkways and fiesta lighting. "Typical" storefront windows and doors are juxtaposed with various decorative metal facade materials to provide interest using textures and the play of light that changes the visual effects of the building continually throughout the day. Varying parapet heights, interesting massing of the individual shop fronts using different geometric shapes, and effective signage design create a sense of "main street" shopping instead of the typical "strip mall" experience.

DIV 07: Membrane: Grace Construction Products; Clay Roof Tiles: Monier Lifetile.
DIV 08: Hollow Metal Door & Frames: Curries; Storefront & Automatic Doors: Horton Automatic Doors; Traffic Doors: Chase; Hardware: Arrow, Pemko, Schlage, Stanley.
DIV 09: Gypsum: United States Gypsum; Acoustical Panels: Armstrong; FRP Panels: Marlite; Resilient Tile Flooring: AZROCK; VCT: Armstrong.

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