As the Del Webb Development Company expanded Sun City during the 1960s and ‘70s, everything seemed to get larger. Homes became more spacious and every new recreation facility tended to be larger and more luxurious than the previous one.
The same could be said for the community’s shopping centers.
In 1970, the community crossed over Grand Avenue and headed north. Boswell Memorial Hospital officially opened in 1970 and Thunderbird Shopping Center, located at 99 th Avenue and Thunderbird Road, became the first shopping center built north of Grand Avenue.
Greenway Shopping Center would open a few years later at 99 th Avenue and Greenway Road, a mere one mile north of Thunderbird Shopping Center.
Major tenants initially included a Walgreen’s Drug Store and a Lucky’s Supermarket. Walgreen’s remains in the center, however the grocery store space today is occupied by Dollar Tree. The overall appearance of the shopping center has changed little over the years.
The massive flagpole towering over the shopping center was for many years rumored to be the Valley’s tallest flagpole west of the I-17. Claims were never substantiated, but the flagpole remains an impressive community landmark.
Greenway Shopping Center with Dollar Tree as a major tenant.
Archive photos courtesy of the Sun Cities Area Historical Society. Current photo by Bret McKeand/Independent Newsmedia Inc. USA
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