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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Longtime supplier to UA departments, local store finds new home still close to campus

Hailey Eisenbach
Hailey Eisenbach/Arizona Summer Wildcat Posner’s Art Store is moving onto University Blvd. in July, 2012. The entire strip that it is currently on is being torn down to make way for a 14-story high rise.

Come July, frequent visitors of Posner’s Art Store may have to walk just a few blocks farther than before, but are optimistic that the store is not closing permanently or moving to a more inaccessible location.

The store, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year, moved to 1025 N. Park Ave., in 1977 when it was purchased by Richard and Emily Brown. Since then, it has been a primary supplier of art materials for many UA students and departments, especially studio art majors, who benefit from its close proximity. Now the Browns will be relocating their store into a new, permanent spot at 944 E. University Blvd., just a few feet west of the Park Avenue intersection.

After hearing about the store’s closing in March to make way for a 14-story student-housing complex being constructed by Chicago-based company Campus Acquisitions, many were doubtful about the stores success in a new location. With a lease signed and moving plans in the works, Emily Brown called the new location “a blessing in disguise.”

“We’re going to have so much more traffic down there,” she said. “Really, here, we don’t get walk-ins. We get all kinds of students who come from the university … but I don’t have anybody who just walks by the store. I think that’ll be really good for us.”

Additionally, Brown said the new store will fit the business better, adding that the current location has always had a “cracker box” feel, situated on a single concrete floor. The new University store is a two-story unit, which will feel more like an art store, Brown said, and the additional space will allow them to stock and sell more products.

Brown added that Campus Acquisitions has been a pleasant partner throughout the moving process.

“They have been very cooperative and concerned about our business,” she said. “Which is nice. We’re real pleased at this point, I think it’s going to end up being a really good move.”

With a rather devout customer base made up largely of students and professors, the Browns aren’t the only ones who have become optimistic about the move to Main Gate.

Alfred Quiroz, a professor in the School of Art, started shopping at the store’s original location in downtown Tucson back in high school. Quiroz still visits the store on a regular basis and recommends it to his students, citing the employees’ knowledge and expertise as a major benefit. He added that he was concerned when he found out that the store might be forced to move out of the campus area.

“The people of Posner’s have always been really, extremely helpful and extremely wonderful to us,” Quiroz said. “Having them in the proximity is very, very important … I was worried that we were going to lose Posner’s store, but then they said they were just going to move up the street. Three blocks away is better than six miles.”

The UA’s School of Architecture, which teaches students to draft by hand early in the program, also relies on the expertise and supplies that Posner’s provides.

“It’s a nice touchstone for the first-year students to have that kind of legacy and resource,” said Michael Kothke, a lecturer within the school. “The history and the proximity and the service that they provide is what keeps people going back.”

Kothke added that he wasn’t surprised to hear Posner’s had found a place to continue serving the university, and said he thinks they will carry on their business successfully.

As for the upcoming move, the new space, which is owned and managed by the Marshall Foundation, is currently being renovated for Posner’s move-in. Brown said they plan to move in July, and said the store will definitely be open in time for back-to-school sales.

“We’re such a student store,” Brown said. “We want to keep it that way, and I think we’ll be able to.”

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