News Ticker

Major Chandler Projects Face Hurdles

Rendering credit: Whitneybell Perry Architects

By Chris Coppola for The Arizona Republic

Chandler officials are working to finalize agreements with developers that could jump-start three major projects that will further transform the city’s downtown into a place where jobs, residents and visitors create a vibrant day-and-night scene.

But before the buzz there are the details, which still are being hammered out.

City officials had hoped to break ground on at least one, or possibly all, of the projects in 2015. Now, it looks as though 2016 is a more realistic target.

Among the questions that need to be answered: What types of incentives will the city provide for each project? What guarantees will each developer provide in return for any taxpayer support? And, because two of the sites involve city-owned land, what terms will Chandler allow? A lease? A sale?

The City Council met in an executive session on June 25 to consult with city legal staff on all three agreements.

The Row

Plans unveiled in December called for the project to be anchored by Arizona’s first Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, which is an Austin, Texas-based company that operates about 30 of the combination theater-dining outlets in eight states.

The project also would include about a half-dozen new restaurants.

Initially, the developer, Phoenix-based Vintage Partners, hoped to have the theater open by December, but the opening won’t occur at least until 2016, according to the city.

Site 6

Ryan Cos., a Phoenix commercial real-estate developer, has proposed an office complex that could include two buildings — one of which could be up to five stories — with some retail and restaurants. The parcel, which Chandler calls Site 6, sits on the west side of Arizona Avenue across from City Hall.

Right now, the land is a public parking lot just south of a row of businesses that include Bourbon Jack’s and The Original Chop Shop Co.

The city is hoping the project will draw companies as tenants to bring new jobs.

DC Heights

The proposal from Valley developer Thomas Gardner would bring up to 250 apartments — and potentially a 10-story tower — to the western edge of downtown, on a five-acre site. The complex, which would have mostly five-story buildings, would be built between Commonwealth Avenue and Boston Street on land owned by the developer.

As part of its 2015-16 budget, the city set aside $5M in economic development funds for the two city owned sites. City officials said that money would be used for infrastructure and other improvements at Site 6 and The Row properties.

The improvements could include a new downtown parking garage, which would be available for public use.

Read more at The Arizona Republic

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