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Gilbert’s Agritopia Village has Ideas for Its Own ‘Downtown’

By Parker Leavitt for The Arizona Republic

Gilbert’s unique, village-like Agritopia neighborhood is 10 years old and still evolving, with the new Generations at Agritopia progressive care senior center being built. Photo Credit: Astrid Galvan

Gilbert’s unique, village-like Agritopia neighborhood is 10 years old and still evolving, with the new Generations at Agritopia progressive care senior center being built. Photo Credit: Astrid Galvan

A decade has passed since Gilbert’s village-like Agritopia neighborhood welcomed its first residents, and the popular community continues to evolve with plans for a “downtown” center and buildings up to five stories tall (AZBEX, April 12).

The next phase of development in Agritopia will include a mixed-use “downtown” area called Epicenter, with shops, restaurants and lofts.

The project, more than a decade in the making, will be a capstone for the entire community, Johnston said.

“We’re designing it with sustainability, with really cool architecture,” Johnston said. “I think it kind of completes the village, because right now our village does not have a downtown.”

Last year, the Gilbert Town Council approved the Epicenter zoning case for 32 acres in Agritopia, and conceptual plans depicted a mix of restaurants, shops, offices and lofts on about two dozen lots surrounding a central square.

Maximum height on the land was raised to 55 feet, or about five stories, and the zoning allows for farm stands anywhere on the site, up to 2,400 square feet.

All but one of the subdivision’s 452 residential lots have sprouted homes, and the twig-like saplings that once lined the streets have matured, providing shade for residents as they navigate winding sidewalks toward Joe’s Farm Grill or the Coffee Shop.

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