By Roland Murphy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange
The old cliché is that a rising tide lifts all boats.
Since the regional and national economies ran aground nearly a decade ago, that tide has been slower coming back in than anyone would have liked, but in the past few years the Valley as a whole has finally rebounded nicely, with some areas in particular riding major waves of recovery.
Two projects currently in development in Chandler by Ryan Companies illustrate just how wide-ranging the city’s rebound has been and serve as a microcosm for the scope of construction activity across the area.
Formerly known as Site 6, Chandler 87 is a city-owned site at the NWC of Arizona Avenue and Chicago Street downtown. The city conglomerated 23 vacant parcels to create the site and designated it for cultural and entertainment use under the South Arizona Avenue Corridor Area Plan, which has been a key component of downtown’s emergence as an up and coming entertainment destination. (See “Chandler, Gilbert Grow Downtowns with Entertainment,” Page XXX)
Three buildings are proposed under the development agreement. Particular plans call for a five-story office building with a potential ground floor retail/restaurant component, a standalone retail/restaurant building and a two-story office building.
The five-story building will be up to 115 feet tall and at least 100KSF, possibly up to 150KSF. Between it and the standalone retail/restaurant space will be an outdoor plaza that could, potentially, be used as another downtown entertainment option for special events.
The third building, along the Chicago Street frontage, will be approximately 45KSF.
There also will eventually be a city parking garage along the west side of Oregon Street, the development’s western boundary.
The entire development is being created with a strong focus on pedestrian friendliness to encourage and promote the downtown experience as a whole, including a strong focus on engaging with Arizona Avenue and, potentially, making enhancements to a Boston Street alley just to the north of the site.
Ryan is serving as the developer and GC. The architecture is by SmithGroupJJR. Under the development agreement, construction cannot begin until 50 percent of the space is leased. According to Downtown Redevelopment Manager Kim Moyers, JLL is managing the site’s marketing, and roughly 10-12KSF remain to be put under lease before construction can commence. The city recently extended the development agreement to allow time for that to happen.
As with all the developments downtown, Moyers is enthusiastic about Chandler 87. In an email to AZBEX about the project she said, “We are seeing tremendous growth in Downtown Chandler with multifamily such as Alta San Marcos and entertainment including Arizona’s first Flix Brewhouse Cinema. Ryan Companies bringing in much-needed office will continue the City Council’s vision of creating a well-balanced downtown.”
Clarendale of Chandler
To trot out another cliché, retail follows rooftops, and Chandler is a hot market for both at the moment. The AZBEX Database shows five retail projects with values greater than $5M in various stages of active planning and development in the city, along with five multifamily projects ranging from $30M-$120M.
Along with all that standard development, however, growth and prosperity also bring both the need for and the ability to create specialty housing and services for distinct population categories, such as seniors.
Ryan is serving as developer, architect and GC for Clarendale of Chandler, one of at least three $10M-plus senior residential developments in the city and at least 29 Valley-wide.
Located on roughly 20 acres at the NWC of Gilbert and Riggs roads, Clarendale of Chandler will feature a 247KSF main building and 14 standalone villas. The main building will be primarily three stories but will feature one- and two-story elements as well. The 200 main building residences are expected to break down as 97 independent dwellings, 83 assisted living units and 40 memory care spaces.
Planned amenities include a pool area and meandering sidewalks. The landscaping along the street frontage will be 100 percent used for retention, as the site lies in a flood zone.
Chandler’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved rezoning for Clarendale last month. According to Tyler Wilson, Ryan’s director of real estate development, construction is expected to begin no later than November of this year.
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