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June 15, 2017

Vision for downtown bringing new life to city core

By Mayor Jay Tibshraeny

Last month, I delivered my annual State of the Downtown at the annual breakfast of the Downtown Chandler Community Partnership. I think this is one of the most exciting periods of growth for our City core.

What we have always wanted to achieve in downtown is a well-balanced place that embraces many uses. From multi-family, office, entertainment and retail, to arts and culture. We are well on our way to a true urban environment that is energized 24 hours a day, seven days a week

Having grown up in Chandler, I have seen this area undergo many changes. Most have been good -- some not. We’ve overcome many challenges through the years and are now in a period of remarkable rebirth, and it’s very exciting for me to see the transformation.

We are in the midst of a very strong local economy that allows these partnerships to thrive, and we continue to invest as a city. We are in the final design stages for the master plan of Dr. A.J. Park – a wonderful open space that we feel can be better utilized. We are at the 60-percent design phase for Arizona Avenue from Frye Road south to Pecos Road. Just as the first phase of this project in the heart of downtown has fostered development, we know that will continue as we head south – and we hope to begin those enhancements in January 2018.

We continue to perform infrastructure work near the square, and will begin the Dakota Street punch through by the end of the month. We are also making some nice esthetic modifications along the canal south of the San Marcos, adding historical signage and a walking path.

I also highlighted some of the new companies that have located or expanded here in the past year. They include the extension of Sibley’s West, and the addition of La Bocca, Modern Margarita, VB Lounge, the Mission Belle Bed and Breakfast, Blue Planet Outdoors, and Puro Cigar Bar. Future projects include West Alley BBQ, Even Stevens Sandwiches, the Hidden House, Faithlife and Execute To Win. We also look forward to the redevelopment of the old ICAN building with Civic Market and Quarthaus, as well as the old NAPA auto parts store on Frye Road that will soon house an exciting new use.

We continue to see great interest on Site 7 at Arizona Avenue and Chandler Boulevard. There is a mixed-use RFP getting ready to close in mid-July – and I am told we have a lot of strong interest to develop this gateway parcel.

Overstreet Chandler broke ground in March and this project will be a game-changer for our downtown. It will add a new level of energy and additional entertainment options for residents. With 77,000 square feet of new restaurants – and the Flix Brewhouse Cinema –it will surely be one of the hottest destinations in the East Valley, if not the state.

There is a lot going on here, and getting to this point has not been easy. Redeveloping downtowns is tough. It takes time. It takes vision. And in Chandler, It’s working.