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August 29, 2011

Chandler’s beautified downtown recognized by International Downtown Association

Streetscape improvements to Arizona Avenue through downtown Chandler will be recognized by the International Downtown Association (IDA) at their annual conference to be held next month in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Washington, D.C. based organization will present Chandler with one of six Merit Awards to be bestowed in the Public Space category which recognizes capital improvements that have enhanced the urban design, physical function, or economic viability of a community’s downtown.

The IDA received 63 submissions from communities throughout the world and selected winners in eight categories ranging from downtown leadership and management to business development, planning and marketing. 

Chandler’s $9.3 million roadway, utility and streetscape project competed against 11 entries in the Public Space category, including projects from Vancouver and Winnipeg, Canada, and Bologna, Italy. 

A Merit Award was presented to exemplary projects that met the award criteria. The top award, called the Pinnacle Award, was presented to projects that exceeded the judging criteria.

 “Each year the IDA Awards Jury recognizes organizations that utilize best practices in our industry,” said David Downey, IDA President and CEO. “The South Arizona Avenue Improvements are a shining example of excellent downtown management that delivers real results.”

Stretching between Frye Road and Chandler Boulevard, the South Arizona Avenue improvements provide greater connectivity, narrower traffic lanes, wider sidewalks, new traffic signals, street lights, bike lanes, parking spaces and streetscape and landscape elements. 

The eight-month project was completed last November and is part of a larger vision the City has for redevelopment of the City’s central core and implements the South Arizona Avenue Area Plan and the City Council’s vision for a ‘new front door’ into the downtown.

The South Arizona Avenue Improvement Project was recognized earlier this month by the Arizona Chapter of the American Public Works Association as a “Project of the Year” and is a finalist in the Valley Forward Association’s Environmental Excellence Awards to be held next month in Scottsdale.  Earlier this year, the project received the Build Arizona Award from the Arizona Chapter of the Associated General Contractors for municipal/utilities construction projects costing under $10 million (awarded in February) and the General Design Award from the Arizona Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (awarded in March).