Downtown projects recognized by Arizona Forward Association

Oct. 8, 2018
commonwealth canal photo

The City of Chandler was honored Saturday, Oct.6, with an Award of Distinction in one of Arizona’s oldest and most prestigious competitions, Arizona Forward’s Environmental Excellence Awards.

Arizona Forward was founded as Valley Forward in 1969 and brings business leaders and policymakers together to leverage their collective power to grow Arizona communities, stimulate the economy and enhance the environment.

Chandler earned the award in the Sustainable Communities category for a Downtown Chandler project that extended Dakota Street, rebuilt Commonwealth Avenue and rehabilitated a historic Salt River Project (SRP) canal. The top award in this category, the Crescordia, went to an urban farming project developed in south Phoenix.

The Chandler projects are key revitalization components of the City’s core. The extension of Dakota Street between Commonwealth Avenue and Buffalo Street added another north-south arterial through the Downtown, improving traffic circulation and adding connectivity for the various multifamily projects, including the recently opened Alta San Marcos and future DC Heights apartment project.

Improvements to Commonwealth Avenue and adjacent SRP canal have brought more walkability to Downtown while introducing a historical look at Chandler’s canal system and its importance to the community’s early development.

The canal was placed back in a concrete channel and striking blue panels replaced overgrown oleander bushes bordering the canal along the south side of the Crowne Plaza San Marcos Resort. Interpretive signage and wall panels provide historical information and images from Chandler’s past. A new sidewalk alongside the canal stretches from San Marcos Place to Dakota Street, with an image of Dr. A.J. Chandler made from inlaid tiles prominently featured at the sidewalk’s terminus at Dakota Street.

To accomplish the project, the City worked closely with the Bureau of Reclamation, State Historic Preservation Office, SRP, San Marcos Golf Resort and numerous downtown businesses and residents. The project was designed by J2 Engineering & Environmental Design, LLC, and was constructed by  Achen-Gardner Construction LLC.