The City reaches an agreement for a large multi-use project in the city center

By Ken Sain
Chief Editor

Matt Orlando praises his fellow Chandler City Council members for holding on and finally getting exactly what they wanted in a major downtown development.

“I’m glad we stuck together on this,” Orlando said during the Oct. 24 study session. “We actually said to the developer, ‘Look, you can do this: you can buy this property, but you have to give something back to the residents with a long-term perspective.'”

The development is One Chandler, which will be built around the Jack in the Box at the southeast corner of Arizona Avenue and Chandler Boulevard.

The mixed-use plan includes space for retail and office space, as well as multi-family housing. There would be 290 apartments, 13,000 square feet of offices and 16,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor. The Jack in the Box restaurant in the middle of the currently empty ground would remain.

The developer, Jackson Dearborn Partners, initially wanted to build just 126 multi-family units, with approximately 3,500 square feet for retail on their portion of that lot. The city is selling the other half of the land to the developer for an estimated value of $2.94 million.

This will allow them to build a bigger project. The developer has two years to begin construction. The project is to be completed within 54 months of finalizing the deal, which is expected to take place in February.

The whole project still has to go through the usual procedures, including review by planning staff, public hearings, review by the Planning and Zoning Board before it can get final approval from the Board. Changes to the plan may be made along the way.

The city owns the portion of the lot beginning behind the Jack in the Box south of Buffalo Street. Jackson Dearborn owns the northern half of the lot on Chandler Boulevard.

The city has the right to repurchase the property it sells if Jackson Dearborn Partners is unable to meet the agreement.

“We understand this is a very important downtown intersection,” said John Carter Owens, downtown redevelopment specialist. “Chandler Boulevard is the gateway to our downtown. We are therefore delighted to work with such great partners to deliver a project worthy of this corner.

Owens said the city has been trying for two decades to achieve full block development in this space.

“When we had the opportunity to do so in August … the Board gave us the direction to pursue development agreement negotiation with the Jackson Dearborn partners to make this almost all-black development possible.

Orlando said it took a lot of patience to get there, but in the end the city got what it wanted from the project.

“As you said, we’ve been in business for over 20 years,” Orlando said. “There have been a lot of proposals that have been made… some good, some bad. They never really had the money and the funding. I’m glad the board and staff have come together and ensured that we have a retail element and an office element. »

Adding retail businesses creates more jobs in the city, officials said, and will generate more tax dollars. Orlando said the city could have put apartments on the space years ago, but waited longer.

“What’s in it for the city,” Orlando said. “Apartments are great, multifamily is great. But the key is that we need retail to continue to pay for these police, fire and other services. And the key is that we need places where businesses can grow and expand our community.

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