Development on a major Gilbert shopping center often heralded as another Kierland Commons is stalled while its developer sells the land.
Woodbine Southwest Corp.’s decision to sell the property at Loop 202 and Val Vista Drive to an undisclosed buyer comes before the first nail is hammered on the 45-acre upscale development called Main Street Commons.
Woodbine had planned to break ground in the summer of 2005 and open this year. Officials said they were searching for a new partner when the partner decided to buy the property outright.
Company president Buzz Gosnell, who described the decision to sell as “gut wrenching,” said the company has other significant projects that have taken priority.
SanTan Village, another major mixed-use center about two miles away at Loop 202 and Williams Field Road, is nearly filled before its Oct. 26 opening. Like Main Street Commons, it will have upscale retail stores and restaurants as well as office and residential space.
John Corritore, president of the real estate brokerage services firm, The Corritore Co. and former lead broker for Kierland Commons, said Westcor’s SanTan Village offered too many advantages for retailers to resist.
Westcor, a subsidiary of developer Macerich, was able to entice retailers with additional locations at its numerous Valley malls. SanTan Village is further from Chandler Fashion Center and it has big-name department stores and a movie theater, Corritore said.
“It was a situation were Westcor-Macerich won the strategic battle,” Corritore said.
Gosnell said the two projects weren’t in competition. The buyer intends to move forward with a similar plan for the property, he said, adding the area is still ripe for high-end retail development because of proximity to the freeway and there is a major hospital nearby. Gilbert Town Manager George Pettit said officials were told the project will carry on with the new property owner.
Amy Patti, a Hyatt Hotels spokeswoman, said the company’s plans to build a 130-room hotel at Main Street Commons are still in play despite the delay.