Chandler officials are in talks with a New York-based developer to build a mixed commercial/residential project several stories tall on a high-profile corner viewed as a future northern "gateway" into downtown.
The land - about four acres on the east side of Arizona Avenue between Chandler Boulevard and Buffalo Street - previously had been slated to house future phases of the eye-catching mustard and crimson 123 Washington Street condominium project, completed in 2007, said Teri Killgore, Chandler's downtown redevelopment manager.
However, developers Benton-Robb in 2008 sold its property on the southeast corner of Chandler Boulevard and Arizona Avenue, as well as development rights to an L-shaped city-owned parcel south of Guedo's Taco Shop and an existing Jack-in-the-Box restaurant, to COR Arizona Land Company, based in Fayetteville, N.Y., she said.
The land is considered part of Chandler's downtown historic square, Killgore said.
"Anytime you have an entryway (into downtown), it's an important corner," she said.
It's unclear if future development on the site will emulate the colorful 123 Washington Street project, but COR has indicated it plans to build a multi-story complex with residential-over-commercial uses, she said. The developer could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but Killgore said any future project likely will fall under the South Arizona Avenue Design Guidelines, adopted in January.
"They've shown us a couple of concepts," she said. "It will bring some extra vitality to the eastern side of the square."
The guidelines are aimed at creating an urban, pedestrian-friendly city center with tall buildings on each side of Arizona Avenue transitioning downward to blend into adjacent residential neighborhoods. The area targeted for redevelopment in the coming decades is bounded by Chandler Boulevard, Pecos Road, South Palm Lane and South Delaware Street.
Construction probably won't happen for at least a couple of years, while the developers analyze and clean up some soil contamination on the site related to an abandoned underground gasoline tank used by a service station that previously inhabited the site, Killgore said. Several groundwater monitoring wells have been installed on the site, she said.