Conference center planned for Gilbert - East Valley Tribune: News

Conference center planned for Gilbert

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Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 1:53 pm | Updated: 1:12 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

A developer wants to build Gilbert's first conference center along with a four-story hotel near SanTan Village shopping center.

Planned hotel and conference center in GilbertPlans for the Legado at SanTan Village call for 121 rooms at SanTan Village Parkway and Ray Road, across the street from the mall's planned Macy's department store. To the west and separate from the hotel, would be the 10,000-square-foot SanTan Elegante Conference & Reception Center, according to a project narrative submitted to town officials.

Ben Haught, an investor, said the company is planning a December opening.

"We hope to have permits by May," he said, adding the goal is to break ground around the same time.Drawing from the nearby Mercy Gilbert Medical Center and Gilbert Emergency Hospital, developer Power Hotels LLC chose a Spanish Colonial-themed architectural style for the hotel and conference facilities with stucco exteriors, copper patina, concrete columns, roof tile, gas lanterns, fountains, courtyards and frescos.

Legado will be a limited service hotel with a pool, meeting space, fitness facility and other services. Plans for Elegante call for an interior ballroom capable of seating up to 790 people.

"We're going to try to target your typical daytime uses - you know, your conference meetings and trade shows and things of that nature," Haught said. "In the evening we're also going to try to capture your social gatherings like weddings, receptions and reunions."

Gilbert currently has no convention space.

"We're long overdue," said town manager George Pettit.

That means Gilbert loses everything from high school proms to community meetings to other municipalities.

"Now that we're a community of 215,000 people ... it's something that we've been really looking forward to," he added.

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