The Phoenix suburb of Chandler is growing in leaps and bounds. A vacant lot facing Chandler City Hall will soon house a hotel, a DC Steak House and office buildings, a $58 million development projects that are expected to bring hundreds of jobs and amenities to downtown Chandler.

Like most of the metro Phoenix area, Chandler is in short supply of rental housing to accommodate the arrival of new workers and their families, a conundrum attracting real estate investors to the fast-growing, innovative city with a hometown feel.

Phase one is expected to create more than 300 jobs.

Spike Lawrence Ventures broke ground Oct. 31 on the new project called New Square Chandler, located at the corners of Arizona Avenue and Chicago Street.

New Square Chandler development

New Square Chandler rendering – Image: Spike Lawrence Ventures

Chandler resident and Tempe native Spike Lawrence has developed Downtown Ocotillo, the Falls at Ocotillo and the Ocotillo Holiday Inn in south Chandler.

New Square Chandler is his first downtown venture.

The first phase of New Square Chandler  will include:

  • A 112-room, four-story Hilton Garden Inn.
  • A three-story, 50,000-square-foot glass curtain building with retail space on the lower level and offices on the other two floors.
  • A stand-alone, multi-tenant office building with 9,000 square feet of restaurant space.
  • Event square, green space and pedestrian corridors connecting New Square to the rest of downtown.

In addition, Great Western Bank, a Sioux Falls, S.D. regional bank, will open a regional headquarters inside the three-story office building, with a branch on the ground level and offices occupying the second floor.

DC Steak House, located in downtown Chandler for eight years, has outgrown its location a block north of the new development and will relocate to New Square, 

according to Lawrence and will be located on the ground floor of the office building facing the event square in the center of the development.

Space in the stand-alone restaurant building has yet to be leased. Construction of phase one is expected to be completed in fall 2019 for an estimated $33 million, Lawrence said.

According to Lawrence, downtown Chandler needs more office space, which is one reason to locate the development here.

Lawrence is developing the site with Missouri-based HCW, a real estate development and property management company responsible for bringing the Hilton Garden Inn to the project. HCW also has several hotel properties across the Valley.

More parking in the works

The city will build a $19 million parking garage with 940 spaces just west of the project on Oregon Street concurrently, expected to be completed in late 2019.

The city will host a ground-breaking ceremony 10 a.m. on Nov. 16, 2018.

The parking will be much-needed as the New Square property has been used for overflow parking in the past. The new parking garage will augment the increasingly popular downtown Chandler area’s new 350-space parking garage opened in September 2018 on Arizona Avenue.

Phase 2 plans

Phase 2 includes an eight-story office building, which Lawrence anticipates going up in the next 18 months. Currently, he is in talks with a tech company to lease half of the estimated $25 million building.

According to Chandler’s Downtown Redevelopment Manager Kim Moyers, Phase two is expected to create 400 to 600 additional jobs.

The City of Chandler’s $1.7 million improvements were part of a larger comprehensive plan throughout the downtown area to improve aging infrastructure

As part of the development agreement, the city upgraded water and sewer infrastructure at the site and made street improvements along Arizona Avenue from Chandler Boulevard to Frye Road to benefit the entire downtown area, Moyers said.

With 700 to 900 new jobs to be filled by the end of phase two, residential real estate investors are already searching out opportunities to add Chandler rental properties to their portfolios.

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New Square Chandler development