Council to consider developer for 9.1-acre Heritage District site

An early rendering shows how the town thought The Commons area might look. The rendering was made before Gilbert Town Council selected a developer.

An early rendering shows how the town thought The Commons area might look. The rendering was made before Gilbert Town Council selected a developer.

Gilbert has selected a developer for 9.1 acres of town-owned land at the north end of the Heritage District and will sell the lot if Town Council approves at its May 15 meeting.

If approved, the development of the site will begin bringing the latest Heritage District redevelopment plan to life. Council approved that plan last August, and the 9.1-acre site is one of three sites identified as being core redevelopment areas.

The plans from the selected developer, Heritage North Partners, check off items that were on the town’s wish list for the “north anchor," including a boutique hotel and office and retail space. The plan also calls for multifamily housing and two parking garages, one to accommodate residents and the other for businesses and the hotel.

Amenities included

The proposed agreement also has the developer start work on two amenities for the district: The Commons, a 15,000-square-foot open space area that can be used for public events, and the north end of The Paseo, a north-south passage through the district that would be restricted to pedestrians and bikes.

In addition, it calls for improvements along the Western Powerline Trail, including spending no less than $150,000 on public art for it.

The area is bordered by the trail to the south, Juniper Avenue to the north, Gilbert Road to the east and Ash Avenue to the west. The lot today is crushed gravel that serves as parking for the area.

Deal's details

The developer and town have agreed to a process to determine a fair market value for the lot, according to town documents, but the minimum purchase price has been set at $5.33 million.

The documents also show the developer anticipating a June 2020 start to construction for items except the hotel, which would start in November 2020. The office and retails space are expected to be completed in September 2021 and the hotel in April 2022. The end of the multifamily housing construction in May 2022 would mark completion of the project.

Heritage North Partners was selected through a request for proposals process the town conducted. The town owns about 56% of the land in the Heritage District, and town officials have said they intend to use their ownership to leverage bringing items to the district the town wants to see there.

By Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


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