The Gilbert Chamber of Commerce has been unable to finalize a lease agreement with town officials that would move the business group across the street and into the former town hall building.
The chamber now shares space with Arizona Public Service Co. in a Gilbert-owned building. It needs to move, though, because the town plans to demolish the structure at 200 and 202 N. Gilbert Road to extend Cullumber Avenue west of Gilbert Road to a future downtown parkand-ride lot.
Gilbert relocated its parks and recreation department late last year from the Heritage Annex — an adobe building with additions that served as town hall through 1992 — and opened negotiations with the chamber.
Chamber president Kathy Langdon said the organization’s first choice is to remain downtown, but the long negotiation has forced the group to consider options outside the Heritage District.
Town Manager George Pettit, who was asked by some council members to accelerate the process, said he’s trying to bring it to a conclusion as quickly as possible.
Neither party was specific about what is causing the delay, but Langdon said it is "a space issue."
Pettit said the chamber and APS were the two users the town wanted to move into the Heritage Annex, 119 N. Gilbert Road, after the parks and recreation department’s departure to portable buildings adjacent to the Municipal Center nearly two miles away.
APS spokeswoman Angela Creedon said the utility company is looking to keep its customer service office in the downtown area and is considering a move to the Heritage Annex or other sites. No agreement has been reached, she said.
The current chamber and APS building is a former bank and police station. Pettit said the chamber and APS can continue operating there — the lease expires in October 2005 — but the town would like to demolish a building that Pettit said "is moving" and has "ongoing structural issues."
No start date has been set for the Cullumber Avenue extension project.