It’s been more than 25 years since city planners designated the empty lot on the northwest corner of Chandler and Gila Springs boulevards for commercial uses.
But the Chandler commercial market never really materialized in the immediate area, and the seven-acre lot’s odd shape made it even less attractive to developers.
Now a mixed-used project that will include condominium-over-business units is set to break ground on the site this year.
The project, Artisan Village at Gila Springs, will have 85 residential units. Units bordering busy Chandler Boulevard will allow entrepreneurs to live directly above their businesses.
The urban-style project isn’t the first for Eric Brown, regional manager of the Artisan Collection by Engle Homes.
His other projects include Artisan Parkview, a 35-unit development at Washington and Seventh streets in Phoenix, and the 40-unit Artisan Lofts on Central, also in Phoenix.
The infill project requires higher-density living that Chandler officials have said will become more and more common as the city approaches residential buildout in the next few years.
“Density, in this case, shouldn’t be anyone’s enemy,” City Councilman Martin Sepulveda said.
Brown said he isn’t worried about recent reports that the local housing market is slowing down.
“That’s the beauty of infill,” he said. “There’s always people looking to live closer to employment.”
The City Council voted unanimously Thursday to approve rezoning the property from office-only to mixed-use designation.
The two- and threebedroom residential units will range from about 1,200 square feet to almost 2,000 square feet and will sell in the upper $200,000s,
The project will include a pool, sports courts, dog park and picnic area.
Developers expect to start construction this summer with units going up for sale by the end of the year.