Chandler spent nearly $10 million on an Arizona Avenue renovation to draw more visitors to downtown shops and restaurants, but many of those newcomers have spent the last two years searching for something more mundane once they arrive.
They’ve been eager to see, of all things, signs.
The streetscape project left out signs to save money, leaving some visitors to struggle as they search for City Hall, the courthouse or parking lots since the work was completed in late 2010.
Chandler now plans to post eight eye-catching signs to help drivers navigate the increasingly popular destination. The City Council approved the $189,796 sign package Thursday, with the cost split between the city and the Downtown Chandler Community Partnership.
The city has heard about the need for signs from a lot of new visitors, said Teri Killgore, the downtown redevelopment manager.
“It actually has been our Number One request,” Killgore said. “Downtown is big enough where downtown is from Chandler (Boulevard) to Frye (Road), and they’re having a hard time finding everything.”
Two signs will mark the entrance to downtown, on Arizona Avenue at Chandler Boulevard and Frye. The 35-foot tall markers will sport letters on each side of a pole that spell “Downtown Chandler.”
Six other signs will stand about 17 feet tall and include directions to parking and city buildings. A directory will list businesses and advertise special events. The signs will be rusted steel and blue.
Chandler planned a $500,000 sign package during the Arizona Avenue streetscape project, but the City Council decided to put that component on hold as the overall construction costs exceeded projections. City officials have since looked for ways to scale back the design.
“Part of the reason this took as long as it did was they asked us to design a less costly sign package,” Killgore said.
While the signs are only along Arizona Avenue, Killgore said side streets don’t need much in the way of signs because parking or key buildings are so close to the main drag. However, the city will consider adding signs on side streets as new development comes in.
The signs are expected to be installed by the end of the year.
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