Developers of the planned Gilbert Esplanade have sold the property, becoming the second builder of a major retail center to announce an ownership change in less than a month.
Officials with Phoenix-based De Rito Partners said they decided to sell the site at Gilbert Road and the Loop 202 Santan Freeway to an Ohio-based firm when it was unable to fill an anchor space.
Just last month, officials at Woodbine Southwest Corp. said they were seeking a buyer for the planned Main Street Commons at Val Vista Drive and Pecos Road in Gilbert.
Woodbine president Buzz Gosnell said the company had other projects that had taken priority. However, some industry watchers said the decision to sell was because Woodbine lost a competition for the choicest tenants with developers of the nearby SanTan Village.
Dawn McLaren, a research economist with the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University in Tempe, said retail developers are feeling the new realities in the housing market.
“Things have changed in Arizona, she said”