Steelyard filling up fast with retail, food tenants - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Steelyard filling up fast with retail, food tenants

January 22nd, 2021 SanTan Sun News
Steelyard filling up fast with retail, food tenants

By Kevin Reagan
Staff Writer

The Steelyard, a $12 million commercial center in southeast Chandler, has recently opened its doors to a variety of new tenants in a region of the city notably lacking in retail options.
Named after the steel yard business that had existed on the property before it was sold to Capital Asset Management a couple years ago, The Steelyard consists of 26,000 square feet of new retail space within a complex of three freestanding, multi-tenant buildings.
Pita Jungle, Jersey’s Mikes, and Someburros have recently moved into the retail space and many more are planning to open their doors soon.
Jason Hersker, executive vice president of Capital Asset Management, said only about 1,000 square feet are left to lease out before the Steelyard is completely occupied.
Other tenants who have committed to spaces at Steelyard include High Tide Seafood, Heartland Dental, Tan Max, GOAT Haircuts and Nail Logic.
Hersker said CAM purposefully looked for a balanced mix of tenants that would appeal to residents in southeast Chandler.
The area between Chandler Heights and Riggs roads has long been underserved for retail, he added, and residents of this region deserved to have a diverse range of restaurants and shops.
“We were searching for uses that would cater to the exceptional demographics in this trade area,” Hersker said.
“The household income is higher in a 5-mile radius than most of Scottsdale by comparison. Yet, they didn’t have very many options for food and services nearby.”
Demographic projections have indicated that the neighborhoods surrounding The Steelyard will grow in population by 9 percent over the next few years.
The average annual household income of residents near the retail center is $163,000, which is more than double Chandler’s overall median income.
The one-mile radius surrounding The Steelyard’s property currently only has 24 retail businesses and 23 food service shops.
Demand for more retail will grow in the near future, Hersker said, as more houses get built in the surrounding area.
“This is an area where there were over 700 single-family lots are in various stages of development and sell offs,” Hersker said. “These homeowners need their amenities and this was a retail trade area that was significantly underserved with retail options.”
Residents living in south Chandler have been waiting for more retail options since the area started to boom in population more than a decade ago.
Last month, many residents living near Gilbert and Riggs roads unsuccessfully attempted to thwart a multi-family housing development, known as The Villages at Chandler, from getting built near their neighborhood.
A recurring complaint made by the 700 single-family lots in various stages of development,” Hesker said. “These homeowners need their amenities.”
Added Cristie Brown, a resident, who asked the city not to rezone land in south Chandler from commercial to residentia: “Once this is approved, we’ll never have the opportunity for retail.”
Capital Assets, which is based in Phoenix and has been developing commercial properties since the 1990s, planned to have its newest Chandler project reflect the city’s history by having The Steelyard’s aesthetics intentionally embrace the region’s rural roots.
In addition to preserving the property’s old water tower, the complex is constructed with several steel beams to fit with the project’s agrarian, simplified style.
Before south Chandler was filled up with subdivisions, it was mainly home to large patches of agricultural land owned and operated by the Riggs family.
The family for whom Riggs Road is named, Lyle and Willetta Riggs, owned up to 400 acres of desert land in south Chandler and farmed it for several generations.
The family’s farm dwindled in size as more houses were built in the 1980s and the Riggs family eventually sold Steelyard’s property to CAM.
Stephen Herman, vice president of development for CAM, said the company hopes Steelyard will represent the character and atmosphere of this region of Chandler and serve as an important asset to the community.
“The Steelyard is going to be a special place for the growing neighborhood,” Herman said last year. “We have gone to great lengths to bring amenities to the area through a unique blend of retail uses and an emphasis on a modern-industrial agrarian design.”