New retail center proposed in Chandler - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

New retail center proposed in Chandler

February 4th, 2021 SanTan Sun News
New retail center proposed in Chandler

By Kevin Reagan
Staff Writer

Developers are hoping to turn a three-acre dirt lot on the southwest corner of Pecos and McQueen roads into a retail center that could house several new businesses.

Diversified Partners, a Scottsdale real estate firm, has submitted plans to the city for a project that could add 18,000 square feet of new commercial space.

“The ultimate development of this site will provide an excellent opportunity to offer much needed neighborhood facilities and provide a visually appealing project on this corner that has remained vacant for decades,” Diversified’s developers wrote in planning documents.

The center is expected to include three standalone buildings that may house a Starbucks location, a drive-thru restaurant and daycare center.

“A daycare use at this site will support surrounding Chandler residents who need childcare assistance as they work at various industrial and commercial businesses in the larger area,” developers wrote.

The center is expected to include 103 parking spaces and a wall of landscaping intended to buffer nearby residences from the commercial buildings.

Developers believe its three buildings won’t be difficult to fill with tenants since the traffic generated by the Starbucks location will likely be alluring to new businesses.

“Development of the Starbucks building, along with associated open space, parking and drive aisles, will attract users to the site given its popularity and credible brand,” developers wrote.

Diversified has a history of handling several commercial projects throughout the Valley and has been responsible for building retail spaces at Galveston Road and Alma School roads.

The Chandler Planning and Zoning Commission is scheduled to review the Pecos Road project’s development plan and a request to rezone the property’s land for commercial uses at its meeting next month.

The commission declined to vote on the project at a Jan. 20 meeting due to several concerns about traffic and congestion.

Reese Anderson, an attorney representing the developers, said he felt a “little bit frustrated” by the commission’s decision to delay its review of the project.

The developers have already been working with the city for several months on the project, he said, and the city’s staff seemed to be supportive of the development.

Chandler’s planning department recommended the commission approve the project after considering some exceptions limiting landscape designs and operating hours of the businesses.

“Staff finds the proposal to be consistent with the goals of the General Plan and recommends approval subject to conditions,” a city memo states.

The commission decided to refer the project to its Design and Review Committee before bringing it back for another review at its next meeting. Anderson said he worries this postponement might negatively affect the project’s overall timeline.

“We were supposed to close in early March and we’re nervous now with these delays it could really destroy the entire deal,” Anderson said.

Rick Heumann, the commission’s chairman, said he wants to be extra cautious about vetting the project — especially because Chandler is increasingly approaching build-out and soon won’t have acres of land available for retail uses.

The commission strives to be friendly to new businesses, he added, but it still has a responsibility to ensure Chandler’s limited vacant land is developed appropriately.

“As our land is dwindling in terms of what we have, we want to make sure this is the right thing,” Heumann said.

The project could potentially be reviewed again by the commission on Feb. 17 and then proceed to City Council for final review.