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www.SanTanSun.com Year in review from Page 14


Proposed service station sparks debate


Plans to build a 24-hour Arco station on 3.9 acres at the southwest corner of Chandler Heights and Arizona Avenue spark a fierce debate between proponents of the construction and neighbors who vehemently oppose the two-phase project with car wash, 2,900-square-foot convenience store, 10-pump gas station,19 parking spaces, a pedestrian seating area, artwork and landscaping.


Abandoned retail dots S. Chandler streets


Along with budget shortfalls, a housing slump and elevated unemployment numbers, the SanTan Sun area struggles with a slowdown in the commercial real estate market. Chandler’s retail vacancy rate is 9.9 percent, and Maricopa County is 11.6 percent, slightly above the national average of 9.5 percent. Many property owners are opting to sell and cut their losses rather than proceed with new retail construction.


Center slated for construction on the southeast corner of Chandler Heights and Arizona Avenue. The site, once touted as Chandler’s future crown jewel of upscale development, sits idle as owners search for funding.


Target announced plans to close its store at Ocotillo Plaza on Queen Creek and Alma School roads last summer and build an expanded retail center on Arizona Avenue across from Hamilton High School, but there is little movement on this relocation.


STSN photo by Gordon Murray


AGAINST GAS STATION: Nicole Herrera and neighbors from the Gardens at Ironwood Vistas oppose the construction of a 24-hour gas station next to the Ocotillo Post Office in Southern Chandler.


The Fresh & Easy grocery store at Chandler Heights and Arizona Avenue languishes more than a year since construction was completed, but the store has yet to open.


Kovach 2010 top Chamber business STSN photo


EMPTY: This large building on the corner of Arizona Avenue and Chandler Heights was to be a Pure Fitness health club, but it sits partially built and empty with no completion date in sight.


Safeway was planning to build a store on McQueen Road opposite the new Paseo Vista park, but that proposal was withdrawn.


Likewise, Pure Fitness is looking for someone to take over its partially built health center at the corner of Arizona Avenue and Chandler Heights. Other developers are seeking partners to provide financial backing for their proposed construction projects, including Nautica Development Group, designer of the much-anticipated $150 million mixed retail and housing Southshore Town


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Kovach, Inc., a 250-employee metal wall and roof contractor, is the recipient of the Business of the Year award for the Chandler Chamber of Commerce, with Integrum Technologies the Small Business of the Year; Audio Video Editors takes the new Micro Business of the Year; Education awards go to Janis Weyenberg of Riggs Elementary as Administrator of the Year; Chalene Baxter, Santan Elementary for Educator of the Year; and Chris Debb of Hamilton High for Support Staff Employee of the Year; The Chandler Police Dept. Volunteers in Policing group is given the James R. Snedigar Public Service Award, and the Business Diversity in Action Award goes to Chandler Regional Medical Center. The Chandler Cup is presented to Arizona Nutritional Supplements; The Community Cup to the Downtown Chandler Community Partnership; and The Chamber Cup to Jaime Natividad of Cox Communications, also chairman of the board for the Chamber.


Downtown Chandler brewery grows


The award-winning SanTan Brewing Company, owned by head brew master Anthony Canecchia and located in historic downtown Chandler, increases its brewing area by 3,700 square feet, installing seven 30-barrel fermentation tanks and adding machinery capable of producing 30 12-ounce cans per minute.


Community


January 8 - 21, 2011


15


See Year in review Page 16


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