New South Chandler Development will Feature Pita Jungle, Other Businesses

Article originally posted on AZ Central on June 7, 2019

Pita Jungle is among the tenants planned at a retail center coming to a former Chandler steel yard.

Aptly named “The Steelyard,” the development will be located at the southeast corner of Gilbert and Chandler Heights roads and will include three multi-tenant buildings on a 4.6-acre site.

The project is expected to break ground this summer and open in 2020, according to the developer,Capital Development Group.

Other tenants include Jersey Mike’s Subs

A Jersey Mike’s Subs franchise and a second location of Gilbert’s High Tide Seafood Bar & Grill are also confirmed tenants.

Sixty percent of the space has been preleased, said Jason Hersker, a development partner with Capital Development Group.

Although he wasn’t ready to name other tenants, he said the project will host more than just restaurants. The array of businesses at the Steelyard will resemble that of a “lifestyle center,” Hersker said.

Many tenants will be “experienced-based,” aimed at proofing the development against competition from online retailers. Hersker said the developers are negotiating with businesses such as a yoga studio and a day spa and nail salon. They are also speaking with wireless service providers to potentially fill smaller storefronts.

“The tenant base is going to be pretty diverse,” Hersker said.

Design will give nod to south Chandler’s roots

The project incorporates aspects of the steel yard into its design, including corrugated steel and an existing water tower.

David De La Torre, city planning manager, said developments are encouraged to use designs that reflect the “agricultural heritage” and feel of the area.

The water tower holds more value than just fitting into the aesthetic. The steel yard property had long been owned and homesteaded by the Riggs family before they sold it to the developers, Capital Development Group partner Rachelle Strole said.

“The Riggs family has owned that dirt so long, hundreds of years,” Strole said. “It was incredibly difficult to make that sale to us. Our intention was to keep that water tower for them.”

The water tower in the finished complex will bear a family crest underneath, detailing the Riggs family’s history and connection with the property.

“It will always be part of the Riggs family, even though it’s our project now,” Strole said. “That was important to us.”

The development comes in response to residential growth and an “underserved” retail market in southeast Chandler, according to the development company.

The area has less commercial or retail development than other, denser parts of Chandler, De La Torre said.The area has intentionally been developed with low-density residential housing to maintain the agrarian roots, he said.

The neighborhood is growing, with 638 housing lots on the market within a three-mile radius of the Steelyard, Hersker said. Three recent housing developments, together containing 201 housing units, are located just south of the planned project.

“We are very bullish on this trade area, and for good reason,” Hersker said. “This is the epicenter of growth.”

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