Mayor announces re-branding effort for West Chandler The Chandler Arizonan

Mayor announces re-branding effort for West Chandler

Mayor announces re-branding effort for West Chandler
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By Kevin Reagan
Staff Writer

Mayor Kevin Hartke said the city will soon be launching a re-branding effort to give West Chandler a fresh identity.

During his annual State of the City address on Feb. 20, Hartke announced a new marketing initiative that will direct more attention to an industrious region of Chandler that’s home to about 28,000 jobs and more than 600 businesses.

“This re-brand will provide a unique identity to the area and for increasing the number of developments and businesses that are expanding there,” the mayor said.

Hartke later elaborated that West Chandler, which stretches from Interstate 10 to McClintock Drive, is overdue for a review of its land-uses and existing businesses.

“We’ve really not had a fresh look at West Chandler coming out of the recession,” Hartke said. “We’ve just seen organic growth.”

The city wants to start a conversation with stakeholders in this region, the mayor added, and find out whether West Chandler could benefit from some more strategic planning.

A good chunk of West Chandler is used for industrial and retail purposes – providing a home for businesses like Intel, Honeywell, and Verizon. The re-branding initiative will assess whether there’s better ways to use this land, Hartke said, and potentially add some more variety.

As Chandler gets closer to reaching total build-out of its available land, the city’s been exploring more opportunities for repurposing vacant buildings and infrastructure.

Under the tenure of former Mayor Jay Tibshraeny, the city tried to find new uses for empty retail spaces in northern Chandler. The economic downturn of 2008 caused several corner stores to shutter and no new businesses were flocking to fill them.

In response, Tibshraeny initiated a study that examined high-traffic intersections along Alma School Road and Arizona Avenue and looked for alternative land-uses.

Rather than looking for more retail to fill an empty big-box store, the city considered allowing charter schools or karate studios to make use of vacant property.

Retail vacancies across Chandler have since dropped significantly, according to city data.

Hartke said he’d like to do something similar in West Chandler. The re-branding efforts in North Chandler had a positive impact, he said, and brought a sense of renewed pride for the residents of that region.

The recent expansion of the Loop 202 freeway into Phoenix and Ahwatukee will bring in more motorists through West Chandler – providing an opportunity for the city to rethink how this section of Chandler is marketed to the public, the mayor added.

The city spent the last couple years revamping its entire logo and brand. It’s designated Chandler as a community of “innovation” and a hub for high-tech industries.

The rest of Hartke’s State of the City address stuck to this innovation brand, by characterizing Chandler as a city destined for more growth and development in the near future.

At least 19 companies announced projects in 2019 that will bring up to 4,000 jobs in and around Chandler, the mayor said, and the city’s already seen a boost in activity to its hotel industry.

“Our goal is to create unique amenities, spaces, and experiences that will attract people to our city,” Hartke said.

The mayor briefly touched upon one issue that’s been notably impacting the city in recent years: affordable housing.

An assessment done by the city last summer found that a lack of affordable housing was the most pressing need in Chandler. As rents and property values continue rising, Chandler residents find themselves with fewer housing options.

Hartke said the city’s currently taking stock of its public housing inventory and promised more attention will be paid to the issue.

“We will explore innovative options to meet the demand for housing for all income levels,” the mayor said.

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