Developer Spike Lawrence in front of a rendering the New Square project.
The old dirt square in front of the Chandler City Hall will
soon be New Square.
Developer Spike Lawrence shared his company’s plans for the gravel parking lot behind Saba’s and Bourbon Jack’s at a community meeting Tuesday night.
The project, named New Square, will comprise four different buildings, plus a small park and community stage.
“I’m fired up,” said Lawrence, a Chandler resident whose projects have included the building of Downtown Ocotillo, the Falls at Ocotillo and the Ocotillo Holiday Inn. “We’re excited to be a part of Downtown Chandler.”
Phase One of the project, which will get under way in August, will be a 50,000-square-foot, three-story office building at the northwest corner of Arizona Avenue and Chicago Street and a one-story building along Arizona Avenue, across the existing alley from Peixote Coffee.
The office building will feature a first floor with a mix of restaurants, retail space or service uses. The second and third floors will each comprise about 16,200 square feet of Class A office space. The anticipated rate is in the $30 per square foot range.
Lawrence is excited about the design.
“We’ll have a copper element around the building that will be stunning,” he said. “Then, with the windows, we will have a curtain ‘wall of glass.’”
The stand-alone building to the north will comprise 8,500 square feet and is suitable for one large restaurant, two smaller restaurants, or a mix of a restaurant and retail, he said.
Lawrence also announced that a Hilton Garden Inn is lined up for a four-story, 112-room hotel to be built on the northwest corner of the site, just to the south of the Las Palmas Cantina (in the former Vintage 95 space).
Its construction will get started soon after Phase One begins. The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.
“We think this will be a great spot for the business traveler,” Lawrence said, “and a great complement to the historic Crowne Plaza San Marcos Resort.”
Phase Two of New Square – at the southwest corner of the site, along Chicago Street – will be a five- to eight-story office building with between 75,000 and 108,000 square feet. The size and construction date will be determined according to demand.
The project’s design was completed by architect Mike Perry of Whitney Bell Perry.
It features north-south and east-west pedestrian corridors to connect the project to the rest of Downtown Chandler.
“The north-south connection will run from the breezeway next to Saba’s all the way to the Local and the Perch,” Perry said. “The east-west connection will go from the City Hall to the new parking garage.”
The developer has also included an event lawn across from the city hall and a small community stage in the center of New Square.
“We’ll call that ‘Sam’s Park,’” Lawrence joked.
Councilmember Sam Huang, who was at the meeting, had proposed last year making the entire Site 6 an urban park.
“This is second best,” Huang said with a grin. “I’m happy that they included the green space and stage.”
The loss of parking is a concern but Downtown Chandler Redevelopment Manager Kim Moyers shared that the city is proceeding with its plan to build a parking garage on the west side of Oregon Street, south of Boston Street.
“We’re going to do it all at once, with 930 spaces,” Moyers said. “We expect to break ground in October or November and have it done by October or November 2019.”
Lawrence’s project manager for New Square is John Sowards. The construction manager is Ron Barrett.
Lawrence, who also co-owns Ocotillo Golf Club with Phil Mickelson, is a native of Tempe and Arizona State alumnus.
“This is a good next step for Downtown Chandler,” he said. “We thank the city for entrusting us to do this.”
The architect behind the New Square project is Mike Perry of Chandler.