Constructing Chandler’s Downtown Creative Class

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You may have noticed the construction going on in Downtown Chandler. A new City Hall, streets being narrowed, instead of expanded. A few new restaurants. More condos. More parking space. Planning for a block party in November.

chandlerconstruct2010 Constructing Chandler’s Downtown Creative Class

What you may not have noticed is the strategic economic development, education offerings and smart zoning that is occurring within the Downtown Chandler area.

• Walkable space and trees in Downtown which will increase restaurant patrons, walk-in foot traffic at shops and visibility of community and creative spaces like Gangplank.

• Investing in Gangplank’s collaborative community space at Downtown’s core. Now musicians meet programmers meet foodies meet marketers meet business developers meet venture capitalists on a weekly basis.

• Attracting local-only business to Downtown. By focusing on local versus chains, more money stays local and the Downtown character stays unique. By avoiding making the urban center a corporate billboard and mall atmosphere, Chandler’s Downtown partners are staking a claim on a unique retail and business experience creative people can find nowhere else.

• Keeping the downtown geographic space tight and dense increases the likelihood of collaboration and serendipity. Creative cities worldwide often have small areas, where building is up not out, and where like minded creatives work closely together sharing physical space as well as creative collaboration.

• Downtown Chandler has an understanding the nature of Metro-Phoenix residents and has provided ample parking with plenty of space now and a new garage structure on the way.

• Chandler is centralizing a creative downtown district minutes away, in each direction, from Price Corridor (south of the 101), Intel and Orbital Ocotillo campuses, Chandler Regional Airport (and it’s expanding office park), Loop 202 freeway access and the always busy Chandler Fashion Center.

• Creative enclaves historically form around inexpensive residential and commercial space, not high-priced condos and corporate A-list office space. No other area in the state has such potential for creative incubation. In addition, Downtown Chandler is 5 minutes away from mature master-planned communities like Ocotillo.

• Creative urban renewal often takes place where previous economies flourished in the past. Part of Gangplank’s building used to be a church and also a meat market. The meat locker still exists. Where farmers used to congregate to share their livestock, harvest and trade, today’s creative class is now sharing ideas and resources.

• In Downtown, Chandler is integrating education and the arts (Chandler’s school district and city are co-owner/operators of Chandler Center for the Arts).  At the 9/11 celebration last Saturday night, the Center was filled to capacity early and turned many away trying see the Chandler Symphony Orchestra and Chandler Children’s Choir pay tribute to America.

• In another innovative education move, did you know Chandler provides residents with multiple public education tracts (contemporary public education and a traditional academy option)? Chandler’s Traditional Elementary Campuses feed into Chandler Traditional Junior High which is located behind Chandler High School in the Downtown area.

With so much happening, we at Gangplank are honored to be able to witness, promote and play a small part in this amazing rebirth of Downtown Chandler as a creative, dynamic and vibrant local hub creative energy and economic productivity.

3 thoughts on “Constructing Chandler’s Downtown Creative Class

  1. Great comments. Even though I didn’t support the city hall and road narrowing I am a big supporter of Downtown. It is so refreshing to have the influx of creators in Chandler. Some are slow to realize the changes around us but I believe Chandlers future is bright and on the right track with your help.

  2. I’m moving to Chandler early next year to be closer to this amazingness!

    It wasn’t until I started interacting more with the downtown Chandler scene that I really started understanding what’s happening here, and it has totally rocked my world.

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