Last month we talked about “Gangplank looking to move downtown“. We have been actively pursuing a move since June 2009. We knew that we wanted to be more involved in the creating of a new economy.
To accomplish this we need to be in a city that wants and values the same things we do. We have been really happy with Chandler and over the last three months have really started to get involved with their downtown. It became clear very quickly that they embody the same spirit as Gangplank when it comes to their civic planning and downtown. The business owners, landlords, developers, council and staff all are rowing in the same direction and striving to be the leader in technology of the Phoenix-Tucson mega region over the next 20 years. They have shown they want to be the place “Where the creative class grows up”.
They had four initiatives in place that we felt were necessary to pass before we could consider them as a viable option. These initiatives were important for a number of reasons. First and foremost their adoption meant they were serious about becoming a creative class city and committed to technology. Secondly, it would prove that they had the ability to work together to make an impact in their city.
- Widening of Arizona Avenue (committed to being connected/walkable/creative class)
- Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Connection to Light Rail (committed to being connected/major player mega region)
- Innovations Incubator (committed to innovation/major player mega region)
- Update to General Plan / Design Guidelines (committed to urban infill/density/creative class) next council meeting
Last week was the approval of #1 and in good faith was enough to solidify for us that the City of Chandler has the right mix and a commitment to the creative class. We have engaged with land developers Desert Viking and Peter Sciacca on developing a 15,000sqft facility in the historic Thomas Building in downtown. We will have more information as the negotiations progress and as things get underway. We are excited to become immersed in the community and really get involved on a much deeper level. Things are already underway that are making a major impact for both Chandler and Gangplank including new developments with Gangplank Junior.
Exposed Historical Wooden Trusses
Plans to Put on a Second Story (Stop Sprawl/Go Up)