Chandler Edition - February 2021

CHANDLER EDITION

VOLUME 2, ISSUE 7  FEB. 22MARCH 22, 2021

ONLINE AT

DEVELOPING downtown Several new businesses and develop- ments are taking root in downtown Chandler this year, city ocials said. NUMBER OF NEWBUSINESSES 2015 77

Making transit f lexible The city, through a partnership with Valley Metro, is conducting a study regarding exible transit options in the Price Corridor—the city’s largest employment corridor. A majority of people who work in the area live outside of Price Corridor.

6.2% Employed and living in the study area 29.78% Living in the study area and employed outside

64.02% Employed in the study area but living outside

2016

85

2020 PRICE CORRIDOR SURVEY

+33.77% businesses from 2015-2019

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SOURCE: VALLEY METROCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

2018

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9 businesses coming soon 365 new apartments

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BY ALEXA D’ANGELO Chandler’s Price Corridor is home to thousands of the city’s jobs—yet only one bus route traverses a por- tion of the corridor. The city of Chandler in conjunction with Valley Metro is conducting a study on the possibility of adding exible transit into the corridor to reduce the city’s carbon footprint and improve access to the bulk of the city’s employers. Intel, Wells Fargo, PayPal, Northrop Grumman, Bank of America and CVS Health are just a handful of employers headquartered in the Price Corridor— which encompasses businesses just north of Ray Road stretching south to Intel’s campus just south of Queen Creek Road. The lack of transportation City eyes potential transit options inPrice Corridor

2020 DATA WAS NOT AVAILABLE SOURCE: MAG EMPLOYER DATABASE COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

A developer is bringing new restaurants and retail to downtown Chandler.

RENDERING COURTESY RICHARD KOHAN

Downtown to add businesses, multifamily

BY ALEXA D’ANGELO Downtown Chandler is in a near-constant state of evolution. New businesses, new developments and redevelopment projects continue to take root in the city’s oldest and most historic area, creating an ever-changing and dynamic downtown, accord- ing to city ocials. Nine businesses are planning 2021 openings in downtown Chandler; a new retail and restau- rant development on the corner of Frye Road and Arizona Avenue is expected to open in 2021; and construction is underway at two new multifam- ily developments downtown, said John Owens, downtown redevelopment specialist with the city

of Chandler. “Downtown Chandler is the heart of our com- munity,” Mayor Kevin Hartke said. “Not only is it where Chandler began, it’s where the community comes together to this day. It is exciting that the development community continues to want to invest in downtown Chandler. They, like us, recog- nize that downtown Chandler’s combination of his- tory and modernity help make it a unique place in our community. Its growth means that, more than ever, there is something for everyone in downtown Chandler.” Chandler has seen a 33.77% increase in the CONTINUED ON 12

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HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

FROMAMY: If you haven’t driven by downtown yet or visited one of many of the businesses located downtown, you are missing out! It seems as though there are changes of some sort on a nearly weekly basis. In our front-page story, we outline the recent and upcoming changes to this area rich in local retail, dining and business. Hopefully you will nd a new spot—or an old favorite—to check out in the near future. Amy Ellsworth, PUBLISHER

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FROMALEXA: In this issue we delve into the city’s potential plan for exible transit in the Price Corridor area. We also talk to new Council Member Christine Ellis about her history- making journey to the dais. I hope that you learn something new about our community in the pages of this paper! Alexa D’Angelo, EDITOR

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CHANDLER EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

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5 Logic Nails opened in January at The Steelyard development in Chandler. The business oers manicures, pedicures, full nail sets, gel manicures, dip mani- cures and other services. The business is located at 5025 S. Gilbert Road, Ste. 5, Chandler. 480-687-4188. www.logicnailschandler.com 7 Salad and Go opened Feb. 8 in Chandler. The drive-thru restaurant oers nine salads, ve breakfast burritos, soup and coee. The restaurant is located at 2020 W. Chandler Boulevard, Chandler. https://saladandgo.com 8 Kwench Juice Cafe opened Feb. 3 in Chandler. The business oers a variety of freshly made smoothies and juices and is located at 1949 W. Ray Road, Chandler. 480-219-9753. www.facebook.com/ 9 Dulce Churro Cafe is scheduled to open this year in Chandler. An exact opening date is not yet known. The busi- ness, which sells churros in a multitude of ways, will be located at 1050 W. Chandler Blvd., Ste. 4, Chandler. The business has another location open in Gilbert. https://dulcechurrocafe.com 10 Hotworx , a 24-hour infrared tness studio, is scheduled to open in 2021 in Chandler. Located at 2040 S. Alma School Road, Ste. 8, the studio oers members unlimited, 24-hour access to a variety of virtually instructed, infrared sauna workouts. 480-207-1187. www.hotworx.net kwenchjuicecafechandler COMING SOON

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NOWOPEN 1 Pita Jungle , a locally owned restau- rant chain, opened a new location in Chandler’s The Steelyard development in February. Pita Jungle is a healthy restau- rant specializing in Greek, Mediterranean, Lebanese, Middle Eastern, vegetarian and vegan dishes made from fresh ingredi- ents. The restaurant is located at 5025 S. Gilbert Road, Ste. 8, Chandler. 480-855-3232. www.pitajungle.com

2 Functional 45 , also known as F45, a gym specializing in high-intensity workouts with trained coaches, opened at Chandler’s The Steelyard development in January at 5091 S. Gilbert Road, Ste. A102, Chandler. 480-666-5508.

located at 1017 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler. 480-590-8439. http://thespotbarberlounge.com 4 Unmarked Beauty and Wellness , located at 2410 S. Gilbert Road, Ste. 1, Chandler, opened Feb. 8 in Chandler. The business oers cosmetic injections, body contouring, lasering and other services. 480-737-1394. https://unmarkedbeautyandwellness. com/chandler

https://f45training.com/ chandlersteelyard/home

3 The Spot Barber Lounge , which oers men’s haircuts, shaves and more, opened in Chandler on Feb. 11. The business is

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY ALEXA D’ANGELO

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Functional 45

NewMexico-based Rinchem announced Jan. 25 a 50,000-square-foot expansion to its existing building in west Chandler.

ALEXA D’ANGELOCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

COURTESY CITY OF CHANDLER

ANNIVERSARIES 11 Bella Gusto Urban Pizzeria , an Italian restaurant specializing in Napoletana pizza and handmade pastas, celebrates its ve-year anniversary in March. The restaurant is located at 1964 N. Alma School Road, Ste. 1, Chandler. 480-696-4455. https://bellagustoaz.com 12 The Wag Dog Salon celebrates one year in business this February. The busi- ness is dedicated to the grooming of dogs of all shapes and sizes. The Wag Dog Salon is located at 2860 S. Alma School Road, Ste. 26, Chandler. 480-590-0075. www.thewagdogsalon.com

FEATURED IMPACT EXPANSIONS New Mexico-based Rinchem announced Jan. 25 a 50,000-square-foot expansion to its existing building in West Chandler, located at 6805 W. Morelos Place. Construction of the shell is nearly complete, and the company plans to begin operating in the building by June, according to a news release from the city of Chandler. Rinchem is a chemical management company that provides high-purity, prepackaged chemicals and gases, according to the release. The primary

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industries Rinchem serves include pharmaceutical, biotech, semiconductor and aerospace, according to the release. Rinchem’s existing building is 100,000 square feet and was completed in 2015. This $10 million investment will lead to approximately 25 new jobs with room for additional expansion in the future, according to the news release. “Rinchem is in a great location for growth with the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway expansion providing further access to talent for West Chandler employers,” Chandler Mayor Kevin

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Hartke said in a news release. “Our West Chandler employment corridor is home to nearly 30,000 employees and we are thrilled to see hiring growth from Rinchem.” For more information, go to https:// rinchem.com

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CHANDLER EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES

PROJECT UPDATES

Project planned for bike lanes on Frye Road BY ALEXA D’ANGELO

W. ELLIOT RD.

to the Paseo Trail, according to city records. The new project would add a vertical or rolled curb to physically separate vehicular traffic from bicycles. The Frye bike lanes project was awarded for funding and is programmed in the city’s 2021-30 capital improvement program with design sched- uled for fiscal year 2021-22 and construction sched- uled for the following fiscal year. It is expected the project will be finished by the end of 2022 or early 2023. The project kicked off in November and is expected to cost $3.8 million overall, according to city documents. W. CHANDLER BLVD.

W. WARNER RD.

An effort is underway to improve Frye Road for bicycle use to connect the area to the larger trail system within Chandler. The city was seeking feedback from the public in January and plans to finish the design of the project in May. The project would provide a safer and more comfortable option for bicyclists while connecting downtown Chandler with the Paseo Trail, according to city records. The city was awarded a $3.2 million grant to construct protected bike lanes on Frye from approximately a half-mile west of Arizona Avenue

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ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF FEB. 12. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT CHNNEWS@COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM. Status: Crews began work on the project July 13 and started with tree removal and utility potholing on the road, according to the city. The work is on both the north and south lanes of the roads. Timeline: July-March 5 Cost: $4.04 million Funding sources: federal grant, local match McClintock Drive, Kyrene Road bike lane additions The city of Chandler is constructing two new segments of bike lanes along A McClintock Drive and B Kyrene Road that will connect to the existing bike lane system at the Tempe city limits.

FRYE ROAD BIKE LANES The city is planning to add bike lanes in both directions along Frye Road.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

PEOPLE Christine Ellis Chandler’s rst Black female council member

BY ALEXA D’ANGELO

Christine Ellis was elected to the Chandler City Council in August and took her seat in January 2021. She makes history as the city’s rst Black female Chandler City Council member.

WHATDOES ITMEANTOYOUTOBETHE FIRSTBLACKWOMANONCHANDLER CITYCOUNCIL? I think of what we have been through over the years, back to the 1800s, and I know it was worth it. We fought so hard—among party lines, among trying to make this thing real that all men are created equal and that we have the right to the pursuit of happiness. We have a right to a seat at the table. It was worth it. All my ancestors, it was worth it for each one of us. Every time we carve our name into history we are saying, ‘See I told you, we are worth it. I told you I could make history.’ It’s an amazing accomplishment. WHATGOALSDOYOUHAVEWHILEYOU AREONCHANDLERCITYCOUNCIL? I want for us to stay in unity. I want to leave a mark that says we came together as one with all our dierences and beliefs, that together we stayed and we made Chandler better. I want us to be able to say we did that, because where we live—it’s a place where people can truly work and play. I want to leave something behind like Mayor Coy Payne left behind. He took Chandler on a path that was economically sound and he looked at infrastructure and where we wanted to go as a city. He looked at howwe want to better people’s lives. I want to continue building a city where we leave no one behind and where we see diversity and keep lifting people up so that we can see that together we truly are better. WHATDOYOUVIEWASYOURMOST VALUABLEASSETTOCHANDLER? I have a heart of love. I have a capacity to love that is beyond me. I thrive to nish well,

and I have that capacity to love. If I can bring that into the mix and every one of my col- leagues can see that in me, they will trust me; they will allowme to voice my opinion; they will allowme to say no when I disagree. WHATMADEYOUWANTTORUNFOR CITYCOUNCIL? I spoke with former Mayor Payne about running for council once, and he gave me a pathway. At the end of 2018, I was feeling a stirring; I didn’t knowwhat to do or where to go. I went to Israel; I went to Haiti to visit my orphanage. I went on a 21-day fast trying to gure out what was next for me. I felt in my heart God was telling me, ‘I want you to be my voice.’ I thought that I am already God’s hands and feet, I could feel that he wanted me to still go to a higher place and for me, it was to be on this council. I kept hearing ‘Christine 2020’ in my head, and that’s what sealed it for me. I am a servant leader; I just want to serve at this capacity and that higher level God asked of me and give it everything I’ve got. INYOUROPINION,WHAT SHOULDBE THETOPPRIORITIES FORTHE CITY THISYEAR? The city magistrate has to be replaced, the city manager is leaving and has to be replaced, and we need to make sure that the people of Chandler are safe. I want to knowwhat Washington is doing to help the people of Arizona and Chandler. I want to knowwhat Arizona is doing to help cities. I want to keep Chandler moving forward; we can’t stop people from living or advancing, but at the same time COVID-19 is a contagious disease, and we need to do our best to keep our citizens safe.

Christine Ellis made history this January when she took her seat as Chandler’s rst Black female on council. (Courtesy Christine Ellis)

Ellis (right) said she wants to make sure Chandler stays healthy during the COVID19 crisis. (Courtesy Christine Ellis)

PAST TRAILBLAZERS

Mayor Coy Payne was Chandler’s rst Black mayor and the rst Black mayor in Arizona. Ellis draws on Payne’s legacy for inspiration, she said. Coy Payne came to Chandler with his family in the 1940s, according to archival data from the Chandler Museum. Coy worked picking cotton and delivering newspapers before

becoming a teacher. Frustrated at the lack of opportunities for African Americans in Chandler, Payne ran for public oce, serving two terms in that oce from 1990-94.

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CHANDLER EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

EDUCATION BRIEFS

News from Chandler USD

COMPILED BY ALEXA D’ANGELO

NUMBERTOKNOW

Chandler USDbegins search for interimsuperintendent CHANDLER USD The Chandler USD governing board has embarked on its search for an interim superintendent to replace Camille Casteel—the district’s longtime superinten- dent who announced her retirement in late 2020. In a letter to families sent Jan. 29, the governing board said selecting the next superintendent will require “substantial time, attention and input from the district’s stakeholders.” “During her tenure, student enrollment has grown from 15,000 to over 44,000 and our district has been recognized as one of the best at the state and national level,” read the letter. According to the letter, the hope is to have an interim superintendent selection made by March 24. On Feb. 10, the governing board announced it would work with the Arizona School Board Association to hire an interim superintendent. INTERIMSUPERINTENDENT SEARCH

CUSD continues to vaccinate teachers, sta CHANDLER USD

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The number of current active COVID-19 cases

across Chandler USD, according to data from the district as of Feb. 16. The district is tracking the number of active cases to determine how best to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in schools. If the number of current active cases reaches a certain threshold at a specic school, the district will make decisions based on that school site.

2,500 vaccines provided to CUSD sta, community* 1,200

Chandler USD spokesman Terry Locke told Commu- nity Impact Newspaper that 2,500 vaccines were provided—largely to CUSD sta—out of CUSD’s vaccine distribution as of Feb. 2. The district also identied at least 1,200

sta awaiting second dose*

QUOTEOFNOTE

*AS OF FEB. 1 SOURCE: CHANDLER USD COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Kirk D. Minkus, MD. Dr. Minkus has over 16 years of collective interventional radiology practice and training, and has performed over 40,000 procedures. Call Today! (480) 945-4343 Chandler USD board Feb. 24, 6 p.m. 1525 W. Frye Road, Chandler 480-812-7000 • www.cusd80.com MEETINGSWE COVER CHANDLERUSD The Chandler USD governing board approved Feb. 10 a memorandum to approve up to 10 paid sick leave days to each employee who may be absent due to contracting COVID-19. This includes if the employee has COVID-19 or if the employee has to stay home with a child who has contracted COVID-19. CHANDLERUSD The Chandler USD governing board received a presentation Feb. 10 regarding a parent survey about Chandler Online Academy. According to the survey, 65% of parents said Chandler Online Academy was meeting their child’s needs, whereas 7% of parents said they strongly disagreed that Chandler Online Academy met their students’ needs. MEETINGHIGHLIGHTS “WE ALL NEED TO WORK TOGETHER TOKEEPOUR COMMUNITY SAFE.” KATIE NASH, CHANDLER EDUCATION ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT

sta who are in a queue for their second Pzer vaccine dose. “[We are] rolling out every opportunity,” Locke said. Teachers and other education sta began getting vaccinated in Phase 1B of the county’s vaccination plan, which opened in mid-January. Districts across the state have since been working to get sta vaccinated. Chandler USD has a majority of students and teach- ers attending school on brick-and-mortar campuses, while some students remain online in Chandler Online Academy.

Jan. 29: Letter sent to community,

March 24: Board hopes to select interim superintendent

June 30: Camille Casteel’s retirement

superintendent application open

SOURCE: CHANDLER USDCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Teachers’ union voices concerns over COVID19

on Jan. 14 that she was disappointed with the board’s decision to return to in-person. “I will say that teacher morale is at an all-time low,” Nash said. “We need the support of the community. We are urging people to please wear their masks, wash their hands, stay home when possible, avoid large gatherings and socially distance. We all need to work together to keep our community safe. Our commu- nity is hurting—it is torn up by the lack of leadership at the state level. ... We will rebuild, but it will take all of us.”

CHANDLER USD The Chandler Education Association released a statement Jan. 18—the day before students were set to return to brick- and-mortar campuses after a two- week virtual learning stint—that said the teachers’ union does not feel the return to in-person learning “is in the best interest of our community.” On Jan. 13, the Chandler USD governing board voted 3-2, with Lara Bruner and Lindsay Love dissenting, to resume in-person instruction for

all grade levels Jan. 19 after impos- ing virtual learning for the two weeks prior. In his State of the State address in January, Gov. Doug Ducey encour- aged districts to continue with in-person learning at all grade levels across the state. More than 65,000 total cases in Maricopa County have been linked to children and teens. CEA President Katie Nash, a teacher at Chandler High School, told Community Impact Newspaper

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY& COUNTY

News from Chandler & Maricopa County

COMPILED BY ALEXA D’ANGELO

QUOTEOFNOTE

Improvements planned for Lantana RanchPark

Newcouncil members take their seats

Chandler City Council Feb. 25, 6 p.m. 88 E. Chicago St., Chandler 480-782-2181 • www.chandleraz.gov MEETINGSWE COVER businesses have been approved to sell recreational marijuana in Arizona—including ve with Chandler addresses, according to data from the Arizona Department of Health Services. The sale of recreational marijuana began in Arizona on Jan. 22 as dispensaries across the state received approval on their license applications from ADHS. LOCALHIGHLIGHTS MARICOPA COUNTY The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved Jan. 27 an independent forensic audit of the vote-counting hardware and software used in November’s general elections. In doing so, board members expressed condence the audit would yet again show the county’s November vote count was accurate and its election results legitimate. CHANDLER More than 80 “WITHVACCINES IN DISTRIBUTION THERE IS A LIGHT AT THE ENDOF THE TUNNEL, AND I ENCOURAGE RESIDENTS TO REMAINDILIGENT INPROTECTING PUBLIC HEALTHBY CONTINUING TO FOLLOWCDC, STATE AND COUNTYHEALTH GUIDELINES.” KEVIN HARTKE, CHANDLER MAYOR

CHANDLER City Council approved a

E. QUEEN CREEK RD.

$3.3 million con- struction contract for improvement at Lantana Ranch Park on Jan. 28.

Chandler City Council has a new vice mayor and two newmembers. COURTESY CITY OF CHANDLER

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CHANDLER City Council voted unanimously during its Jan. 14 meeting to elect Mark Stewart as the city’s new vice mayor. Stewart will serve in the position through Jan. 13, 2022. “Serving my fellow residents is such an incredible honor, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to start my second term on the council as vice mayor,” Stewart

said. “I thank my colleagues for selecting me to serve in this new role for the coming year.” The meeting also marked the rst for new Council Members OD Harris and Christine Ellis. Ellis makes history as the rst Black woman elected to council. Stewart was re-elected in November for his second term on City Council.

This project is for Phase 1 improvements to the park, which is located at the south- east corner of Queen Creek and McQueen roads, to provide open space turf areas, lighted multi-use courts, a shaded avia- tion-themed playground, outdoor tness equipment, lighted walkways and park amenities. The itemwas approved unanimously by council.

Chandler unemployment up nearly 50%year over year CHANDLER Chandler saw nearly 50% more unemploy- ment claims in December 2020 than in December 2019, according to data from the Arizona Commerce Authority. The city recorded a 6% unemployment rate in December 2020 as compared to 3.1% unemployment in December 2019, according to the data. More than 9,300 people in Chandler were unemployed in December 2020 as com- pared to 4,873 in December 2019. CHANDLER UNEMPLOYMENT Chandler is still seeing a higher rate of unemployment than it did in 2019, according to data from the Arizona Commerce Authority. 12% 10% 2020 2019 11.9%

8%

The coronavirus pandemic brought the city’s unem- ployment to an unprecedented peak in April with 11.9%, of the city’s labor force unemployed. That gure was the highest unemployment recorded in the Arizona Commerce Authority’s database, including during the Great Recession era. Unemployment in the city is up slightly from August, when it was 5.1%. Arizona’s unemployment as of Decem- ber 2020 was 7.5%, down from its April peak of 13.4%, but still up year over year from December 2019.

6%

4.8%

4%

2%

0

SOURCE: ARIZONA COMMERCE AUTHORITYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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CHANDLER EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

CALL TO SCHEDULE 480.248.2440 “I like helping people realize they can do some- thing they never thought they could do before,” he said. “No one out there rejects a yo-yo, they just need to learn how to use it.” “It’s mostly kids, but there’s really no age limit on a yo-yo,” Van Dan Elzen said. “It’s fun for people of all ages. All these years later, I still love it.” Precision and quality parts go into creating the yo-yos. Van Dan Elzen said the team looks into everything from the length of the string to the kind of knot tied for the nger loop to the mechanisms that make the toy spin. “When you’re making yo-yos, it’s more precise than aerospace engineering,” he said. “The devel- opment of toys for children, and the number of tests they have to go through, is intense. We have to be precise; we can’t be o by one decimal. There is lot of thinking that goes into every yo-yo.” YoYo Factory also has a storefront in its building where people can come in and purchase a yo-yo and get a lesson in how best to use it. BUSINESS FEATURE YoYo Factory Business makes yo-yos and yo-yo champions H ans Van Dan Elzen said he was always in middle school. When he was a kid he would buy quality yo-yos in bulk and sell them to his fellow students—demonstrating the best way to use the toy. In 2003, he started YoYo Factory. The business began at a coee table and has boomed into a haven for yo-yo beginners and world champions alike. “I love the game,” Van Dan Elzen said. “But I love watching the ‘aha’ moment when a kid does a trick they never in a million years thought they could do. I’ve seen it happen over and over, and it never gets old.” YoYo Factory creates all its own yo-yos, but Van Dan Elzen and co-founder Ben McPhee also travel the globe delivering instruction to beginners. good with a yo-yo. He said he also had an entrepreneurial spirit from the time he was BY ALEXA D’ANGELO

Hans Van Den Elzen is a co-founder of YoYo Factory in Chandler. (Photos by Alexa D’Angelo/Community Impact Newspaper)

The packaging of yo-yos from the YoYo Factory feature recent yo-yo champions.

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Yo-yo champions—and YoYo Factory yo-yos— can be seen in action on Netix’s “We Are the Champions” that follows yo-yo champions as they compete. Van Dan Elzen said the show does a good job of showing inside the world of yo-yo connoisseurs.

N

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Stone & Vine oers a hearty menu and a family-friendly feel. (Photos by Alexa D’Angelo/Community Impact Newspaper)

Stone&Vine Restaurant fuses family atmosphere with Italian favorites BY ALEXA D’ANGELO T he original Stone & Vine opened in May 2011 in Scottsdale. The success of that rst restaurant led Joseph Popo to open a

Lazy Lasagna ($21) Pappardella, bolognese, ricotta, herbed panko crumbs and cracked pepper

family members who collected their favorite Italian dishes and suggested menu items. “We wanted accessibility at every level; we wanted it to be accessible to people in price, quality and options,” Popo said. “We have a variety of everything. The plan was always to try and cater to dierent age ranges.” Popo said the restaurant has a “special relation- ship” with the guests who walk through the front doors of Stone & Vine. “We love comments from the guests; we always take their feedback into account,” Popo said. “They are the ones in charge; we work for them.” The business owner said he wants to make sure anyone who comes to Stone & Vine feels like family. “We really treat everybody like they are a mem- ber of the family,” he said. “We are comfortable and casual, have quality food at a reasonable price and our goal is comfort all around. We always want feedback from our guests; we are always trying to improve and become better.”

second location in Chandler in March 2015. Popo said once he saw the location—which used to house a Grimaldi’s—he knew the second location would work. “I felt it provided a need in the area, and the water just makes it perfect,” Popo said of the Chandler location whose patio overlooks water. Popo said he has been in the restaurant industry 35 years—serving, bartending, managing and eventually owning. He said this year has been the most challenging due to the eects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “The hardships we’ve had have been the same as others; it’s dicult to shut down and to come up with a plan to change how you do things,” Popo said. “I’m grateful our food travels well for to-go orders.” Popo said the menu was specically curated by

Stone&Vine 1035 W. Queen Creek Road, Ste. 103, Chandler 480-659-7438 https://stoneandvine.com Hours: Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

W. QUEEN CREEK RD.

N

Watch Mayor Kevin Hartke’s annual STATE OF THE CITY at chandleraz.gov/StateOfTheCity to celebrate how we’ve come together through a year like no other. Stay connected and learn about Chandler’s key accomplishments at chandleraz.gov/2020AnnualReport .

11

CHANDLER EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

NEW IN downtown Chandler

CONTINUED FROM 1

number of businesses in downtown Chandler in the last five years, lead- ing to a .5% increase in the number of jobs, according to data from the city’s economic development department. Owens said development and rede- velopment projects are pushing into what city staff have dubbed Down- town South, which encompasses everything from Frye to Pecos roads. The new 9,000-square-foot retail and restaurant development—the Shops on Frye—signals that push into the southern portion of downtown, Owens said. Newand coming soon Inchin’s Bamboo Garden, Jinya Ramen, The Tipsy Egg, The Uncom- mon and Kaleidoscope Juice are all coming soon to downtown Chandler to the east of Arizona Avenue. On the other side of Arizona Ave- nue, Black Sheep Wine Bar will take over the building DC Steakhouse inhabited before moving into its New Square location. A tenant has been selected but not yet announced for the space previously held by El Zocalo Mexican Cantina, and Murphy’s Law Irish Pub is expanding its business to encompass the space adjacent to it. Pie Snob will occupy the currently vacant spot next to ImprovMANIA. Nearly all the businesses coming soon, Owens said, are expected to open sometime in 2021. Gemsetter & Co had a soft opening downtown Jan. 11, taking over the space that once belonged to Yes, I Do Bridal, which closed in 2020. Owner Eric Pettingill said he moved his busi- ness from the Chandler Fashion Cen- ter area to the city’s downtown area to have more of a “classic downtown” feel. “I have always loved downtown,” Pettingill said. “I really wanted to get

Nine new businesses and three new developments are planned for 2021—with a couple of the new businesses already open or opening in the spring, according to city officials. The city’s downtown also saw growth in 2020 with three development projects and three business openings.

KEY

Businesses

Developments

OPENED IN 2020 1 The Stillery 2 La Ristra New Mexican Kitchen 3 Pedal Haus Brewery 4 Gemsetter & Co. 5 Truland Burgers & Greens

W. CHANDLER BLVD.

2 5

E. BUFFALO ST.

6 New Square 7 The Stanley 8 Hilton Garden Inn

21

Chandler Downtown

W. COMMONWEALTH AVE.

E. COMMONWEALTH AVE.

9 The Alexander OPENING IN 2021 10 Jinya Ramen Bar 11 Inchin’s Bamboo Garden 12 The Uncommon 13 The Tipsy Egg 14 Kaleidoscope Juice 15 Black Sheep Wine Bar 16 Black Rock Coffee 17 Pie Snob 18 Encore at Chandler 19 DC Heights

19

9 14

18

15

7

E. BOSTON ST.

3 4

11 13 12

S. ESSEX ST.

6 10 1

8

E. CHICAGO ST.

17

W. FRYE RD..

20 Shops at Frye 21 The Jonathan

20 16

SOURCE: CITY OF CHANDLER/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

MAP NOT TO SCALE N

back to a downtown setting, and this space was a great landing spot. I love interacting with people. I just love the energy down here. After being for years and years in strip centers or close to malls, it’s nice to have a home where you can actually walk outside and grab lunch or a cup of coffee. I waited a long time to be somewhere with a ‘Main Street, USA’ feel.”

Pettingill said he has had some dif- ficulty setting up in his new space as COVID-19 has affected the availability of materials he needs to create dis- plays and signage. He said he hopes to be fully set up “as soon as possible.” “I feel like I’ve been a little bit reborn,” Pettingill said of his new location. “I’ve been in the Valley 25 years, and it’s fantastic to look outside

and see people walking around and all the life that’s in downtown Chandler.” Owens said it is “incredible” how much downtown Chandler has grown during a global pandemic that has gripped the health care system and the economy not only in Arizona, but also nationwide and globally. “I’m excited about all the restau- rants taking advantage of street

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retaining businesses in downtown Chandler.” Moremultifamily, retail planned The Shops on Frye will add 9,000 square feet and three buildings to the corner of Frye Road and Arizona Ave- nue. Developer Richard Kohan said he expects to finish the project in 2021. A portion of the project is already leased to Black Rock Coffee, Kohan said, which will include a drive-thru. “With new hotels, offices and res- idential in downtown, it’s become a mecca of bars and restaurants add- ing nightlife,” Kohan said. “It’s been incredible watching it change.” Kohan also developed the adjacent building housing Flo Yoga and Cycle, another project in the more southern portion of Downtown South. “We know that we are out of space in the heart of downtown,” Kohan said. “Just going a little bit south—I am excited about what is going to happen in the coming years in that area.” Kohan said he is expecting to announce new tenants in the near future as there is a demand for the coveted downtown Chandler space. Two new apartment complexes are also under construction. DC Heights at the southwest corner of California Street and Commonwealth Avenue is expected to deliver 157 multifamily units to downtown Chandler, Owens said. Encore at Chandler is expected to deliver 208 units to the southeast corner of Nevada and Commonwealth streets. “The market fundamentals are really appealing as well as the prox- imity to multiple major employers,” Encore President Charlie Keels said. “The site is poised to attract young professionals interested in down- town’s vibrant live/work/play com- munity. Inside the historic square, hundreds of local residents attend community events steps from the

project, such as the weekly farmers market at Chandler Park and concerts at the downtown stage, an open-air venue hosting Friday Night Live and Live at Lunch, among others.” Both multifamily developments are in the early stages of construction. DC Heights is expected to be finished in late 2021, according to Owens. Additionally, redevelopment and adaptive reuse projects finished in late 2020—including The Stanley and The Alexander. The Stanley is an adaptive reuse project of bungalows in downtown Chandler designed for vacation rentals at 158 W. Boston St. The Alexander is the office space located at 25 S. Arizona Place that developer George Oliver redeveloped in late 2020. The building will also house Kaleidoscope Juice when it opens March 1. Terri Kimble, the president and CEO of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce, said she believes despite being a big city, downtown Chandler makes it feel as if Chandler is a small town. “We have this culture of commu- nity in Chandler and specifically in downtown Chandler,” Kimble said. “It’s a very strong, closely knit busi- ness community. There’s a cama- raderie there, especially during the pandemic. Some of these businesses were sharing best practices and even sharing employees to make it work.” She said the new developments all have “that Chandler quality” the city is known for. “That collaboration between devel- opers, business owners and the city is unique,” Kimble said. “We all support one another here; we still have that small-town feel and continue to cre- ate that small-town feel.”

VARIETY INDOWNTOWN Redeveloped office spaces and new multifamily housing are on the horizon in downtown Chandler, along with additional retail and restaurant options.

9

14

11

THE ALEXANDER/ KALEIDOSCOPE JUICE The Alexander is one of two

INCHIN’S BAMBOO GARDEN Inchin’s Bamboo Garden was scheduled to open in the fall but has been delayed. City officials said the Indian and Chinese food restaurant will open in 2021.

redeveloped George Oliver buildings and is open. Kaleidoscope Juice will open March 1.

15

19

BLACK SHEEP WINE BAR Black Sheep Wine Bar is expected to open sometime in 2021, though an exact date is not known. The bar is taking over the location previously occupied by DC Steakhouse.

DC HEIGHTS DC Heights will bring 157 units to downtown Chandler at the northeast corner of California and Boston streets. The site is currently under construction.

patios. It’s amazing to see how much attention they attract for these busi- nesses,” Owens said. “It’s not just about creating capacity, but it’s a draw that adds vibrancy to the street and is a draw for people coming in.” The outdoor extensions were made possible by City Council and city staff relaxing ordinances and allowing an extension of premises. Additionally,

the city’s Dine in the Park program is still in full swing, Owens said. The program allows for people to patron- ize downtown businesses and bring their meals to Dr. A.J. Chandler Park in the heart of downtown. “Despite the pandemic, we’ve stayed extremely busy in downtown Chandler—that’s a really good thing,” Owens said. “We’ve done a good job

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CHANDLER EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

Navigating Price Corridor

such as micro transit or flexible transit appears that deviates from bus routes in both demand and convenience.” The partnership with Valley Metro for flexible transit is in the study phase, with a proposal expected to be brought to Chandler City Council later this year, Crampton said. If City Council chooses to execute flexible transit in the Price Corridor, it would be the first flexible transit of its kind in the Valley. TraversingPriceRoad The study encompasses roughly 18 square miles, according to Valley Metro officials, including much of central Chandler and destinations such as Chandler Fashion Center and downtown Chandler as well as major employers such as Intel and PayPal. More than 13,500 are employed at Intel and PayPal alone, according to data from the Chandler Economic Development Department. Valley Metro spokesperson Made- line Phipps said the study in partner- shipwith the city began in the summer of 2020 with the goal of moving peo- ple more efficiently on Price Road and throughout the Price Corridor. “There are other cities in the U.S. that have flexible transit like we are looking at,” Phipps said. “One of the examples is a Dallas-area study. We are certainly aware of these types of transit options, but something like this hasn’t been done in this area before.” According to data from Valley Metro, 64% of people in the area are employed in the 18-square-mile study area but live outside the area, or 55,115 people. Meanwhile 5,338—or 6%—are both living and working in the area. “The city’s transportation master plan had kind of identified this loca- tion as the first of these flexible transit service areas,” Crampton said. “But there are recommendations through- out the city that could function very similarly in different parts of the city. Looking long term, this type of thing could be coming to different areas as we bring transit options to different areas. We could replace existing bus services to offset the cost. We are always trying to be considerate of the tax dollars.” Details still need to be worked out through the study and the direction of City Council, but Crampton said the speculation is the city would contract with Valley Metro to conduct flexible transit much like the two partner to provide bus services. Crampton said he hopes the transit option could be funded partially by a grant and regional funds available to the city.

Officials were not able to estimate a cost for the potential project at this time. If the project comes to fruition, he said the city would look into scaling back Bus Route 96 that serves south Chandler, and the cost savings from that move would go toward funding the new operation. “It would be an entirely new con- cept for the city and for Valley Metro,” Crampton said. Meeting employer demand Crampton said the city has been in talks with the employers of Price Corridor regarding the potential for flexible transit for some time. Several think the addition of transit options would be beneficial to their busi- nesses, Crampton said. “We hope it would improve access to jobs,” Crampton said. “It wouldn’t be limited to operating on arterial streets and could go into a neighbor- hood street corner so people could have only a short walk when they are going to work. Then if they are going to work at Wells Fargo or PayPal or Intel, the bus or van could drop them off at the entrance to their building rather than at a bus stop or something that could be far from the building.” PayPal and Wells Fargo did not return requests for comment prior to the printing of this publication. Bill Kalaf, a resident and appointed member of the city’s transportation commission, said connecting poten- tial employees with high-wage, high- skill employers would benefit both residents and businesses. “We need more transit options in Price Corridor,” Kalaf said. “The city wants to try innovative solutions instead of the old style of just adding bus routes, but the city is really look- ing at identifying two problems: lack of transit and connecting employees and employers by something other than cars. It’s my personal belief that— based on traffic studies and demo- graphics in Chandler—that we need to think about better transportation options other than cars driving all over the place. This would address that.” Kalaf said he believes flexible transit makes the most sense for Chandler. “Chandler is always pretty innova- tive, and this is an innovative solution that, if successful, could be imple- mented elsewhere in the city,” Kalaf said.

The city is looking to expand transit options in Price Corridor beyond the one existing bus route. City officials say this could include mini-buses or vans operating like a rideshare service.

KEY

TOP EMPLOYERS

NUMBEROF EMPLOYEES 12,000

1 Intel 2 Wells Fargo Bank 3 Bank of America 4 Northrop Grumman 5 PayPal

Study area Bus Route 96 Bus Route 542 Bus Route 81

5,500 3,600 2,150 1,700

44,740 Number of jobs in Price Corridor

3

101

S. 94TH ST.

W. FRYE RD.

W. FAIRVIEW ST.

W. PECOS RD.

5

202

4

2

The monthly average for ridership on Bus Route 96 south of Pecos Road. These numbers reflect the limited services, which are only offered during peak hours for this portion of the route. 620

1

SOURCES: CITY OF CHANDLER, VALLEY METRO/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

N

FOR MORE INFORMATION on this project as it continues through the upcoming stages, visit www.valleymetro.org/project/price-road-flexible-transit-study

Public Transportation Authority, more often known as Valley Metro, are pre- senting the possibility of flexible tran- sit—in which a person would order a ride from a smartphone app, hail a passenger van that picks them up and drops them off at or near work. It would be similar to anUber or Lyft, but the rides would occur within a zone or fixed route; rides would be shared in a van or minibus; and fares would be fixed and comparable with local bus fare, according to Valley Metro. “With the existing service down there, there’s not great interest in it,” Crampton said. “There is great interest in having better service. That kind of had us looking into different options. Making extensions to bus routes doesn’t make as much sense as new technology has come out and options

CONTINUED FROM 1

in the area has been a priority for the city and was pointed out in the city’s transportation master plan update conducted in 2019. “Even before the master plan, we had our eyes on this corridor,” Trans- portation Planning Supervisor Jason Crampton said. “We get a lot of inter- est from the businesses—they want to have transit available for their employees. PayPal and Wells Fargo have expressed interest, so have some of the other large employers in the corridor. Having their interest and certainly having a need for more tran- sit options in that area really made us want to look more at what we can do in the corridor.” The city and Valley Metro Regional

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