Chandler Edition - January 2021

2021 CHANDLER EDITION

ONLII NE AT

A N N U A L C O M M U N I T Y G U I D E

VOLUME 2, ISSUE 6  JAN. 25FEB. 21, 2021

ANNUAL COMMUNITYGUIDE 2021

TOP STORY TO WATCH IN 2021

Heightening health care Chandler has seen growth in its number of hospital beds and health care jobs in the last year with the opening of Banner Ocotillo Medical Center and a new tower scheduled to open at Dignity’s Chandler Regional Medical Center in 2021.

IMPACTS

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RECENT ADDITIONS TO CHANDLER

CHANDLER REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER

465,000 overall square footage 500+ overall jobs created

220 overall beds added

Construction to look for in 2021

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$344.2M overall cost

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Chandler Regional Medical Center is adding a new tower in 2021. (Courtesy Dignity Health)

SOURCES: BANNER HEALTH, DIGNITY HEALTHCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Chandler expands health care optionswith new hospital, newhospital tower BY ALEXA D’ANGELO Banner Ocotillo Medical Center opened in Chandler in late 2020, and a new tower is planned to open in 2021 at Digni- ty’s Chandler Regional Medical Center, bringing hundreds of health care jobs, inpatient and intensive care unit beds, and hospital capacity during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For years, Chandler’s growth outpaced the amount of hospital beds available to residents, Chandler Economic

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Development Director Micah Miranda said. With the new Banner facility and the addition of a tower at Chandler Regional, the city is closer to its goal with both health care jobs and health care capacity. “The expansion of Dignity and the addition of Banner are extremely critical for the city on a couple of fronts,” Miranda said. “The rst is health care accessibility. Chandler has grown rapidly, and additional health care resources helps to solve some of the bottlenecks we are seeing in health care. The second is from an economic development perspective, where we have had fewer health care-related jobs than we should have. Because of that, we made health care one of our target industry clusters.” The new Banner facility brought 350 jobs to the city, with plans to expand to more than 500 employees over time,

EDUCATION

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CITY & COUNTY

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

CONTENTS IMPACTS

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

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Now Open, Coming Soon &more

FROMAMY: I think we can all agree that we were thrilled to say goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021. In this month’s paper you will nd articles that outline some of the biggest issues on the horizon for our area, from transportation projects to education and government. We appreciate all of you taking time to read the paper each month and support our local businesses. Happy new year! Amy Ellsworth, PUBLISHER

MARKET TEAM EDITOR Alexa D’Angelo GRAPHIC DESIGNER Isabella Short ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Michelle Johnson

ANNUAL COMMUNITY GUIDE TRANSPORTATION 7 Top projects in 2021 EDUCATION 8 District priorities CITY& COUNTY 10 Stories to follow this year

METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Amy Ellsworth,

aellsworth@communityimpact.com MANAGING EDITOR Matt Stephens ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Aubrey Galloway CORPORATE LEADERSHIP PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES DIRECTOR Tess Coverman WHOWE ARE

FROMALEXA: Banner Ocotillo Medical Center opened in November, and a new tower at Dignity’s Chandler Regional Hospital will open later this year. The new facilities bring more beds—and more jobs—to Chandler. City ocials say Chandler has been in need of health care jobs and facilities as it has continued to grow over the last two decades. I hope you’ll learn something new within the pages of this paper. Alexa D’Angelo, EDITOR

John and Jennifer Garrett began Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 in Pugerville, Texas. The company’s mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Today we operate across ve metropolitan areas providing hyperlocal, nonpartisan news produced by our full-time journalists in each community we serve. BECOMEA#COMMUNITYPATRON

THIS ISSUE BY THE NUMBERS

BUSINESS FEATURE Von Hanson’s Meats

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New businesses 4

Local sources 17

Businesses coming soon 4

Road projects 3

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CHANDLER EDITION • JANUARY 2021

IMPACTS

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

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The Desert Dojo

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COURTESY THE DESERT DOJO

COMING SOON 5 Kaleidoscope Juice is scheduled to open in downtown Chandler in early 2021. An exact date is not yet known. The juice bar, coee shop and grab-and-go restau- rant will be housed in the bottom oor of The Alexander, the redeveloped oce space at 25 S. Arizona Place in Chandler. www.kaleidoscope.love 6 High Tide Seafood is scheduled to open in early 2021 at The Steelyard development in southeast Chandler. The restaurant oers a variety of seafood dishes as well as burgers and appetizers. The restaurant also has a Gilbert location. The new location is at 5091 S. Gilbert Road, Chandler. www.hightideseafoodbar.com 7 JINYA Ramen Bar is coming to down- town Chandler. The ramen restaurant— known for its slow-cooked approach to ramen, with broth simmered for 10 hours in-house—will be located at the down- town Chandler New Square development. Tenant improvements are currently underway. An exact opening date was not known at the time of publication. The restaurant will be located at 180 S. Arizona Ave., Chandler. This marks the rst location for the restaurant chain in Arizona. www.jinyaramenbar.com 8 Inchin’s Bamboo Garden is expected to open soon in Chandler. An ocial date is not yet known. The restaurant serves Chinese and Indian cuisine and will be located at 17 E. Boston St., Chandler. https://bamboo-gardens.com

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9 W. BOSTON ST. S. ESSEX ST.

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TM; © 2021 COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER CO. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

NOWOPEN 1 El Pacico Chandler opened in November. The restaurant and bar serves seafood, Mexican favorites like tacos and burritos, and a variety of ceviche and cocktails. El Pacico also features live music. The restaurant is located at 2386 N. Alma School Road, Chandler. 480-525-2251. www.facebook.com/ ElPacicoChandler

2 The Desert Dojo opened Jan. 4 in Chandler. The martial arts studio will serve Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and Tempe martial arts students. The studio is locat- ed at 590 N. Alma School Road, Ste. 25B. 480-721-5898. www.desertdojo.com 3 Saguaro Nutrition & Energy celebrat- ed its grand opening Jan. 13. The nutrition and energy shop oers waes, protein bites, shakes, energy teas and more. Saguaro Nutrition & Energy is located

at 3029 N. Alma School Road, Ste. 126. 405-209-3063. www.facebook.com/ saguaronutrition 4 Créme de la Créme of Chandler opened Jan. 18. The business oers day care, child care and preschool services. The interior has classrooms and ameni- ties for hands-on learning. The child care business is located at 2105 W. Germann

Road, Chandler. 866-359-3715. https://cremedelacreme.com/

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High Tide Seafood

COURTESY CRÉME DE LA CRÉME OF CHANDLER

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Black Sheep Wine Bar is set to take over space in downtown Chandler.

EXPANSION 9 Murphy’s Law Irish Pub is expand- ing to the space next door to its current location in downtown Chandler. The Quilt Store closed in 2020, and Murphy’s Law will be expanding this year into that space. It is not yet known when the expansion will be nished. The restaurant and bar is located at 58 S. San Marcos Place, Chandler. 480-812-1588. www.murphyslaw.pub NEWOWNERSHIP 10 Good Time Charli’s is under new ownership. Business partners Larry Del- aney and Raymond Sanchez purchased

the neighborhood bar and grill known for its live music after the business’ namesake Charli Hopewell decided it was time to sell. The name of the bar and the menu will remain the same. The bar and restaurant is located at 6045 W. Chandler Blvd., Ste. 7, Chandler. 480-556-1420. www.goodtimecharlis.com CLOSINGS 11 My Sister’s Closet closed its Chan- dler location in December. The fashion consignment store still operates other locations across the Valley. The former location was at 2915 S. Alma School Road, Chandler. 480-722-1822. www.mysisterscloset.com

ALEXA D’ANGELOCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

FEATURED IMPACT COMING SOON Black Sheep Wine Bar will take over the location formerly belonging to DC Steakhouse in downtown Chandler’s historic square. The space has been left vacant since DC Steakhouse relocated elsewhere in downtown at the New Square development. Details such as the opening date are not yet known. The building located at 98 S. San Marcos Place appears to be under construction with signs in the windows

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directing customers to www.blacksheep.wine. A phone number was not available for the business at the time of publication.

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TRANSPORTATION

Updates on key transportation stories

2 0 2 1 S P E C I A L E D I T I O N

OTHER PROJECTS TO FOLLOW IN 2021

TOP TRANSPORTATION STORIES OF 2021

Construction eort planned towiden Cooper Road

Total project cost: $23MILLION

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BY ALEXA D’ANGELO Chandler City Council gave the green light at a council meeting Dec. 10 to begin work expand- ing Cooper Road to four lanes between just north of Chandler Heights Road and Riggs Road. The council approved three items related to the project including: a professional services agreement with Entellus Inc. for post-design services in an amount not to exceed $215,026.40; a professional services agreement with Ritoch-Powell & Associates for construction management

services in an amount not to exceed $1.55 million; and a construction contract with Pulice Construction Inc. in an amount not to exceed $17.17 million, funded by city and federal dollars. The improvements will include the construction of raised medians, bike lanes, left-turn lanes, sidewalks, curb, gutter, street lighting, trac signals, storm drains, landscaping, and irrigation and utility relocations. Construction will begin in 2021 and be complete in 2022.

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McClintock Drive, Kyrene Road bike lane additions The city of Chandler is constructing two new seg- ments 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. 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 2020-March 5, 2021 Cost: $4.04 million Funding sources: federal grant, local match

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As of Jan. 1, Arizonans can get pulled over for cellphone use Arizona drivers are now subject to a new law prohibiting the use of cellphones while driving. Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law House Bill 2318 on April 22, 2019. The law took eect Jan. 1, 2021.

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Val Vista Drive widening The town is widening Val Vista Drive from Appleby Road—about where Val Vista narrows to one lane in each direction—to Riggs Road. The result will be a six- lane section from Ocotillo Road to Merlot Street. Status: Base paving has started for the curb lane south of Chandler Heights Road. The project is approximate- ly 45% complete. Timeline: March 2020-August 2021 Cost: $25.96 million Funding sources: bonds, town of Gilbert funds, Maricopa Association of Governments funds

According to the text of the law, unless a motor vehicle is parked or stopped, a person may not operate a motor vehicle on a street or highway if the person does either of the following: 1 Physically holds or supports with any part of the person’s body either of the following: • a portable wireless communication device, except a person may use a portable wireless communication device with an earpiece, headphone device or device worn

communication device or stand- alone electronic device, to direct the writing, sending, reading or other communicating of any text- based communication • the use of a portable wireless communication device or stand- alone device when used in a hands-free manner for navigation of the motor vehicle, use of a GPS or obtaining motor vehicle information or information related to driving a motor vehicle SOURCE: HB2318COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

on a wrist to conduct voice-based communication • a stand-alone electronic device 2 Writes, sends or reads any text- based communication, including a text message, instant message, email or internet data, on a portable wireless communication device or stand-alone electronic device. This does not apply to any of the following: • the use of voice-based communications, including through the use of a portable wireless

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CHANDLER EDITION • JANUARY 2021

EDUCATION

News from Chandler USD

TOP EDUCATION STORY OF 2021

COVID19 IN SCHOOLS The Chandler USD governing board lowered the threshold for school closures Jan. 4. The percent positivity at each school will guide decisions.

Elementary schools Junior high schools High schools

2%

1.5%

1.5% 1%

1%

0.75%

SOURCE: CHANDLER USDCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

A group of educators and parents advocated for a return to virtual learning in January. (Alexa D’Angelo/Community Impact Newspaper)

Chandler continues to tackle COVID19 and in-person learning

The board’s decision Jan. 4 came on the heels of a car parade led by teachers and parents advocating for a return to virtual learning following a continued increase in the number of COVID-19 cases reported. The Arizona Department of Health Services’ recommendation for Maricopa County schools is to return to virtual learning with the metrics measuring “substan- tial transmission” of the coronavirus. Teachers, students and parents took to the mic Jan. 13 to ask to return to in person. Teachers and parents also encouraged the board to continue with virtual learning. “I understand our stamembers are scared. That is something that is real, but I also feel as though when we start looking at our kids, those students

that don’t have the means, the socioeconomic status, who don’t have the ability to have a decent learning environment from home—I think that is a big problem,” Mozdzen said. The board also amended the percent positive thresholds the district is using to determine whether or not a school site will temporarily close due to COVID-19. The metrics were lowered from their previous thresholds based on recommendations from district sta. “I really hope that our community takes this seriously, but in six weeks or four weeks we might be in the same place,” board member Lindsay Love said Jan. 4. “If we want school to be open, if we want X, Y and Z to be open, then we have to do some hard work.”

BY ALEXA D’ANGELO The Chandler USD board voted Jan. 13 to return to campuses after virtual learning for elementary, junior high and high school students began Jan. 6 and continued through Jan. 18. The board voted 3-2 to return to campuses, with Lindsay Love and Lara Bruner dissenting, despite the recommendations from the Maricopa County of Public Health and Arizona Department of Health Services that districts consider virtual learning. Administration ocials say

brick-and-mortar campuses are the best place for students and that they are taking into account guidance from both health agencies and the Centers for Disease Control. Gov. Doug Ducey is encouraging that schools remain open for in-person learning. “If we truly are looking at trying to mitigate our community, I don’t believe keeping kids at home is going to achieve that goal,” board President Barb Mozdzen said Jan. 4. “I believe that kids are safer in the schools where they are in a controlled environment.”

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2 0 2 1 S P E C I A L E D I T I O N

Budget concerns arise due to enrollment, COVID19

OTHER STORIES TO FOLLOW IN 2021

Potential bond override The Chandler USD governing board will consider a potential override election in 2021, according to the board’s roadmap attached to the Jan. 4 meeting agenda. Overrides are used to provide additional dollars to support maintenance and operations budgets. The district’s Chief Financial Ocer Lana Berry is expected to give a report to the board later this year.

BY ALEXA D’ANGELO Due to COVID-19 and decreased enrollment, Chandler USD will be facing a budget loss of potentially more than $25 million in 2021-22. Chief Financial Ocer Lana Berry said the COVID-19 expenses and declining enrollment are putting the district in the dicult position for the upcoming school year. The district might potentially see a reduction in sta—186 sta members—due to budget concerns. Berry said the district lost more than $12 million due to how the state funded virtual learning. FromMarch to August, students were attending school virtually due to orders from Gov. Doug Ducey that expired Aug. 17. When students are attending school virtually, the district was being funded at 95% per student of what it would have been had students been in physical classrooms. Schools are funded through average daily membership—student attendance— and Berry said between declining

ENROLLMENT DECLINE Chandler USD, like other districts across the state, is seeing a decline in enrollment, which is leading to a decrease in the district’s budget.

48K

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2,384 STUDENTS

43K

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Camille Casteel

Superintendent Casteel retires The CUSD governing board will be tasked this year with selecting a new superintendent to succeed Camille Casteel, for the rst time in 25 years. The board met Jan. 13 in executive session to discuss the superintendent search. Next steps are not yet known.

SOURCE: CHANDLER USDCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

enrollment and virtual learning the district is falling short of where it hoped it would be. The district reports a loss of 2,384 students, most of whom are in grades K-6.

Berry said the needs of the district have outpaced federal and state funds set aside for education funding con- cerns due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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CHANDLER EDITION • JANUARY 2021

CITY&COUNTY

News from Chandler & Maricopa County

TOP CITY & COUNTY STORY OF 2021

Chandler to consider bond election in 2021

JAN. 2027 Bond election committee meeting to form consensus on all subcommittee recommendations FEB. 11 Bond election committee recommendations report nalized; brieng to council by chairman of bond election committee’s recommendations at work session FEB. 25APRIL 30 City Council discussion of recommendations and the call for election MAY 13 Use City Council meeting to announce call for election JUNE 5 At City Council meeting, council receives call of election by resolution by City Council BOND ELECTION TIMELINE Here is a timeline of how the 2021 bond election process will work in Chandler.

BY ALEXA D’ANGELO Chandler City Council will consider later this year whether to ask voters to approve a bond—it would be the city’s rst since 2007. City bonds pay for the costs associated with capital improvement projects—such as public safety, transportation and city amenities—the city’s Chief Financial Ocer Dawn Lang said. City ocials do not yet know howmuch the bond might be or what it will fund. “It’s common practice in Arizona, and I think it is an obviously necessary nancing tool for capital improvement projects in any municipality,” Lang said. “It’s time for Chandler to take a look at this again. Bonds are an important nancing tool because we are nancing large expenses, and if we depended on cash

improvements requested by the committee. “There is great enthusiasm and participation from the Chandler residents serving on this committee,” said Boyd Dunn, chair of the citizen bond exploratory committee. “They are excited to be part of Chandler’s history and understand the important impact their recommendation could have on our community.” City Manager Marsha Reed will oversee as the council directs city sta later in the process. “We’re working with the citizen bond exploratory committee to evaluate community needs and provide the City Council with a bond package recommen- dation that will not raise the city’s current property tax rate,” Reed said. According to data from the city, minimal bond authorization remains for public safety

and the airport, and no bond authorization remains for IT, water or wastewater. Lang said bond authorization cannot shift between categories. A bond can aect a resident’s property tax bill, Lang said. For every $1 of a typical Chandler property tax bill, 9.8 cents goes to the city, 22.7 cents goes to Maricopa

“WHENWE ARE LOOKING AT FUNDINGOURCAPITAL PROGRAM, COUNCIL IS VERY COMMITTED TO MAINTAININGA LOW PROPERTY TAXRATE.” DAWN LANG, CITY OF CHANDLER CFO

reserves we would use up cash very, very quickly. This allows us to fund land acquisition, capital construction, equipment and other items.” Lang said City Council asked her and her team to nd a way to meet the community needs and to keep tax rates at the existing rate.

JUNE 18 Ballot language given to Maricopa County

County and special districts, and 67.5 cents goes to public school districts and the community college district, according to documents from the city. “Bonds are a common nancing tool for many communities,” Lang said. “Issuing debt is a very healthy and great way of managing a city’s capital as long as you have good debt management. This isn’t uncommon for any community.” Lang said the bond had been in the works long before the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the nation. “We put this all together with the help of a citizens assessment and the update of master plans; that's howwe get a good sense of direction,” Lang said. “For our capital improvement plan, every year 52% is funded with bonds. That’s way before COVID[-19] existed.”

“When we are looking at funding our capital pro- gram, council is very committed to maintaining a low property tax rate,” Lang said. “What is dicult some- times with citizens and businesses is we can leave a rate unchanged, and there will be other portions that will go up, and its dicult sometimes; they will call the city and ask why the rate is higher, but we had nothing to do with it. The city accounts for a small portion of the property tax bill, but it’s very import- ant for us because the majority of what we do receive pays principal and interest on our bond and helps us maintain capital and add new infrastructure.” A presentation from the bond election committee is expected to be made to council in February, and council has several months to discuss the

AUG. 4 Arguments pro/con led with city clerk

SEPT. 20 Sample ballot/informational pamphlet mailed to voters before election

NOV. 2 Election Day

SOURCE: CITY OF CHANDLERCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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2 0 2 1 S P E C I A L E D I T I O N

Chandler CityManagerMarsha Reed plans to retire inMarch

City Council adds two newcouncil members BY ALEXA D’ANGELO On Jan. 14, the newmembers of Chandler City Council took their seats on the dais. Newmembers Christine Ellis and OD Harris were elected to the council in November. Jeremy McClymonds and SamHuang were honored in January as outgoing members of the council. Ellis marks the rst Black woman on Chandler City Council, according to city ocials. The council will be tackling a bond election, a new city manager, updating master plans and COVID-19 during 2021, in addition to the council’s regular business.

OTHER STORIES TO FOLLOW IN 2021

Master plan updates The city of Chandler has been updating master plans for parks, transportation, the airport and other areas of the city. These plans involve citizen input and council input, and nal plans should be available in 2021.

BY ALEXA D’ANGELO Chandler City Manager Marsha Reed announced Jan. 6 that she will retire in March. Her replace- ment will need to be selected in the coming months. Details on the process have not yet been revealed. “When you’ve worked for as long as I have, and at my age, this is typical,” Reed said. “You have to decide when it’s going to be, and after serving the public for 38 years, I’ve decided.” Reed joined the city of Chandler in April 2013 as an assistant city manager before being appointed city manager in April 2016. Prior to coming to the city of Chandler, Marsha worked for the city of Lubbock, Texas, for 20 years, serving in many capacities in public works and the last ve years as chief operating ocer

overseeing several large departments. “Mayor and council have two new council members; I would assume [discussions about my replacement] have yet to be held,” Reed said. Reed’s last day will be March 4, she said. In the next couple months, Reed will oversee much of the internal decision-making for the city’s budget, and she will continue working with the chair of the citizens bond exploratory committee to get its report to council in February. From there, the council will determine whether to call for a bond election in November. Marsha Reed

Jack Sellers

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

Jack Sellers is now the chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. Sellers represents District 1, including Chandler. MEETINGSWE COVER Chandler City Council Jan. 28, Feb. 11, 6 p.m. 88 E. Chicago St., Chandler 480-782-2181 • www.chandleraz.gov

Christine Ellis

OD Harris

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CHANDLER EDITION • JANUARY 2021

The shop also oers signature seasonings as well as a variety of seasonings and rubs from local vendors.

BUSINESS FEATURE

Von Hanson’s specializes in premium beef in a variety of cuts. (Photos by Alexa D’Angelo/Community Impact Newspaper)

VonHanson’sMeats &Spirits Market specializes in quality product, customer service BY ALEXA D’ANGELO W

most proud of. He said he and the sta like to help other people learn to cook and make a great meal at home—especially with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic keeping more people from eating out. “Cooking is a form of entertainment,” Van Zuiden said. “It’s a nice way to hang out. Some people come in here, and they don’t know what they are eating for dinner that night. We like to help them plan a great meal and teach them how to cook it from start to nish.” The market also sells locally sourced spices, sauces and rubs; makes dog treats; and sells dog bones and is known best for its sausages. The market also oers customers a variety of take- and-bake items that are ready to cook and serve. Von Hanson’s is also a haven for hunters who will bring javelina and deer in to be preserved and cut. “We really want to excel at customer service and give a good product. It’s not going to be the cheapest product, but it is going to be high quality with a reasonable price,” Neese said. Van Zuiden said he wants to make sure every- one who walks through the door feels valued. “We have food you can’t get anywhere else and customer service you don’t see anywhere else,” Van Zuiden said.

hen Martha Neese and her husband moved from Minnesota to Arizona years ago, they said they did not miss the cold, harsh winters—but they did miss the meat. They would go back home and bring back as much meat as they possibly could. They would stop in at their local Von Hanson’s and stock up, until they had the idea to bring a taste of the Midwest to the Valley of the Sun. “We thought it would be a great thing to have a meat market down here because of all the Minnesota and Midwestern people that were in the same boat as us—that hated the meat here and didn’t want to eat it and basically would become vegetarians,” Neese said. Neese said when they opened Von Hanson’s in Chandler in June 2004, it was dicult to break into the market. “Once we got our food in their mouths, they would keep coming back,” Neese said of Von Hanson’s customers. “It was getting them in the door at rst that was dicult.” The quality and customer service Von Hanson’s doles out is what manager Keith Van Zuiden is

VonHanson’sMeats &Spirits 2390 N. Alma School Road, Chandler 480-917-2525 www.vonhansonsmeats.net Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. TREATS FOR FIDO After many requests from customers, Von Hanson’s added a section for dogs. Bones and treats for dogs are available at the market. The bones are sourced from the meat the market uses, and the treats are formulated with the market’s meat as well.

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W. MESQUITE ST.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

DINING FEATURE Serrano’s Mexican Food Family-owned restaurant is a piece of Chandler history T he story of Serrano’s Mexican Food begins a century ago in Chandler. The Serrano family owned and operated a dry goods store called The Popular Store; the family business eventually morphed into Serrano’s Depart- ment Store, which was run by Ernie Serrano, his uncle and his grandfather. In 1979, Ernie and Eva Serrano decided to strike out and start up a restaurant in downtown Chandler across the street from the department store. “My mom is a fantastic cook,” Ric Serrano said. “We would have a big Sunday dinner with beans, tortillas, everything. That Sunday dinner turned into La Casa Serrano.” Theresa Serrano said her parents worked incredibly hard while running the restaurant. “They were always here,” Theresa said. “Our mom was always decked out and looking nice, and my dad dressed up every evening for dinner. They had such a great work ethic— that’s what made it so good. Chandler is our home. It was like having friends over to Ernie and Eva’s for dinner.” The Serrano family has been in Chandler for 100 years, Ric said. The city even honored them at a Chandler City Council meeting in late 2019. The family stays engaged with the community—in Chandler and beyond—as much as possible. They often work with Chandler police, and outside all ve Serrano family restaurants, there are banners signaling support of police ocers. The family also volunteers with St. Vincent de Paul once a month to feed the homeless. “Our parents instilled in us a sense of giving,” Ric said. “If you’re getting something, you need to give back, and it’s a privilege to do it.” The Serranos said their business—as have all other small businesses—has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. “COVID-19 has aected us drastically,” Ric said, and his sister noted that it is crucial for the community to support small businesses whenever possible. “We support small businesses like ours as much as possible,” Theresa said. “We ask that everyone else do the same.”

BY ALEXA D’ANGELO

The Serrano siblings all play a role in the family business.

COURTESY SERRANO’S MEXICAN RESTAURANTS

The menu is lled with staples such as the Burro + Cheese Enchilada ($15.99) .

TEST KITCHEN The Serrano family deployed a test kitchen at its Chandler restaurant this year to try out new recipes. Lorraine Serrano said the test kitchen makes it easier to decide what to roll out on the menu at all ve locations. “We like to monitor menu items and see how people like it,” Lorraine said. “So far, we’ve been getting good reviews.” Test kitchen items include cocktails, desserts and twists on traditional Mexican dishes.

The menu oers a variety of tacos, including the Quesabirria Tacos ($10.99) .

W. CHANDLER BLVD.

Serrano’sMexican Food 141 S Arizona Ave, Chandler 480-899-3318 www.serranosaz.com Hours: Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., closed Sun.

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CHANDLER EDITION • JANUARY 2021

TOP STORY

Banner and Dignity have both made investments of millions of dollars into the Chandler community and brought hundreds of health care jobs to the city. Increasing hospital bandwidth

DIGNITY’S CHANDLER REGIONAL NEWTOWER D

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AMENITIES • Emergency room • Full complement of surgical services • Cardiac services • Gastrointestinal and endoscopy services • Labor and delivery services • Nursery

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SOURCE: DIGNITY HEALTHCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

SOURCE: BANNER HEALTHCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

in 1961 with 42 beds, when Chandler’s populationwas 9,531, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The city’s latest population estimate was more than 261,000. The expansion of Tower D will bring thehospital to429beds total, saidBrian Galle, vice president of operations for Dignity Health Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert medical centers. “The expansion will allow us to con- tinue growing our specialty services and provide a foundation for further expansion into higher-acuity care for services we are already providing, such as neurosurgery, and thoracic

pandemic has highlighted where there were weak spots in access to health care that have only been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. “If this pandemic happened 10 years ago, that part of the Valley—the south- east Valley—would’ve been in a world of hurt,” said Will Humble, former Arizona Department of Health Ser- vices director and current executive director of the Arizona Public Health Association. Investing in Chandler Chandler Regional has long been the city’s only hospital. The facility opened

and vascular services,” Galle said. “The new tower will also help support our venture into further expanding our role in growing the next generation of physicians as we partner to expand post-graduate medical education.” Banner’s facility cost $155.2 mil- lion, according to hospital ocials. Dignity’s new tower is expected to cost $192 million. The new hospitals will also contrib- ute to the growing health care sector in Chandler, which accounts for one of the city’s top employment sectors with more than 9,000 employees in health care elds, according to data from

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AUTHENTIC NEW MEXICAN CUISINE OVER 150 TEQUILAS “We are trending in the right direc- tion,” Miranda said. “We anticipate the city to be where we want it to be in a year or two in terms of jobs and capacity.” Public health ocials say the according to Banner ocials. Banner Ocotillo Medical Center brought 124 inpatient beds to the city. The newDignity tower is expected to bring between 150 and 200 jobs to the city, according to Dignity ocials. The expansion will net the hospital 96 new patient beds, according to Dignity.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

2 0 2 1 S P E C I A L E D I T I O N

POPULATION GROWTH IN CHANDLER As the population of the city of Chandler has increased, the number of hospital beds has also increased. HOSPITAL BEDS POPULATION

HEALTH&BIOSCIENCE EMPLOYMENT According to the city of Chandler, health and bioscience is one of the key employment areas of the city as of January 2021. TOP EMPLOYERS INHEALTH CARE AND BIOSCIENCE 1 Dignity Health 2 CVS Health 3 Arizona Nutritional Supplements 4 Walgreens 5 Apria Healthcare 6 Tivity Health 7 CoValence Laboratories 8 Banner Health

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9,531

1961

5,450+ jobs in health care and bioscience in Chandler

553

261,000

2021

SOURCE: CITY OF CHANDLERCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

SOURCE: CITY OF CHANDLERCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

COVID19 and hospitals Galle said the pandemic has under- scored the need for more major health care providers in Chandler and in the surrounding East Valley area. “As we’ve continued to evolve during the pandemic tomeet the needs of our patients, we have continued to look for new and innovative ways to be able to ex our care in existing space if the need ever arises,” Galle said. “The pandemic has certainly underscored the importance for organizations like ours to provide response, resources and expertise to meet patient and pub- lic health demands.” Ann-Marie Alameddin, president and CEO of the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, said hospitals across the state are seeing “tremen- dous challenges” as COVID-19 patients continue to pour into hospitals. “This unrelenting surge takes a toll on our health care workers who show up towork every day to care for anyone who walks into their doors for care,” Alameddin said. “The scale, scope and duration of this pandemic has challenged the health care system in unprecedented ways. We continue to rise up to meet these challenges, but we are now at a tipping point in terms of hospital capacity and resources.” Banner Ocotillo opened in Novem- ber, just as COVID-19 cases began to

Maricopa Association of Governments. Dignity Health is the top employer in the city in the health care sector, employing 2,670 employees, according to the city of Chandler. Mark Slyter, president and CEO of Dignity Health Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert medical centers, said he believes the new construction at the hospital is exciting not just for the hospital community, but for all of Chandler. “The new tower will not only bring new jobs to the East Valley, but it will allow us to further our commitment to providing the best care possible to our growing and aging community,” Slyter said. Laura Robertson, CEO of Banner Ocotillo Medical Center, said Banner’s decision to build inChandler was based on the growing need in the Southeast Valley. “The Southeast Valley is one of the fastest-growing segments in Maricopa County,” Robertson said. “Next door to Banner Ocotillo, we have a Banner Health Center, which provides primary care in this area, and we have a med- ical oce building under construction across the street for even more con- venience, which will house physician oce space, an ambulatory surgery center and an outpatient imaging center.”

rise to levels nearing the summer peak. “We have been busy out of the gate,” Robertson said. “Our plan has been to start with a core group of sta and expand incrementally as we grow. We are currently hiring and onboarding additional team members in response to the volume we have seen.” According to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Chandler Regional is at 98% capacity and Banner Ocotillo is at 31% capacity. Humble said he believes the East Valley, particularly up until the mid- to late 2000s, had an insucient number of hospital beds for the number of resi- dents in the area. “I can remember times where we were getting so much grief from the [emergency medical services] world during cold and u season because they couldn’t ooad patients because of space,” Humble said. “Everyone has a [capacity] problem of course now, but if this happened in the late 2000s, it would have been a lot worse. There would have been a lot of people on long ambulance rides. Some of that got xed with the new construction.” As a result of the COVID-19 pan- demic, both hospital systems have made adjustments to original designs to account for changes brought about by the coronavirus. At Dignity, the new

tower will allow for greater exibility and ventilation improvements and a plan for sta to co-mingle with their health and safety in mind, Galle said. Construction was already under- way at Banner Ocotillo Medical Center when the pandemic began in full force last March. Robertson said the facility’s contractor—Oakland Construction— and Banner worked together to imple- ment COVID-19 safety mechanisms during construction. “Now that we are open, we have operationalized all aspects of safety, including adding Plexiglas divid- ers, health screening stations at all entrances, thermal cameras for employee entrances, limited or spaced out waiting rooms and more that help keep everyone safe,” Robertson said. Health care ocials continue to urge the public to maintain health and safety protocols as Arizona leads the nation in the number of new cases per capita, as of Jan. 6. “We are grateful that we have already undertaken the path of build- ing more space for additional services prior to the pandemic as it gets us that much closer to being able to care for additional patients,” Galle said.

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