Tag Archives: gilbert


New Menchie’s store in Gilbert celebrates grand opening

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt (www.menchies.com), known for its rotating flavors and toppings and its mission to make every guest smile, will be celebrating with week-long deals, fun activities and FREE frozen yogurt beginning this Saturday.

  • Saturday, September 19th: Free 8 oz. yogurt (11am-1pm), free t-shirts to the first 25 guests, a balloon artist and a free family friendly concert beginning at 7pm
  • Sunday, September 20th: Free plushie doll to the first 25 guests, free color-in t-shirt, and free face painting beginning at 1pm
  • Monday, September 21st: Fill up your cup for $1 from 7pm-8pm
  • Tuesday, September 22nd: Kids eat free from 2pm-4pm *One 10 oz. cup per child ages 10 years or younger
  • Wednesday, September 23rd: Half-off lunchtime yumm from 11am-1pm
  • Thursday, September 24th: Free dodge balls to the first 25 guests at 3pm
  • Friday, September 25th: Date night—Buy one get one free

Menchie’s Gilbert will also be donating 25% of proceeds from the week to the Gilbert Roadrunners to help introduce young athletes with intellectual disabilities to the world of sports.

Menchie’s Gilbert is located at 5022 South Power Road, Suite 108, Gilbert, AZ 85212.


ACA announces spring Innovation Challenge winners

The Spring 2015 round of the Arizona Innovation Challenge culminated today as the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) announced the six winning companies. These grant recipients represent early-stage Arizona companies that are creating innovative technological solutions with the potential for significant economic impact. 

The Spring 2015 Arizona Innovation Challenge Grant Recipients are:

• CampusLogic – Gilbert, AZ (IT – Software): CampusLogic’s cloud-based software solutions are the TurboTax of higher education financial aid administration. Its suite of products saves time, cuts costs, and increases student satisfaction.

• eVisit – Gilbert, AZ (IT – Software): eVisit is physician-first software platform that enables physicians and providers to increase revenue and quality of care by providing online treatment, billing and e-prescription solutions, and daily patient health data and analytics.

• RBar Energy – Tucson, AZ (Advanced Manufacturing): RBar Energy utilizes high-pressure and high-moisture manufacturing techniques for food made with all natural ingredients. 

• RevolutionParts, Inc. – Tempe, AZ (IT – Software): RevolutionParts is a highly-specialized software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that makes it easy for automotive dealerships to sell factory car parts online.

• RightBio Metrics – Scottsdale, AZ (Bio & Life Sciences): RightBio Metrics’ three pH measurement devices (RightSpot pH Indicator, RightSpot Infant pH Indicator, and RightLevel pH Detector) allow clinicians to safely and accurately obtain a pH measurement of aspirate from NG feeding, suction, and PEG tubes. 

• Swimlane – Tempe, AZ (IT – Software): Swimlane is a platform that allows enterprises and government agencies to streamline and automate their security operations and incident response.

A panel of expert judges evaluated 138 applications for the Spring 2015 AIC round, from companies based in Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Texas and Wisconsin. Each company was assessed on a set of criteria including technology potential, marketing strategy, quality of management team and economic impact. These companies represent high-value industry sectors that include IT software, IT hardware, bio and life sciences, cleantech/renewable energy, advanced materials, advanced manufacturing, and aerospace and defense. In June 2015, a total of 10 finalists were named in this round.

“Congratulations to the winners in this latest round of the Arizona Innovation Challenge,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. “As they commercialize their technology, these innovative companies will continue to create high-quality jobs that have a positive economic impact, and we’re thrilled to support them in that journey.”


Arizona is nationally recognized as a top state for entrepreneurial activity due to the strength of its innovation ecosystem, which includes programs such as the AIC that support early-stage companies. Under the Arizona Commerce Authority, eight rounds of the AIC have been completed and more than 1,400 applications received for the program since 2011. Including the most recent Spring 2015 recipients, the ACA has awarded 50 AIC grants to Arizona’s entrepreneurs to help them accelerate their businesses and advance technologies.

Broadstone Civic Center

Alliance Residential buys multifamily site in Gilbert

DTZ announced that Broadstone Civic Center, LLC (Alliance Residential) purchased a 13.72 acre, 256-unit multifamily development site located south of the southwest corner of Warner Road and Civic Center Drive in Gilbert for $3.85 million ($$15,039 per unit). The seller was AZ Gilbert Holdings 2, LLC (an entity formed by Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc.).

DTZ Executive Managing Directors David Fogler and Steven Nicoluzakis and Managing Director Don Arones represented the seller during the transaction.

“This immediate location has significant access to employment and retail amenities, and with the limited supply of multifamily sites available in Gilbert and the quality that Alliance delivers, this will prove to be a very successful development,” said Mr. Fogler.

Alliance Residential is partnering with Appian Capital, LLC to develop Broadstone Civic Center, a 256 unit apartment complex. Slated to break ground in second quarter 2015, the gated project is planned to include one, two and three-bedroom units that range in size from 750 to 1,300 square feet. Alliance Residential Builders is the contractor on the project.

The property was part of a 37-acre parcel Lehman Brothers purchased in 2005 and is adjacent to the Gilbert Civic Center and Gilbert Town Hall.  It is surrounded by a large amenity base of retailers and restaurants including the Downtown Gilbert Heritage District, a pedestrian-friendly area filled with restaurants, shops, cultural attractions and scenic parks.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer, Cheryl Pollack, Michael Pollack and Gilbert Mayor John Lewis. Photos courtesy of Pollack Investments.

Michael Pollack unveils biggest challenge of career

Horse Being LoweredReal estate entrepreneur and Valley philanthropist Michael Pollack of Pollack Investments has transformed hundreds of shopping centers, totaling more than 10-million square-feet of space, but never in his 40+ years of rehabbing centers has Pollack made this dramatic of a transformation until now.

Pollack unveiled his rehabilitated shopping center at Gilbert and Ray Roads in Gilbert, alongside Cardinals’ quarterback Carson Palmer, who has spent the last six months rehabbing a torn ACL.  Together Pollack and Palmer shared their two inspirational rehabilitation stories of 2015.

“For me this was the biggest architectural challenge of my career,” said Pollack.  “We took something that was out of date and ugly, and refigured it to look like an old Hollywood western town.  Just like Carson Palmer’s rehabbed knee will give fans something to cheer about this season, I’m confident this new refreshed center at Ray and Gilbert will keep the community happy for years to come.”

Gilbert Mayor John Lewis presented Pollack with a special recognition award, and Pollack presented a contribution to the Healing Hearts Animal Rescue and Refuge. The non-profit, which rehabilitates animals and horses across the Valley.

While Palmer might not be an expert in the area of renovation, the Cardinals’ QB can sympathize about the time it takes to rehabilitate something of significance.

“This guy definitely deserves the credit. Michael’s center may have actually been a bigger undertaking than my knee,” joked Palmer. “But in all seriousness, I have spent a good six months working with my doctors and physical therapists and I’m happy to report I am getting close to being in possibly the best shape of my career. Just looking forward to getting back on the field and having a great season.”  

Palmer, who now calls the Valley home for much of the year, is very supportive of civic improvements and the local industry.  

Pollack even found a special place to incorporate the fiberglass horse that he saved from the ugly 12,500-square-foot strip mall after he purchased it in 2013.  During the press conference Pollack, alongside Palmer will use a crane to unveil the horse and its new Western setting.

“I can remember looking at that horse when I first rolled into town 22 years ago,” said Pollack.  “It is a great feeling to know we not only saved the center, but today can find a new special home for the fiberglass horse and give some needed dollars back to an organization that rehabilitates real living and breathing horses right here in our own community.” 

Mark Boisclair Photography, Inc.

Maracay Homes introduces new community in Chandler

Maracay Homes is celebrating the opening of its latest residential community, Layton Lakes, with a neighborhood gathering from noon to 3 p.m., Saturday, May 23. The gated community is Maracay’s second Chandler neighborhood to open this year.  

Located on Layton Lakes Boulevard, east of Gilbert Road, the neighborhood lies within the Layton Lakes master-planned community, featuring scenic waterfalls, lakes, and streams that form an urban oasis tucked amid the rapidly growing south Chandler area. Maracay’s new model homes will be unveiled at the community event, where prospective buyers can take a tour and learn about all the neighborhood amenities, including parks, playgrounds, a community splash pad and much more. Full interactive floor plans and details are available at www.MaracayHomes.com.

Conveniently connected to the East Valley’s major employment centers, shopping, dining and other conveniences via the Santan Freeway and major expressways, Maracay Homes’ intimate Layton Lakes enclave features 47 home sites with five distinct single-level floor plans from Maracay’s popular Hallmark, Imperial and Paragon collections. Ranging from 3,178 to 3,843 square feet, each plan offers a broad selection of FlexDesign® options, such as casita, generation suite and alternative kitchen island layouts, tailored to meet each family’s individual needs. All homes are Energy Star® certified and include Maracay Homes’ Living Smart® program for high performance and energy efficiency.

For more information or to schedule a tour, please contact Maracay Homes sales representative Andy Quigley at (480) 553-7229 or visit Layton Lakes at Layton Lakes Boulevard, east of Gilbert Road, Chandler, AZ 85249.


Rents spike as vacancy continues to tighten

Screen shot 2015-05-01 at 10.21.10 AMMarket report supplied by Colliers International


The Greater Phoenix multifamily market continued to ride a wave of momentum to start 2015. Robust renter demand for units fueled another vacancy improvement, rents surged and sales prices posted additional gains. Healthy employment growth is the driving force behind renter demand, and the new units that are being delivered to the market are being leased quickly. The supply side remains the primary uncertainty going forward, particularly as permitting for new units slowed in late-2014 and again in the first few months of this year.


After ending 2014 at a 17-year low, the Greater Phoenix multifamily vacancy rate continued to improve in the first three months of 2015. The rate fell 50 basis points in the first quarter to 5.7 percent, and over the past 12 months, vacancy has dipped 80 basis points. The ongoing vacancy tightening has been dynamic; as recently as the end of 2010, metrowide vacancy was over 10 percent, and the rate peaked at more than 13 percent in 2009.

While the market rate was over 10 percent a few years ago, currently, only one submarket in all of Greater Phoenix currently has a vacancy rate in the double digits. A dozen submarkets in the Valley feature vacancy rates of 5 percent or lower, with some of the tightest vacancies in the Ahwatukee Foothills, Chandler and Gilbert submarkets. Year-over-year vacancy declines have been recorded in more than 70 percent of the submarkets in the metro area, and in the areas where the rate is improving, the average decline is approximately 150 basis points.

Screen shot 2015-05-01 at 10.21.24 AM

After renters moved into a net of more than 5,800 units in 2014, another surge in demand was recorded in the first quarter. Net absorption hit a five-year high in the first quarter, totaling more than 2,800 units, up nearly 15 percent from the first quarter 2014. While absorption was strongest in Scottsdale and Chandler/Gilbert, it was positive in nearly every submarket in the Valley during the first quarter, with healthy performance in the Glendale, Union Hills/Cave Creek and Ahwatukee Foothills submarkets.

Persistent renter demand for units and tightening vacancy are fueling robust rent growth. Asking rents surged 2.2 percent in the first quarter—the strongest single quarterly increase on record—and have jumped 5.4 percent over the past 12 months.This comes following a 1.5 percent rent gain to close 2014, which at the time was the largest rent spike since 2006. At $837 per month, current asking rents are 9 percent above the post-recession low, and average increases in the 4.0 percent to 6.5 percent range are forecast over the next few years.

Sales velocity in the first three months of 2015 lagged activity levels from the preceding quarter by approximately 20 percent, but declines in the first quarter are common. When compared to other starts to the year, however, activity was quite robust, with more properties changing hands to start 2015 than in any first quarter since 2007. When compared to the same period one year ago, sales activity thus far in 2015 has more than doubled.

Strengthening property performance and favorable market sentiment are pushing prices higher. The median price per unit rose approximately 10 percent in 2014 and continued to gain momentum to start this year. The median price in the first quarter was $73,100 per unit, the highest median price since 2008. Part of the recent rise is explained by activity at the high-end of the market.Sales of properties for more than $100,000 per unit accounted for 38 percent of all transaction volume in the first quarter, up from 30 percent of all sales in 2014. These higher-priced properties are typically newer construction, averaging 10 years old at the time of sale. With developers increasing deliveries in recent years, and investment demand healthy, there could be additional volume among newer properties in the years ahead.

Screen shot 2015-05-01 at 10.21.41 AM


SRP customer shares ways to save on utility bill

With a little planning, Aprilee Peña, a Gilbert mother of three, will save money on her energy bills this summer, while keeping cool and comfortable. The Peña family is one of more than 100,000 customers who are already on the SRP EZ-3™ Price Plan. Last year, the Peña’s saved close to $300 by limiting energy use during just three hours on weekdays.

“We love the EZ-3 Price Plan. It is family friendly and easy to save,” said Peña. “We’re on a monthly budget and as a family we work together to keep within that budget, so from 3 to 6 p.m. during the week, we are careful with our power use.”

EZ-3 helps customers save on their energy bills when they plan ahead and use less energy during three, higher-cost on-peak hours – either 3 to 6 p.m. or 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays when energy costs more to produce. The rest of the hours, including weekends and six holidays are off-peak and priced lower. For the Peña family, using a programmable thermostat to precool the home yields needed savings.

“I plan ahead to keep the house comfortable by precooling. It is very easy to do with a programmable thermostat. I lower the temperature before the three hours, and then raise it from 3 to 6 p.m. By 3 p.m., my air conditioner barely runs,” said Peña. “And if we really want to cool off, we jump in the pool or go out for a bit, and return in time for the AC to kick in again at 6 p.m.”

The 30-year old mother says her crockpot is her “best friend” during the summer months because it allows her to cook meals ahead of time and keep the oven turned off so the kitchen isn’t hot. Also, to save money during the 3 to 6 p.m. time frame, she doesn’t use the dishwasher, dryer or any large appliance. Aprilee says the extra cash is spent for summer vacations and their savings have convinced many friends to switch to

“Customers who save on EZ-3 see an average savings of 5.5 percent annually on their electric bill,” said Cindy Marzofka, SRP’s director of marketing and brand management. “The EZ-3 Price Plan is a great option for any customer who can plan ahead and limit energy use during three on-peak weekday hours — either 3 to 6 p.m. or 4 to 7 p.m.”

SRP customers can try the EZ-3 Price Plan for 90 days. If the first three bills exceed what would have been paid on the residential Basic Price Plan, they can call SRP within 30 days of the third bill to be credited the difference and returned to the Basic plan at no charge. To learn more, go to srpnet.com/EZ3savings or call (602) 236-8888.


Valley model Christa Sandstrom could ‘go global,’ experts say

Christa-Sandstrom-swimwear-003“I have a good feeling Christa Sandstrom is that Arizona fresh face that will actually go global,” Brian Hill, executive director of Phoenix Fashion Week, said about the emerging model who is a Gilbert native.

Featured in major publications such as Mainsteam Magazine, Glamour Magazine Italy and Runway Magazine, Christa Sandstrom is being recognized as “on the rise,” and is quickly becoming one of the most famous models in Arizona, according to Sean Normoyle, publisher of Mainstream Magazine.

In addition to being featured in major editorial spreads of various magazines, Sandstrom has also worked with globally renowned designers such as GUESS by Merciano, Ted Baker London, Gemma Gucci, the late Oscar de la Renta, MAC Cosmetics, and many others.

Sandstrom has worked in various campaigns and participated in several fashion weeks that have taken place across the nation. Sandstrom currently models under the Ford/Robert Black Agency in Scottsdale and has recently campaigned for the Talking Stick Resort for release pool parties in Phoenix.

“Christa has always had a passion for our industry since she was a young teen model we started representing. We are so proud of her success and wish her all the best in her future endeavors. The sky is the limit for Christa,” said Sheree Hartwell of the Ford/Robert Black Agency.

Sandstrom admits she has always had an interest in a modeling career, stating that “it had always been a dream of [her’s], and it didn’t help that [she] was always taller than average.” Sandstrom began her modeling expedition when her mother enrolled her in a modeling school at the age of twelve. She was discovered as a model, however, during an international competition by the International Model and Talent Association in New York City, New York.

Sandstrom states that while modeling has always been a dream of her’s, she considered and still considers a different career path in the future. She has considered careers such as veterinary science because of her love for animals, but now has an interest in becoming a broadcast journalist.

For now, however, Sandstrom is fully committed to her modeling career, stating that she is focused on “getting to the next level as a model.” Sandstrom has an intensive diet and fitness regime she commits to in order to feel and look her best. “I do an hour of cardio every day with high intensity,” she said. “I eat a lot of superfoods and a lot of veggies. I also love to do yoga.”

Although Sandstrom can be seen on the runway sporting a Cinderella blue minidress with lace detailing by Ted Baker London or a plaid pantsuit by Daniel Esquivel on the runway, she admits that her personal style mostly consists of blacks and greys. “It’s a bit edgy but still well-put together,” Sandstrom explained. She admitted that she loves to pair her neutral outfits with a pop of color on her feet with colored flats or heels.

Sandstrom has been praised by photographers and stylists since she began her modeling career.  “It is amazing that someone that beautiful is so humble and friendly. It makes her so easy to work with and I feel honored to have had the opportunity,” David Apeji, a photographer from Pixyst Premium Imaging LLC, said about Sandstrom. Jackie Marin, a fashion stylist, stated that Sandstrom “knows how to bring high fashion” and is “one of her favorite models in Arizona.”

Sandstrom says that she loves her career because of its “competitive nature” and that it has always “pushed [her] to become [her] best.”

Lo-Lo's Chicken & Waffles 094_HDR_small

Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles opens at Heritage Marketplace

LGE Design Build has completed construction of Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles at Heritage Marketplace, a family friendly, pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use development in downtown Gilbert.

Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles, 366 N. Gilbert Road, is now open. The 4,300-square-foot restaurant offers a full bar with several large television screens and outdoor seating that draws energy from the street.


“Business has been wonderful. The Town of Gilbert has been amazing and very receptive to Lo-Lo’s,” said Rasheedah White, one of the owners and founders of Lo-Lo Chicken & Waffles’ along with husband Larry White. “We will continue to strive to provide fresh, home cooked food and be a good business for Gilbert.”

The Heritage Marketplace location is the third Lo-Lo’s that LGE has constructed in the Valley. Lo-Lo’s also has a location at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport’s Terminal 4.

“The Gilbert location of Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles is absolutely beautiful. It is consistent with Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles’ unique brand, blends in well with the Gilbert Heritage District’s history and charm and enhances the excitement on the street with outdoor tables,” said David Sellers, president of LGE Design Build.

Heritage Marketplace, an integral element of Gilbert’s Heritage District, is located on the northwest corner of Gilbert Road and Vaughn Avenue. At build out, Heritage Marketplace will include more than 70,000 square feet of retail, office and restaurant space. Zinburger, Pomo, Barrio Queen and Petersen’s Old-Fashioned Ice Cream also are located at Heritage Marketplace.


Williams Landing Apartments sell for $4.15M

ORION Investment Real Estate announced the sale of Williams Landing Apartments, a 72-unit apartment complex in Gilbert, Arizona, for $4,150,000.  Jackie Allen, Vice President of Multifamily Investments at ORION marketed the property and negotiated the transaction.


Williams Landing Apartments is a two-story community consisting of 72 rental units. The property was built in 1982 using frame & stucco construction, with pitched tile roofs. The unit mix is comprised of one and two bedroom apartments housed in 6- two story buildings. Community amenities include a stand-alone leasing office, swimming pool and laundry facilities.


The multifamily asset is located in the desirable Gilbert submarket. It is strategically located in the center of the Power Road corridor, determined by planners to be a “road of regional significance.” Williams Landing is the only apartment complex between 50-100 units within this submarket.


The Seller was AMPOL, LLC based in Gilbert and the Buyer was Williams Landing LP based in Chicago.


Voit sells two multi-tenant retail centers

Darren Tappen, SVP, and Matthew Ault, senior associate, in Voit Real Estate Services’ Phoenix office along with Peter Beauchamp, SVP, in Voit’s Irvine office have successfully directed the sale of two multi-tenant retail centers in the Gilbert submarket with a combined transaction value of $9,861,250.

The 24,533 square-foot retail center known as Rodeo Park Plaza is located at 1659 & 1661 S. Val Vista Dr. & 1663 E. Ray Rd. and sold for $2.8 million while the larger 43,681 square-foot Val Vista Marketplace at 1551 E. Elliot Road, sold for $7,061,250.

In addition to the leasing assignment for the project, the Voit team represented the seller, WBCMT 2006-C29 Val Vista Retail, LLC & JPMC 2005-CIBC13 East Elliot, LLC (affiliates of LNR Partners) in the marketing and sale of the assets. The buyers, L.S.S., Inc. on Rodeo Park and Jabbell Holdings, LLC on Val Vista Marketplace, purchased the assets via Auction.com. On Rodeo Park, the buyer plans to retain Voit’s current leasing team, directed by Ault, in the continuing lease-up of the center.

“In both cases, the buyers recognized the increasing potential in recent tenant interest we’ve had on several of the vacancies, allowing them to develop a realistic timeframe for stabilization,” according to Ault.

Purchased as part of Auction.com’s Q-4 2014 national commercial real estate event, Tappen notes, “As we’ve successfully done on several prior Auction.com assets, we hustle within a short timeframe to provide buyers as much underwriting assistance as possible to ensure the Seller is dealing with well-informed bidders.”

“We’ve been working with Auction.com on varying assets for the past 3-4 years and have found that on assignments similar to Rodeo Park, the combination of Auction.com’s far-reaching, broad-based marketing and our ability to generate significant interest in advance of the auction, typically results in more qualified participation on the bid day and a more favorable resolution for the Seller,” notes Beauchamp.

The area developer of Orangetheory Fitness and her husband decided to give back by taking a trip led by Return Hope International and opening a water well in the slums of Africa. Photo by Robin Sendele, AZ Big Media

Renner’s hustle pays off with Orangetheory

Looking back at her college bio, Becky Renner recollects writing, “I want to run a fitness facility with my husband.” Renner’s enthusiasm for the world of fitness gave her the determination needed to reach her dream career as an area developer of Orangetheory Fitness.

Renner married her college sweetheart, Travis Renner, and had four children. Travis worked in sales at a local gym and Renner owned a daycare service as she raised her children, but the couple wanted more.

In 2012, Renner founded a fitness studio based on group personal training and she made the decision to buy the Arizona area of Orangetheory Fitness. At first, business was slow and the process was stalled until her first location at Dana Park in Mesa was opened.

“We had literally, absolutely nothing in the beginning of this,” she said. “We had four kids, no job, no money, and making maybe $400 a month. We had nothing. What I learned was you just have to keep working, even when you know two years down the road there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Renner’s hardwork and commitment kicked into high gear as she and her husband sold all 24 Orangetheory licenses within six months.

“As area developers, we find people who want to invest and start their own Orangetheory Fitness studios (in Arizona),” she said. “You take the concept and you open it up.”

By the end of 2014, Renner had overseen the opening of 14 locations in Gilbert, Mesa, Chandler and Leawood, Kansas.

“Our goal is to really help people lose weight, get in shape, enjoy their workouts, and hopefully fight obesity,” Renner said. “Highest on my priority list are the things I love. I love fitness, I love my family, and I love being an owner and being in the business world.”

downtown Gilbert AZ

Money Ranks Gilbert 22nd Most Livable City

Gilbert has received yet another recognition as one of the best places to live in the country.  Time’s Money Magazine has ranked Gilbert as the 22nd Most Livable Small City in America. The study reviewed 781 cities with populations between 50,000 to 300,000, comparing factors ranging from the local economy and housing market to schools and healthcare.

Gilbert was the only Arizona city to make the list. The average population of the 50 cities recognized is 87,500, with only two cities, including Gilbert, with populations over 200,000. The study also shows that, of the top 50 cities, Gilbert holds the 4th lowest average property taxes.

“We are honored to receive this recognition from Money Magazine,” says Gilbert Mayor John Lewis. “For a community of Gilbert’s size to be recognized as one of the most livable is an incredible achievement and is a reflection of our great residents, businesses, and schools.”

To see the full article, and the reasons behind Gilbert making this list, visit https://time.com/money/3312332/gilbert-az-best-places-to-live/.

downtown Gilbert AZ

Money Ranks Gilbert 22nd Most Livable City

Gilbert, Arizona has received yet another recognition as one of the best places to live in the country. Time’s Money Magazine has ranked Gilbert as the 22nd Most Livable Small City in America. The study reviewed 781 cities with populations between 50,000 to 300,000, comparing factors ranging from the local economy and housing market to schools and healthcare. Gilbert was the only Arizona city to make the list. The average population of the 50 cities recognized is 87,500, with only two cities, including Gilbert, with populations over 200,000. The study also shows that, of the top 50 cities, Gilbert holds the 4th lowest average property taxes.

“We are honored to receive this recognition from Money Magazine,” says Gilbert Mayor John Lewis. “For a community of Gilbert’s size to be recognized as one of the most livable is an incredible achievement and is a reflection of our great residents, businesses, and schools.”

To see the full article, and the reasons behind Gilbert making this list, visit https://time.com/money/3312332/gilbert-az-best-places-to-live/.

clear energy systems coming to tempe

Gilbert Building its First CNG Station

Gilbert is moving forward with plans for its first Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling station which will be located at Gilbert’s South Area Service Center on Greenfield Road. The facility is planned to have capacity to fuel up to 70 CNG truck in an eight-hour time frame at final build-out.

With a program budget of approximately $1,600,000, the station will provide fast-fill and time-fill components to meet Gilbert’s fleet needs. A public retail fueling component is also being considered for this site.

While alternative fueling facilities have been built in neighboring cities, this will be the first CNG fueling station located in Gilbert.

“We are excited to implement Gilbert’s first CNG fueling station,” says Environmental Services Manager Steven Pietrzkowsky. “CNG is a clean burning fuel that will considerably reduce our fuel costs while also allowing for quieter operations, which is important when servicing our residential areas.”

ET Environmental was selected to design and construct the new CNG facilities. “As avid proponents of the use of clean, domestic fuels, we are looking forward to working with Gilbert on this project,” says Todd Reasy, Project Manager for ET Environmental. Construction is scheduled to be complete in August 2015.


Valley cities rank high for Hispanic business climate

The United States is often dubbed “a nation of immigrants.” But lately the path to American citizenship has been a rough road, especially for an increasing number of Hispanics. Whether they’ve entered U.S. borders lawfully or otherwise, many have felt the sting of marginalization, racism and discrimination in every kind of social environment. And despite the unfriendly welcome, they’re as motivated as ever to put down roots in American soil in order to find better opportunities and improve their lives.

For Hispanics who’ve successfully integrated into American society, they also have managed to contribute significantly to the economy. Their collective impact is reflected in the growing quantity of Hispanic-owned businesses in the country, which stood at 3.1 million in 2013. Together, they hauled in an estimated $486 billion in revenue, as reported by Geoscape and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Even the estimated 11.7 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. bestow net positive gains on the national economy over time.

Equally as impressive, Hispanics opened businesses — many owned by self-employed individuals — at a rate more than twice the national average of 18 percent between 2002 and 2007, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau figures. Today, Hispanics and Latinos constitute the largest ethnic minority in the U.S. And by 2050, they could make up a third of the country’s population, quickly becoming what USHCC President and CEO Javier Palomarez appropriately described as “America’s business future.”

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month beginning Sept. 15, WalletHub, a leading personal finance social network, assessed the minority business climate within the 150 largest U.S. cities. It did so by examining 19 key metrics such as Hispanic entrepreneurship rates, corporate tax systems and the share of businesses owned by Hispanics.

Among the Top 20 best cities for Hispanic entrepreneurs, Metro Phoenix is represented by two cities — Gilbert and Chandler. Below are the rankings of each of them together with the top metrics.

Gilbert ranks No. 4 for Hispanic business climate:
4th – Hispanic Renters to Hispanic Owners Ratio
12th – Unemployment Rate of Hispanics
15th – Housing Affordability for Hispanics
18th – Length of Average Workday

Chandler ranks No. 10 for Hispanic business climate:
15th – Unemployment Rate of Hispanics
18th – Income Growth of Hispanics
18th – Length of Average Workday
19th – Hispanic Renters to Hispanic Owners Ratio

Freeman Farms

Fulton ‘Legacy’ at $15M before opening

While news headlines in August continue to declare sluggish new home sales figures in the Metro Phoenix market, one new Fulton Homes’ community in Gilbert is experiencing just the opposite.

As of Aug. 25, the Tempe-based homebuilder has sold 20 homes and has hit $15 million in sales at its Legacy at Freeman Farms community—and the models are not even open yet. Legacy’s single-level, 105-homesite community features floor plans ranging from 3,800 to 6,600 square feet, with 11-bedroom and six-bath options. Basements, a rarity in the Valley, are also. Price points begin at $575,000, some $300,000 more than the current average median price of a new home in Phoenix.

Homebuyer interest in Legacy has even outpaced that of past Fulton Homes’ communities, including the popular Fulton Ranch community in Chandler which opened in October 2006.

“We have been astounded by the enormous interest in Legacy,” said Doug Fulton, CEO of Fulton Homes. “These are among the largest homes we have even built. We are offering a luxury product with increased square footage, more bedroom space and room for vehicles, boats and storage to meet the demand of our customers. The sales spike even before the models open is a testament to both the quality homes we build and our awareness of what our customers are now looking for in a larger, modernized home.”

Located on S. Greenfield Road, Legacy will also feature swing-in motor courts, open spaces, ramadas, basketball and bocce ball courts, horseshoe pits and a shaded tot lot. Legacy is located near San Tan Mall and other amenities.

For further information, call 602-452-1000 or visit www.fultonhomes.com.


Chandler, Gilbert Youfit starting fitness classes for seniors

Seniors in Chandler and Gilbert stand to benefit greatly from Youfit Health Clubs’ partnership in the nationwide “SilverSneakers” program.

SilverSneakers encourages seniors to take control of their health by enjoying more physical activity. It provides free fitness-club memberships for seniors at any participating club across the country. And many health plans are now offering it as a benefit.

As a result of Youfit’s participation, seniors with healthcare plans such as Humana, AARP, AvMed, and Universal Health Care can now enjoy free membership in any of Youfit’s 10 clubs in the Valley. And they’ll have access to specially-trained SilverSneakers Advisors.

“We’re really excited about our involvement in the SilverSneakers program,” said Rick Berks, President/Founder of Youfit Health Clubs.

“It’s a win-win situation. For seniors, it’s a great chance to get in shape, and enhance their overall health. And for us, it’s a chance to give back to the folks in the Valley of the Sun, who’ve supported us enthusiastically.”

In addition, two Youfit clubs in the Valley – in Chandler and at one of the two Gilbert locations (870 E. Williams Field Rd.) – are now starting free exercise classes for seniors as part of the program. Seniors can move to the music as they increase muscular strength, range of movement, and stamina for daily living activities. The SilverSneakers class uses hand-held weights, elastic tubing with handles, and a ball for resistance training.

“We’re very interested in helping seniors adopt a program of ‘active aging,’” Rick Berks said. “It helps them live healthier and more-active lives, and there’s a very beneficial social aspect, as well. And seniors are not restricted to seniors-only classes – they can also take classes given to the general membership, such as zumba or yoga.”

Gilbert launches tool for small businesses

Small businesses in Gilbert are seeing how they “size up,” with a new, free online tool offered by the Gilbert Economic Development Department. The SizeUp SBI tool allows users to access information that could help their business, including demographics information, competitor locations, potential workforce, and more.

At a launch party on Thursday, small business owners learned more about the tool and were able to try it out. JW Rayhons, with Rayhons Financial Solutions, says he enjoys using the tool for his financial clients.

“This tool really allowed us to provide something valuable to our clients that didn’t have that level of resources,” he said. “Thank you to the Economic Development Department for putting this together and bringing this resource to the business community.”

Anyone can access the free tool by going to Gilbert Economic Development Department website, www.gilbertedi.com.

San Privada, Mark-Taylor

First Mark-Taylor-built rental community in Gilbert now open

Luxury living options in the East Valley are expanding by the hundreds with Mark-Taylor’s opening of its first high-end community in Gilbert, Ariz. The 296-unit San Privada , located in the acclaimed Spectrum neighborhood at Val Vista Drive and Pecos Road, offers an ideal living experience for established professionals as well as those looking to get a taste of the Gilbert lifestyle, one of the most coveted zip areas in America.

“Gilbert is home to a large number of young, educated employees with aspirations to move up the corporate ladder,” said Mark-Taylor Vice President Chris Brozina. “San Privada provides residents a high quality place to reside at a time where they might be more focused on their ascending career, and not necessarily ready for the commitment that comes with home ownership. Ultimately, the hope is that those future business leaders remain immersed in the Gilbert lifestyle and choose to make the town their permanent home and raise families there.”

San Privada’s core location provides residents with the ever-coveted “walkability” that allows pedestrians to utilize the town’s sidewalks and landscaped paths to access shopping, restaurants and employment. Being within blocks of the San Tan Mall and area retail, including Costco, Best Buy, Walmart, Harkin’s Theater and Dick’s Sporting Goods, underscores a convenient location unlike any other in the Valley.

The community is an example of “The Next Generation of Mark-Taylor,” a slogan the company uses to describe the evolution of apartment communities over the last two decades. In fact, the unit sizes will be among the largest ever built in the Valley. Additionally, San Privada’s features include those typically found in a modern, custom home, such as granite kitchen islands, custom wood cabinets, clean steel appliances, distressed plank flooring, oiled-bronze fixtures, pendant lighting and direct-access garages.

“To remain the first choice of quality renters, we’re constantly looking internally at what features we can improve, without becoming too trendy, but maintaining a timeless appeal,” said Brozina. “San Privada is the perfect example of that, with a fitness facility that is nearly 4,000 square feet in size and units that are among the largest in metro Phoenix. Those elements never go out of style and the residents appreciate the attention to lifestyle.”

Residents will also have access to a spinning studio, a cyber café with Mac and PC options, a social lounge, an outdoor cabana that includes a poolside kitchen, and the quintessential lagoon-style pool setting that has become a recognizable Mark-Taylor trademark over the years.

Rents range from $960 to $1800, with one, two and three-bedroom units now available to lease.

46-inch Fulton technology

Fulton Homes Utilizes Interactive Touch Screen Display

Fulton Homes has always had the touch when it comes to quality homebuilding. Now the Tempe-based residential builder is integrating a modern “touch” with innovative technology.

Fulton Homes will unveil a massive interactive 46-inch touch screen at its newest community “Legacy” in Gilbert when sales commence in August. Located in the main sales office, the touch screen will allow homebuyers to effortlessly search the more than 6,000 floor plan options available, all color-coded by lot size and square footages of rooms. Buyers will also be able in real time to easily connect with Google Maps to zoom in on all Fulton Homes communities and click on specific lots to determine size and elevation. Customers will also be able to automatically register for a Fulton Homes account.

“This will be are most technology-advanced sales office to date,” said Doug Fulton, CEO for Fulton Homes. “We decided to unveil the latest technology at Legacy, our newest community. The new touch screen adds a new element to the existing presentation screens we now have in our sales offices. In the future we expect to incorporate the same touch screen technology at our other sales offices as well.”

Located on S. Greenfield Road in Gilbert, Legacy is a 105-homesite community that features floor plans up to 6,600 square feet, with 11-bedroom, six-bath options and basements available. The list of Legacy’s interested buyers has swelled to nearly 400, easily outpacing that of past Fulton Homes’ communities.

Isagenix Entryway Rendering

Isagenix International comes to Rivulon development

Columbus-based Nationwide Realty Investors announced today that it has signed a lease with Arizona based health and wellness leader Isagenix International, LLC to occupy a 3-story single-tenant building at its master-planned Rivulon development in Gilbert, Ariz. Also completed is a land swap agreement with LA Fitness. Nationwide Realty Investors President and COO Brian J. Ellis made the announcement.

The Isagenix lease agreement launches the first phase in the 250-acre Rivulon development located at the corner of Gilbert Road and the AZ Loop 202. The 150,000-square-foot building for Isagenix is scheduled to be completed in late 2015 as part of the approximately three million square feet of Class A office planned for the project.

“We are excited to kick off the first phase of development at Rivulon with the construction of three new buildings and significant infrastructure improvements,” said Ellis. “The commitment by Isagenix to locate their worldwide headquarters at Rivulon allows us get construction underway and will begin to establish Rivulon, and the Gilbert market, as a best of class business district.”

“We are extremely excited about the future new home for our worldwide headquarters,” said Kevin Adams, chief executive officer of Isagenix. “Gilbert is a wonderful, thriving community within the greater Phoenix area and is a great location for us to further our mission. Additionally, as our company has grown significantly over the past few years, this new facility will ensure adequate space to meet our current growth needs while helping us plan for our future.”

The 4-story, 125,000 square foot speculative office building originally planned for this site, will shift slightly east, and be located adjacent to the Isagenix building on the AZ Loop 202. Construction on the speculative office building will begin in the second half of 2014 with anticipated completion in fall 2015.

Gilbert, Ariz., is a committed partner in the Rivulon project. “Nationwide Realty Investors has an outstanding reputation for high-quality developments and we are proud to have an excellent relationship with them as they develop premier first-class office space at Rivulon that will enhance Gilbert’s central business district,” said Gilbert Mayor John Lewis.
Isagenix is represented by Pat Williams and Andrew Medley of Jones Lang LaSalle and Nationwide Realty Investors is represented by Fred Darche and John Cerchiai of Lee & Associates.

Nationwide Realty Investors has also agreed to a land swap deal with LA Fitness to allow for an LA Fitness facility to be built adjacent to the Isagenix building. The fitness facility will serve as a key amenity for Rivulon tenants and residents. Construction of the LA Fitness building will begin this month, with anticipated opening in March 2015. LA Fitness is represented by Walt Brown of Diversified Partners and Nationwide Realty Investors is represented by Fred Darche and John Cerchiai of Lee & Associates.

“We are excited about the progress of this development and the recent office and retail commitments,” said Gilbert’s Office of Real Estate and Economic Development Director Dan Henderson. “Rivulon is a key part of the community’s long-term growth and sustainability.”

5 C's of Credit

Gilbert Offers Support to Emerging Small Businesses

GGilbert’s Development Services Department is launching a new program called Taking Care of Small Business (TCSB) which will provide support to emerging small businesses. The TCSB program guides owners through the development permitting process that is required when starting a new business.

“As Gilbert continues to grow, so do the number of small businesses,” says Development Services Director Kyle Mieras. “The goal of the Taking Care of Small Business program is to provide free assistance and support to small business owners as they begin their journey of opening a new business in Gilbert.”

For more information on the Taking care of Small Business program or to participate, visit www.gilbertaz.gov/TCSB or call Gilbert’s Development Services Department at 480-503-6719.

downtown Gilbert AZ

Gilbert among best cities for families

With Father’s Day coming up on Sunday and the school year making way to free time with family, the personal finance social network WalletHub today followed up on its analysis of the Best & Worst Places to Staycation in 2014 with an in-depth look at the Best & Worst Cities for Families.

WalletHub compared each of the 150 largest cities in the U.S. based on 31 key metrics – ranging from crime rates and school system ranks to housing costs and even the number of parks per capita – in order to help families across the country identify the ideal location to put down roots. It’s wedding season, after all, and a lot of newlyweds will be making such crucial decisions in the months to come.

Here are 2014’s Best Cities for Families:

1. Plano, Texas
2. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
3. Overland Park, Kansas
4. Fremont, California
5. Irvine, California
6. Virginia Beach, Virginia
7. Lincoln, Nebraska
8. Anchorage, Alaska
9. Gilbert, Arizona
10. Amarillo, Texas