Unlike the other East Valley cities such as Mesa, Scottsdale or Tempe, Gilbert is still recognized as a “town” by the state and Maricopa County, but that doesn’t take away from all of its recent commercial real estate investment, development and activity.  

In fact, the Town of Gilbert is projected to be fully built-out by 2030 with an anticipated population of over 300,000 people, which means demographics will see a favorable boost but available land is becoming more scarce.   

That’s not slowing down the development and next chapter of Agritopia though.  

The 166-acre mixed-use planned community, located on the northwest corner of Higley and Ray roads, offers “modern village life” surrounding 11 acres of farm land in a community that features a farm-to-table restaurant, coffee shop, senior living community, creative shared spaces and more is currently being added.  

The owners Johnston Properties will develop the next chapter in Agritopia’s story called Epicenter, which broke ground during fall 2017 with completion expected in 2019. 

Located on 19.7 acres next to Agritopia, Epicenter will encompass 55,000 square feet of retail space and 287 residential units, totaling 300,000 square feet. 

Johnston Properties envision Epicenter drawing all of its tenants from across Arizona and setting a new standard for mixed-use projects in the Valley, which it is calling a “Celebrating Arizona Destination.”  

One reason is because many of Epicenter’s estimated 30 tenants will be first-time business owners and about half of those will be food-based concepts, which will include Obon Sushi & Ramen and Bird Southern Table & Bar, both Tucson-based concepts, as well as Gadzooks Enchiladas & Soup, a Phoenix-based concept.  

In addition to restaurants and retail, the tenants will focus on improving health and wellness services for area residents. 

Additional new tenants include: Dr. Worden, an Arizona-based physician focused on integrated medicine; The Yoga Center, a local start-up business; Cycle Ave, a stand-alone concept from the operators of funkfit.com; and Vintage Home, a new retail business offering refurbished and original mid-century modern furniture. 

“Over the next 10 years, Epicenter is projected to directly and indirectly support approximately 258 jobs, generate $7.9 million in annual personal income in Gilbert, and have an economic impact of over $170 million to the Gilbert community,” says Director of the Gilbert Office of Economic Development Dan Henderson.