(Source: EastValleyTribune): Colleen Sparks – Construction of a high-rise office building near Chandler Fashion Center is finally underway on the site of Elevation Chandler – an unfinished development that became a controversial eyesore even before the Valley’s real estate market crashed in 2008.
International real estate firm Hines broke ground recently for the Offices at Chandler Viridian, a six-story building at the intersection of Loops 101 and 202. Stantec, an architectural, engineering, environmental services and planning company, will move its Southwest regional office into the Chandler building.
The office building marks the culmination of the Chandler Viridian mixed-used development and the final stake in the heart of Elevation Chandler, a hotel/condo project that went belly up before the building was finished.
In 2014, Hines tore down its concrete skeleton, which had haunted the neighborhood after work stopped in 2006. Elevation Chandler developer Jeff Cline had filed for bankruptcy in 2008.
“Breaking ground on the Offices at Chandler Viridian is the culmination of years of hard work in implementing the vision of our mixed-use development,” said Chris Anderson, managing director and Arizona leader for Hines.
Anderson added the “groundbreaking represents tremendous investment in this high-profile location near the Chandler Fashion Center and Price Road Corridor, and an enduring collaboration among city leaders and our partners.”
Chandler City Councilmember Terry Roe said he told Hines officials that the former Elevation Chandler structure had been an eyesore in the city for so long that if all they did was tear it down, it “would be worth it.”
“This is a really big thing,” Roe said. “People long before I was around were forward-thinking and set up the Price Corridor and the Chandler Fashion Center and the Loop 101. Then you had this particular area. When you get close to approaching buildout, there are fewer and fewer opportunities for something that is just this special, Roe said, adding:
“It’s positioned right there in between the mall and the Price Corridor; I don’t think you could lay that out much better.”
Elevation Chandler’s skeleton remained untouched through bankruptcy filings, foreclosures and a failed trustee sale.
The Offices at Chandler Viridian is incorporated into the Chandler Viridian master plan development, which also includes a pending Cambria hotel and suites, and is expected to open in February.
Also on the site are the Fashion Center luxury apartments, which are occupied, as well as a dog park, a jogging trail linking all the properties and a Panera Bread restaurant. More retailers are expected to open in Chandler Viridian Primegate, and a central plaza with high-speed Internet and Wi-Fi is likely to debut in January and be finished next summer.
Stantec signed a long-term lease and is planning to start operating at the Offices at Chandler Viridian in January 2019. The company will take up about 22 percent of the building. The office structure will have a big, open floor plan with 10-foot ceilings, a large courtyard and a lounge.
Within the office space, Stantec will merge four regional offices to consolidate more than 250 specialists in mining, community development, water, transportation, environmental and buildings consulting services.
Hines is a privately owned global real estate investment firm that started in 1957 and has a presence in 21 countries and 201 cities. The company has about $100 billion of assets under management and more than 100 developments being built around the world.