By Wayne Schutsky, Tribune Staff Writer
Long overshadowed by their Valley counterparts, Chandler and Gilbert are now making inroads as entertainment destinations for residents as their long-gestating downtown development plans mature and draw key restaurants, retailers and other attractions to the areas.
The development plans behind both downtowns follow a valleywide trend that favors creating dense, walkable districts filled with local and regional vendors versus the traditional mall and power center models popular in the past.
But the walkable model has made parking another main concern for both Gilbert and Chandler. Both downtowns already contain several parking lots and garages and have more on the way.
The planned Chandler 87 multi-use building will include parking and the city is also developing a new garage near the San Marcos Resort.
Gilbert will invest in a new parking structure at the north end of the Heritage District that should open in early 2019 to coincide with the opening of the new Culinary Dropout at the Yard.