By Cecilia Chan | Gilbert Sun News
In a changing retail market, 90,000 square feet of long-standing vacant stores at the Shoppes at Gilbert Commons will come down to make way for a 205-unit apartment complex.
Town Council voted 5-2 last week to grant the shopping center owner’s request for a general plan amendment and rezone for 8.63 acres at the southwest corner of Cooper and Baseline roads despite opposition from planning staff, the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce and some residents. The Planning Commission voted 5-2 to recommend approval.
“Can you tell me how giving up a piece of vital commercial property that I believe is critical to our long-term prosperity in exchange for your proposal is in the best interest of the town of Gilbert?” asked Councilman Bill Spence, who cast the dissenting vote with Vice Mayor Scott Anderson. “If our solution to every economic downturn is to rezone and put up apartments, every vibrant business area in the Valley would be nothing but high-density housing.”