Gilbert is a community of just over 247,000 residents, making it the fifth largest city in Arizona. The Heritage District is approximately .3 square miles in size and is considered Gilbert’s downtown. It is the community’s original town site, representing the cultural and historical center of the community. In 1989, the Heritage District was designated as a Redevelopment Area, and in 2013, the area was also designated as an Entertainment District. Over the past five years, the District has experienced a renaissance and contains a mix of retail, office, education, and housing uses. Unlike other downtown areas in the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan area, Gilbert does not currently have a formal downtown association nor does it have a business improvement district designated.
In September 1991, the Gilbert Town Council adopted the first Heritage District Redevelopment Plan. The plan outlines key issues, challenges, and opportunities. The plan serves as the Town’s guiding document for prioritizing budgetary needs and key activities to support growth and redevelopment.
The previous Redevelopment Plans (1991, 2001 and 2008) have focused on five goals and 23 objectives, of which, have not undergone a substantial change in the last 25 years:
- Promote quality urban design with emphasis on small town historical character
- Improve economic viability of downtown
- Promote reinvestment and attract new development
- Improve pedestrian and vehicular circulation for safe pedestrian environment
- Promote downtown as symbolic and cultural center of community
Scope of Work
The objective for the 2018 Redevelopment Plan Update is to identify and prioritize short, middle, and long-term goals for the next 10 years. In addition, this Redevelopment Plan Update will include a chapter which will serve as a land use plan for Town of Gilbert owned land within the District.
- Assess the Heritage District boundaries as they exist today and make recommendations regarding confirmation of or redefining of the redevelopment area boundaries.
- Develop goals, identify infrastructure, budgetary needs and staff related tasks for the areas of focus :
- Identify creative funding solutions that encourage redevelopment (such as grants, partnerships, or legislative tools/programs).
- Provide recommendations regarding whether the Heritage District should evolve into a Business Improvement District and, if necessary, determine appropriate timing.
- Development of a Heritage District management strategy and clear definition of the Town’s role.
- Examine the Gilbert Tourism Five Year Strategic plan and identify associated tasks for the Heritage District.
- Examine the Economic Development Five Year Strategic and identify associated tasks for the Heritage District.
- Review past Heritage District Capital Improvement Projects, examine current Capital Improvement Projects and confirm timing, and determine if there are additional infrastructure needs that should be requested.
- Evaluate potential for unique Heritage District branding and provide recommendations.
- Placemaking strategy for the Heritage District to coincide with the overarching goals.
- Review of redevelopment commission powers and duties. Make recommendations accordingly based on other national redevelopment commission best practices.
- Identify an implementation strategy of action items, timing and budgetary impacts.
- Create a plan for Town-owned land which includes:
- Locations for commercial, housing and mixed-use development
- Locations for open space, recreational areas, and parks
- Demonstration of opportunities for density
- Notations of any environmental, historic and cultural resources that the Town should be aware of