Working Together

Manager’s Update – January 31, 2013

If you drove by the Heritage District, followed Twitter or read the news last weekend, you probably heard about the water main break on Gilbert Road near downtown.  The pipeline, which was installed in the early 1970’s, broke Friday afternoon,  and I am proud to say that Town staff responded in a timely, professional, and in an all around impressive manner.  

Broken Pipe 2These types of issues usually occur at the most inopportune times and this was no exception.  Staff worked through record breaking amounts of rain to ensure that the pipe was repaired as quickly as possible in order to prevent flooding and restore traffic access to Gilbert Road.  Cold and rainy weather were just a few of the challenges faced as failed valves, abnormally thick pavement depths, and the close proximity to an active railroad also played a part.  It was truly a cohesive team effort between several departments including Public Works, Water, Wastewater, Risk Management, Police, Fire, Communications, and the Manager’s Office.  Along with Town staff, I would also like to commend Union Pacific for their quick response as well as the community and local businesses for their patience as we fixed this unanticipated issue.

There is still much to be done to repair the road and ensuring that local businesses are not affected by the roadwork is our number one concern.  For this reason, we have decided to hold off on any additional road closures until after Super Bowl weekend.

Incidents like this remind us that Gilbert is maturing and, as our Town ages, so does our current infrastructure.  For so long, Gilbert’s focus was on building new infrastructure to accommodate the massive growth, but now it is also imperative that we look to maintain what is already built. 

With this in mind, the Town is creating a long-range infrastructure forecast and a long-range revenue forecast.  It is critical that we take time today to prepare for 5, 10, 20, 30 years in the future.  I will be discussing our long-term infrastructure forecast in an upcoming update.

Once again, thank you to Town staff for providing “best in class” service last weekend.

 -Patrick Banger, Town Manager

Vibrant Downtown Gilbert

Manager’s Update – January 18, 2013

There is no doubt that Gilbert is continuing to grow and one area in particular that is bustling with energy is downtown Gilbert.  If you take a walk near the Heritage District on a Friday night, you’ll be surrounded by the hustle and bustle of patrons dining in local restaurants where they enjoy traditional Chicago-style deep dish pizza, the best BBQ in the region, and European cuisine, just before attending a show at Hale Theatre.  Saturday mornings are no different.  You will enjoy the buzz of people up early for coffee on the local coffee house’s patio, a country-style breakfast or shopping at the Gilbert Farmer’s Market and Art Walk.

Downtown Gilbert is a vibrant area of town that is still growing.  More restaurants will be opening soon, including a Mexican food concept, anticipated in March, run by Upward Projects, known for Postino’s and many other Phoenix-area establishments.  Discussions are currently taking place with other restaurant groups who are interested in opening at least two high-end concepts in the downtown area before the end of 2014.

Recent negotiations to bring a University to the Heritage Marketplace could also bring huge momentum for downtown Gilbert.  Heritage Marketplace will see growth in mixed-use development, including retail, restaurant and office space.  The development will also trigger the construction of a 360-space parking structure.

I invite you to experience the vibrancy in Gilbert. Any time, day or night, downtown Gilbert has something to offer for you and your entire family.  And stay tuned because there’s more excitement to come.
 
- Patrick Banger, Town Manager

Ringing in the New Year with High-Wage Jobs

Manager’s Update - January 3, 2013

It’s a new year and we have a lot to look forward to in 2013.

This year we will continue our focus on economic development.  Currently, out of 95,710 workers living in Gilbert, only 21,822 of those people live and work in our community.  This means that over 73,000 residents travel outside of Gilbert each day to their jobs.  We are working hard to enhance our business community, and developments like the recently announced “Rivulon” project will create more jobs and opportunities right here in Gilbert.

For those who may not be aware, Nationwide Realty Investors (NRI), who developed and now manages the Gainey Ranch Corporate Center, is developing a 250-acre parcel near Gilbert Road and the Santan Freeway (Loop 202) called Rivulon. The $750 million development will include 3.1 million square feet of office space, 500,000 square feet of retail space, and at least 250 hotel rooms.

Rivulon will also benefit the town by accelerating the construction of major arterial road improvements and by increasing tax and other revenues.  A project of this size and magnitude will energize our central business district and put Gilbert on the map in our region to establish a first-class development.  This is critical for Gilbert’s long-term growth and sustainability.

We look forward to watching Rivulon develop, as it will attract top-tier businesses and ultimately high-wage jobs to our community.

This project, along with many others, will bring new opportunities to Gilbert in the coming year and beyond.  I wish each of you a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2013.

-Patrick Banger, Town Manager