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CHANDLER-Today’s grand opening of the 1.3 million-sf Chandler Fashion Square is expected to draw hundreds of shoppers and further boost Chandler’s image and drawing power for other major developments.

The mall is positioned at the southwest corner of the Price Freeway section of Loop 101 and Chandler Boulevard. The anchor line-up is Nordstrom, Robinson’s-May, Dillard’s and Sears plus 160 other stores and restaurants and a 20-screen movie theater. It’s the first regional mall to be opened in the Valley in nearly a decade and it’s transformed that area of Chandler into a thriving destination point.

Once a sleepy bedroom suburb of Phoenix, Chandler is now one of the most appealing locations for commercial development. It still has available land, continues to capture a good share of new residents and is becoming high-tech development. Chandler Fashion Square has prompted a wave of commercial development along the boulevard, including retail strip centers, power centers and office and industrial development.

Last year, the Price Freeway section of the Loop 101 provided convenient access to the Chandler area for the first time. The Loop 101, which runs north and south through Chandler, connects to Superstition Freeway, which, in turn, connects to Interstate 10.

Phoenix-based Westcor, the Valley’s most active retail developer, is the developer. The near 30-year-old firm is the largest owner-manager of commercial retail properties in the Phoenix metropolitan market, with properties valued at more than $1 billion. The Westcor portfolio includes 10 regional centers, 18 urban villages and six specialty centers. The crown jewel in the company’s crown is arguably Scottsdale Fashion Square at the northwest corner of Scottsdale and Camelback roads.

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