GILBERT, Ariz. — A brand new mixed-use development is coming to life in the East Valley, as more local favorites are added to the line-up and opening doors. Gilbert’s Epicenter is just one of several mixed-use projects shaping the future of the town.
Gilbert's development services director said the town has a few more years before it’s set to reach full build-out. And once that happens, the community is expected to rise to about 330,000 people.
At Epicenter, a carefully handcrafted mix of local spots is quickly filling space. Local favorites like Matt of Matt’s Big Breakfast are finding a busy start, after finally announcing their opening on Instagram.
“It’s amazing," Matt said. "I’m happy if there’s one customer, but we were busy all day long. We were almost as busy as Downtown, which is our busiest location.”
A few doors down, local Peixoto Coffee, adds its own twist on drinks to the epicenter lineup.
“Peixoto Coffee was my way of keeping my family’s legacy alive but also bringing a unique experience to the community I called home here in Arizona," Owner, Julia Peixoto-Peters, said.
The mix of Valley favorites is the vision of well-known Arizona locals William Johnston and his dad Joe Johnston.
“When I was growing up, there was no 202 anywhere near here," William said. "There was no mall yet.”
Johnston’s family carries a rich farming history in the East Valley.
“I think for Gilbert, they’ve done a really good job as a town to have intentional purposeful growth where it really highlights where Gilbert was and what it is," William said.
Once the hay capital of the world during WWI, Gilbert’s developers are now looking just past 2030 for a complete build-out, said Kyle Mieras, Gilbert's Development Services Director.
“There isn’t a ton of open land left in gilbert so what we have we’re using very judiciously," Mieras said. "But we expect another 10 to 15 years of solid growth until build-out.”
Gilbert’s population is around 279,000 people now, and even with the town’s constant growth since the late 90s, the new developments are keeping the Valley’s local ties close to home.
Mieras added, the Valley should keep an eye on the changing Heritage District downtown, too. Then just north of there, a new 10-acre development is set to break ground soon. There's also Verde at Cooley Station at Recker and Williams Field and the Gillmore at Val Vista and Germaine.
Back at Epicenter, fitness studio Barre 3 is also open, along with Bunky Boutique, a unique shop with independent designers, Belly, Undertow and others. Neighbors are also looking forward to the openings of Gadzooks Enchiladas, Buck and Rider and Spinatos Pizzeria, which are expected soon.
Over the next 10 years, Mieras said Gilbert can expect to see more commercial and single-family growth, along with more redevelopment versus new builds. There are also large commercial projects to keep an eye on like Banner’s MD Andersen finishing a tower, and Phoenix Children’s opening a tower near Mercy Gilbert.
Mieras said they watch the growth continuously to budget for public safety needs too.
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