A 328-unit apartment complex called Acero Val Vista is coming to south Gilbert.
Town Council last week voted 5-2 to approve a general plan amendment and rezoning of 14.88 acres from commercial at the northeast corner Quartz and Melrose streets.
“I certainly can appreciate the quality of the project that is being brought to Gilbert,” Mayor Jenn Daniels said, adding:
“But this location is not one I am supportive of transitioning from regional commercial to multi-family, just recognizing the corridor we are in and some of the things yet to come and to be realized in this area.”
Daniels and Councilman Eddie Cook, who did not speak on the project, were the sole dissenters. The Planning Commission voted 7-0 in January recommending approval. The Gilbert Chamber of Commerce also endorsed the project.
Two residents, who did not speak, submitted cards with their opposition, which included concern with density, increased traffic and an already crowded Quartz Hill Elementary and Campo Verde High schools across the street.
The site is part of a 55-acre vacant agricultural land zoned regional commercial near Val Vista Drive and Germann Road.
The remaining 40 acres would stay commercial and complement the medical corridor established in this area, according to LeSueur Investments, the land owner.
LeSueur argued the site did not lend itself for commercial development for a number of reasons, including its location at the intersection of two collector streets.
LeSueur also said the site lacked visibility and that the changing landscape of retail development has reduced the need for regional commercial properties in Gilbert and other parts of the Valley.
The proximity to the two schools is a factor, given that many permitted uses in regional commercial land anticipate the sale of alcoholic beverages and would render the westernmost 300 feet of the site as undevelopable for a retail or restaurant use that would serve alcohol on the premises.
The site is surrounded by an assisted living and memory care campus and an active adult multi-family development known as The Aspens at Mariposa Point to the north and commercial businesses along Val Vista Drive that include a QT gas station, car wash and Dutch Bros coffee.
The development is part of the Val Vista Medical Growth Area, which was identified in the town General Plan with anticipated various medical and supporting uses, according to a staff report.
Planning staff said the project complied with the General Plan and will provide nearby housing to the hospital and medical office developments east of Val Vista Drive.
Additionally, LeSueur pointed out that by bringing new residents to this area, the marketability of the remaining 40- acre commercial property will increase.
The apartment complex will be gated with the primary entrance via Melrose Street.
The entire community will be comprised of24 residential buildings that are either two- or three-stories tall.
Apartment units will range from 768 to 1,330 square feet in size. The architecture is proposed to be modern and clean, with a minimum of applied materials.
Acero will have to amenity areas –the main amenity area, located at the primary entry into the community will feature a single-story clubhouse, resort-style swimming pool, cabanas and outdoor barbeque area.
The smaller, secondary amenity area will have a community garden, walking path, a dog park and a tot lot.