Suburb Eyes Urban Density

Officials in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler are rallying behind proposals to increase density in the city, arguing that the urban shift will make the city more vibrant.

"Tall, dense housing set among shops and restaurants would replace an eclectic cluster of vacant parcels, aging commercial buildings and a trailer park south of downtown. The city is poised to help developers assemble land and is preparing to make the area more attractive, Ballard said. Last year, voters approved bonds to pay for improvements, which include extending Washington and California streets to Pecos Road and new landscaping. Designers for the improvements are expected to be hired this month."

"Housing prices that more than doubled since 2000 have put new single-family homes out of reach for many, according to a municipal report. Higher densities could add to the city's affordable housing inventory."

"Coordinating the urban projects with public transportation and shops, restaurants and offices will make downtown Chandler more vibrant, Ballard said."

"Consultant Rick Counts, hired by the city to assess the urban housing situation, said the gap between housing prices and wages has widened in recent years. He urged the city to form an affordable-housing consortium with local businesses, as well as offer financial incentives to builders so more residents aren't priced out of the market."

Full Story: City cites need for urban-style housing

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