GILBERT, AZ — The Town of Gilbert wants to know if there is interest among developers to potentially build a hotel, resort, conference center, or a combination of the three, within Gilbert Regional Park, the 272-acre park that is currently under construction near Queen Creek and Higley roads.
On Wednesday, the town officially posted a "request for qualifications," which briefly describes what the town is looking for, explains how developers can submit their projects, and when those bids have to be submitted by.
"Gilbert, AZ is seeking qualifications to develop hotel, resort, complimentary retail, conference center space, and/or combination thereof, on approximately 10 acres, or a portion thereof, on Gilbert, AZ owned land located at Gilbert Regional Park Gilbert, Arizona," the document states.
Developers have until 2 p.m. on Sept. 4, 2019, to submit their bids, according to the document.
Robert Carmona, parks and recreation director for Town of Gilbert, told ABC15 in a phone interview on Wednesday that the town dedicated roughly 47 acres of the park to public-private partnerships, one of which includes "The Strand @ Gilbert," the 25-acre sports water park that is expected to open in 2021.
He said the "request for qualifications" is the first step for developers to share "other projects they've been a part of, financial qualifications, project qualifications, and just showing the ability to complete a project of that sort of scope."
Depending on the interest, the town could then put out a "request for proposals" to a select number of developers, who would then be able to submit a more detailed plan and proposal.
"I think when you look at Gilbert Regional Park towards the full build-out, there is a lot of future there for a lot of multi-youth fields, baseball, softball fields, a lot of the youth sports, along with some of the other development nearby," he said. "It's really looking at...is there an interest there for this type of a venue?"
The first part of phase one of Gilbert Regional Park is expected to open in late September, according to Jennifer Harrison, digital media and marketing officer with the Town of Gilbert, and will include a playground, splash pad, restrooms, ramadas, and parking.
The second part of phase 1 will include a green space, event area, pickleball, sand volleyball, basketball, and tennis courts, she said. Those additions are expected to be finished next summer, 2020.
Phases two and three will not happen for another year or two.