New Hotel and Offices Planned for Gilbert, Ariz.

Jun. 16--Local developer Marty De Rito wants to bring Gilbert its second hotel and build office buildings along the freeway that could attract high-paying jobs town officials say are direly needed.

The hotel and offices would be adjacent to Gilbert Esplanade, a retail project De Rito and his partners have planned on the northeast corner of Gilbert Road and the Santan Freeway leg of Loop 202.

Last fall, De Rito spent weeks convincing Gilbert officials to change the town plan to allow retail at that 68-acre site, which had been set aside for offices. He argued the retail would attract offices and jobs to the area, and in November officials agreed.

Now, De Rito's company, De Rito Partners Development, and partner company Kimco Developers, want to bring some of those office buildings themselves.

The offices and hotel would be on 67.5 acres at or near the newly opened Santan Freeway that runs through Gilbert. Developers have not finalized a specific hotel for the site. The office buildings would involve one-story structures along Pecos Road and multistory buildings along the freeway.

"Gilbert basically gets it all, rather than waiting around for someone else to come in," De Rito spokeswoman Joanie Flatt said.

Town officials said the proposal is still in the early stages, but they are optimistic it will help bring more jobs to a town in need of offices and higher-paying employment.

"We certainly would like to have the area developed for office and business park-type uses," said Greg Tilque, director of economic development. "There will definitely be more offices. It's a great location, with the freeway there now, and with a shopping center going to be built west of the site."

Gilbert Esplanade will have 521,175 square feet of retail with a focus on furniture stores, including 70,000-square-foot anchor Robb and Stucky, a high-end furniture store. About 160,000 square feet of offices will be housed in two two-story buildings.

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