Top achievements, innovative projects and accomplishments as a result of strong collaboration with the city’s management and government leaders were recognized during an awards ceremony hosted by Downtown Chandler Community Partnership.
Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke presented his annual State of the Downtown remarks, sharing information on recent growth in Downtown Chandler as well as development properties coming online in 2021 and 2022, including DC Heights, a 157-unit multi-family housing complex.
DCCP Executive Director Mary Murphy-Bessler updated COVID-19 safety precautions implemented by the Clean & Safe Team; community attractions, such as Sugarland; communication with Chandler regarding 30-minute parking, and On the Street Dining Program and Dine in the Park initiatives.
The ceremony included a special Spirit Award in name of Bobby Kramer, food and beverage director for the Brickyard Downtown and Hidden House, whose life was lost tragically in a crash with a wrong-way driver. The award celebrates individuals or businesses that lift the spirit of the Chandler community.
“2020 was an extremely difficult time for all, including the small businesses in Downtown Chandler,” Murphy-Bessler said. “The DCCP wanted to acknowledge the businesses who gave back to the Chandler community during the pandemic, donating food, coffee and supplies to those in need.”
Fan-favorite awards, such as Downtown Champion, Best Creative Space, Best Live Venue and Downtown Destination, also were presented.
“The awards illustrate the fabric of what makes our downtown so special, from live entertainment seven nights a week to the businesses who contribute to making the downtown a regional destination in the Valley,” Murphy-Bessler said.
Among those honored:
- Bobby Kramer “Spirit” Award — Mingle + Graze; Peixoto Coffee; The Local Chandler; Serrano’s Mexican Restaurant; The Perch Pub & Brewery; The Brickyard Downtown; and The Sleepy Whale.
- Downtown Champion — John Owens, Downtown Redevelopment Specialist for Chandler. This award recognizes an individual or company that contributes to the overall health and well-being of Downtown Chandler in economic development, health and safety, cleanliness, marketing, promotions and experience.
- Best Creative Space —George Oliver of The Alexander. This award is given to a new development, redevelopment, enhancement or activation display in architecture; landscaping/patio; and mural/art activations.
- Best Live Venue — The Stillery. This award recognizes a Downtown Chandler establishment that provides live entertainment and is a place to connect with people through a shared cultural experience.
- Downtown Destination Award — The Stillery, paying tribute to a Downtown Chandler establishment that is a “great place to be” based on its unique experience and excellent offerings.