Desert Viking Starting New Phase of San Marcos Commons in Chandler

Posted By Mike Padgett

March 10, 2010

CHANDLER, Ariz. – Maybe, just maybe, the term “leapfrog development” in central Arizona soon will fade into history, like rotary telephones and index cards.

Maybe developers and cities and homebuyers are starting to recognize the value and long-range importance of higher-density communities in central cities, where a sense of community and easier access to groceries and schools and entertainment will trump long and costly commutes.

The lure of the desert’s magic and lower land prices are why, for many years, residential developers have leapfrogged beyond city boundaries, forcing cities to annex more land and add streets and services for water and other utilities. Those costs, eventually, are passed to home buyers.

Central city living’s amenities are among the advantages cited by Mike Hogarty and Niels Kreipke, co-owners of Desert Viking Cos., developer of a $100 million downtown Chandler project called San Marcos Commons.

Desert Viking is one of a handful of developers busy in metro Phoenix in these challenging economic times. San Marcos Commons, started a few years ago with 37 Spanish colonial-style townhomes, is launching its second phase of 42 townhomes. Prices for the two- and three-story townhomes start in the $199,000s.

Desert Viking’s buyers include first-time homeowners, Canadian visitors, and single professionals.

San Marcos Commons’ units range from 1,343 to 2,037 square feet. The sales center is at 121 N. California St., Unit 28.

The 15-acre mixed-use development’s third phase includes 58,000 square feet for retailers, 28,000 square feet for restaurants, and 70,000 square feet of office space. Although the third phase’s construction schedule depends on market conditions, its projected start date is mid-2011, with completion in mid-2013. The work includes a parking structure with 540 spaces and surface parking with 200 spaces.

And for fans of Arizona history, the new development is across the street from Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort, originally opened as San Marcos Resort in 1913, one year after the Arizona Territory was granted statehood.

Other new developments in downtown Chandler include a $76 million new city hall, and the new $8.5 million Boys and Girls Club. Several new restaurants, bars and art shops also have opened in the downtown area.

Hogarty and Kreipke say residential living in downtown communities, where homeowners can walk to stores and restaurants, can be as attractive as living in the ‘burbs, as well as less costly with shorter commutes to jobs. This summer, for example, fuel costs are expected to pass $3 a gallon. Again. And who wants to bet when, or if, fuel prices will drop.

Desert Viking is a unique developer in Arizona. It has received honors for its restoration of historic buildings in downtown Phoenix and for its work in Chandler on the 90-year-old Suhwaro Hotel and Hotel Chandler. For details, visit

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Mar 11th, 2010

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