Chandler AZ is one of the largest suburbs of Phoenix and a city in its own right. It is home to more than a quarter million people. That’s quite an accomplishment considering it started with as a mere dream in 1900. Doctor Alexander Chandler settled on a ranch in what was then Arizona Territory. He bought eighteen thousand acres of land and officially opened Chandler Ranch in 1912. It soon had a hotel and the first grass golf course in the state of Arizona. In 1914, the community had its first high school. In 1920, the city of Chandler was officially incorporated. Dr. Chandler became the first mayor.
The city was based on agriculture, especially cotton. It also saw numerous side crops like alfalfa and ostriches, the latter explaining why the city has an Ostrich Festival today complete with ostrich races.
The city grew with the founding of Williams Air Force Base, though the population didn’t take off until after air conditioning became commonly available in the 1950s. That is why the city grew from 4,000 people in 1950 to 30,000 in 1980. For the same reason and the abundance of cheap land, manufacturers like Motorola and Intel moved into the area.
Chandler AZ is located in Maricopa County, Arizona. Tempe sits to the north and west. Mesa sits on Chandler’s northern side. Gilbert is located to the east. The Gila River Indian Community prevents Chandler from expanding to the south. Phoenix is west of Chandler. The city can’t expand any further since it is now literally surrounded barring a few unincorporated areas it could annex. Many of those unincorporated areas are on the south side of Chandler, though they’re sometimes completely surrounded by the city. One such example is the sprawling Sun Lakes subdivision. There are several unincorporated areas bordering Tumbleweed Park.
Chandler has its own municipal airport; it sees roughly 200,000 operations a year, making it one of the busiest municipal airports in the country. Chandler Municipal Airport is roughly twenty miles southeast of the Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. Chandler has an unusually large high-tech sector for a city its size. That is in part because it is home to a large Intel factory. That facility alone employs more than ten thousand people. Infusionsoft, Rogers and Microchip are based out of Chandler. Paypal has a large facility in Chandler. NXP Semiconductors has a plant that employs almost two thousand people.
Bank of American employs more than three thousand residents. New Mexico-based Rinchem has a large facility in West Chandler. The city has a strong retail sector thanks to the Chandler Fashion Center. And like many modern cities, school districts and medical institutions are major employers. The Chandler Unified School District employs around five thousand people. Chandler Regional Medical Center and the associated healthcare network employ around 2500 people. The Basha family started a supermarket chain bearing their name, and it is based out of an unincorporated area outside of Chandler. They’ve also lent their name to Basha High School and the Basha branch of the Chandler Public Library.
While Chandler residents are primarily part of the Chandler Unified School District, neighborhoods west of Loop 101 are part of the Kyrene Elementary School District and Tempe Union High School District. Note that Kyrene isn’t a town but the name given to a unified school district that includes parts of Tempe, Chandler and Phoenix. Students east of Loop 101 are often assigned to Mesa public schools.
Like many other Arizona communities, Chandler AZ has a number of charter schools. BASIS Schools run several charter schools in Chandler. Their headquarters are in Scottsdale. They aim to provide a world-class education with most students taking Advanced Placement courses. The alternative would be the Legacy Traditional School model. Legacy Traditional Schools have several campuses in Chandler. They use a traditional curriculum such as having Saxon Math and Spalding language arts books K-8. Paragon Science Academy is a K-12 STEM focused school. And Chandler has a decent Catholic school system. That includes Saint Mary-Basha Catholic School and Seton Catholic Preparatory. Chandler has a single college, the Pecos Campus of Chandler Gilbert Community College. The Arizona State University Polytechnic Campus is located in neighboring Mesa, Arizona. Mesa has its own community college, too, aptly named Mesa Community College. Arizona State has campuses in downtown Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona.
The Arizona Flight Training Center is located next to Chandler’s airport. The International Baptist College is an independent fundamentalist Baptist seminary, and it is located in Chandler. And while the University of Phoenix is mostly known for its online programs, it has physical campuses in downtown Phoenix and in the West Valley. Note that Chandler is located in the greater Phoenix East Valley. Ottawa University opened a campus in Chandler in 1977. That is a private Baptist University. Their main campus is in Ottawa, Kansas. Their other campuses in Arizona include Surprise, Phoenix and Queen Creek.
Chandler has a vibrant art community. This is because of the award winning Chandler Center of the Arts. The Arizona Railway Museum is located in Tumbleweed Park. There has been a plan to build a Holocaust and Tolerance Museum next to the East Valley Jewish Community Center in Chandler. Chandler is also home to the best playground in the Phoenix area, Playtopia at Tumbleweed Park.
The Gila River reservation south of Chandler is a separate legal entity. However, the Gila River Lone Butte hotel and casino are just south of the Santan Freeway off South Kyrene Road. The community also owns and operates the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park and Rawhide Rodeo Arena.
Loop 202, the Santan Freeway, passes through Chandler. Loop 101, also known as Price Freeway, separates west Chandler from the rest of Chandler. Interstate 10 separates Chandler from Ahwatukee, a neighborhood in Phoenix. Highway 87 is a major north-south road that passes through downtown Chandler. Additional major north-south roads include Alma School Road and McQueen Road. South Gilbert Road acts as a boundary between Chandler and Gilbert, except where the southern boundary of Chandler veers east. Major east-west streets include Chandler Boulevard, Pecos Road, Queen Creek Road, and Germann Road.
Well Known Neighborhoods of Chandler:
- Grand Reserve
- Comanche Ranch
- Saguaro Canyon
- Tealstone Ray Ranch II
- The Springs HOA
- Carino States
- Fox Crossing
- San Marcos Country Club
- Ironwood Estates
- Pueblo Santa Fe
- Arden Park
- Arizona Reflections
- Paseo Crossings
- Fairview Meadows
- San Marcos Estates
- Crescent Village
- Parkside East
- Arizona Country
- Arrowhead Meadows Association
- Driftwood Ranch
- Festival Celebration
- Galveston Neighborhood
- Glenview Estates
- Golden Keys East
- Haven At Chandler Ranch
- Ironwood Vistas
- Santan Vista