Luxury community to replace old Compadre Stadium

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- It has gone from a community gem to a community eyesore, but now Compadre Stadium in Chandler is going to be an abandoned site no more.

Plans to build a gated residential community on the 65-acre site have been given the green light by the city council.

"The Echelon at Ocotillo" will be comprised of 318 homes and townhouses.

When you start asking people about Compadre Stadium, it elicits a pretty strong reaction.

"It just seems like such a waste of space," says Chandler resident Dora Hocking. "They should do something with it; fix it up. Even if they don't do another stadium, do something with it."

"I don't care if they put homes in there, industrial, whatever," says another Chandler resident, Mike Wigfield. "Just get rid of that eyesore."

The stadium, located at Alma School Road and Ocotillo, was once the home of the Brewers during spring training. But today, it's home to a lot of overgrown weeds and crumbling cinder block. The Brewers last played here in the late 90s.

"Since then it's been used for softball, baseball and other types of tournaments but most recently, certainly over at least the last five years, it just sat dormant," says Chris Mackay, City of Chandler Economic Development Director.

"There have been people who have made proposals, but they've not done anything to move forward," says Mackay. "They've had ideas, but really stalled isn't even a good word for it; they've never even gotten off the ground."

That is, until earlier this year. In January, Standard Pacific Homes bought the property with plans to build a gated residential community. The company overcame the final hurdle last week when the city council approved a re-zoning plan for the 65-acre property, giving the developer the green light to start the project.

"A single family and townhouse living opportunity with really great open space and water features with connectivity to the sports complex," says Mackay.

A spokesperson for Standard Pacific Homes says construction will start sometime this month, with the first order of business being to demo the old stadium. People who live around here are happy to see something is finally being done.

"Glad to see it go," says Wigfield."It's an eyesore."