GSN NEWS STAFF

Gilbert is asking developers to submit a bid to build a hotel, resort, complimentary retail and conference center — or a combination thereof — on 10 acres adjacent to the town’s regional park, under construction.

Phase 1 of the 272-acre park at Queen Creek and Higley roads is scheduled to debut this fall.

The deadline to submit a bid is Sept. 4.

The town set aside 47 acres adjacent to the park for development through public-private partnerships.

The 25-acre water park The Strand is being built on a portion of that site. The $60 million state-of-the-art water park is scheduled to open in 2021.

Resident Laura Esparza, for one, wasn’t too happy with the town’s move.

“Personally, I feel Town of Gilbert changed the specs,” she wrote on a social media site. “It was sold to us as being an updated, glorified Freestone Park, now they want to make it a mini business center?

“If the roads around here were three lanes each direction, I’d understand. But neither Greenfield nor Higley are suited for the traffic overflow this could cause.”

Trevor Maness agreed, writing, “Feel like we’re seeing to slow transition from park to more homes/buildings.”