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PHOENIX -- Developing a thriving downtown doesn't happen overnight, a city of Gilbert official said.

"I think over the last 20 years there's been considerable emphasis on a master plan and a vision of developing the downtown...with the focus on redevelopment and developing our downtown," Real Estate and Economic Development Director for the town of Gilbert Dan Henderson told News/Talk 92.3 KTAR's Mac & Gaydos on Tuesday.

Henderson said a focus on small businesses, especially restaurants, has led to a "tremendous amount of excitement" in downtown.

That excitement has led to St. Xavier University, a Chicago-based Catholic college, to open its first campus outside of Illinois in Gilbert.

"I think it was just the overall opportunity with a high education attainment rate in the town of Gilbert and certainly the surrounding areas; a lot of momentum built through our state colleges and universities and I think that the opportunity to bring in a faith-based institution was really compelling for them."

Mac & Gaydos,

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