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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

On March 29, 2022, I had the distinct pleasure of a site tour hosted by the gentleman responsible for the entire project, Tommy Fisher. He is responsible for all construction as well as securing the funding. On a previous visit I had the pleasure of meeting his son, Grant Fisher, and John Keenan. Grant is responsible for everything else having to do with the project and John is Chief Marketing Director. I also met the gentleman in charge of all the electrical work and the gentleman responsible for furnishing the entire complex including each hotel suite. All of these people are an amazing team.

When you use the live, remote camera for the site: https://app.truelook.cloud/dashboard/553/923/live?code=15hm7ev0xey9jmgpfyf2jd9e0&fbclid=IwAR2VhkoN56nBnnmqMouCzAWFM9BHxtvSmNlj83REtd_D2fuA3g9vdeZ-SAY  one gets a rather static view because the camera is pointed in one direction and does not move.

Hotel construction

On this visit I was able to view the entire site and took some photos. The main hotel and its two satellite hotels comprising nearly 1,000 rooms, will all have the same feel and the same features and furnishings. So if a guest is in the main hotel or one of the two satellites, the experience and ambiance will be identical. From the seventh floor you can look in any direction and see incredible views of mountains in the distance. Looking east, you can see the downtown Phoenix skyline and Camelback Mountain.

Looking south 

 

The hotels are well underway, and the southeast wing of the main hotel is in the lead and has had the most work done with electrical and plumbing now being constructed in each suite.

I learned about the red cabling added to a floor before the concrete pour and learned that this is

Flexible strengtheners under concrete flooring

a flexible strengthening element for each floor. I also learned that the main hotel is actually 3 separate buildings although that will not be discernable when construction is complete. The reasoning is that if there ever should be a failure of some sort in one of the three, it will not affect the other two.

Concrete batch plant

Did you know that the project has its own concrete batch making facility? Because of the extensive use of concrete, it became more cost effective to provide their own concrete on the site and cuts the time delay of waiting for multiple deliveries per day.

The last feature that will be constructed is the water feature. That’s understandable when you realize that every element of the site is being used by construction vehicles or for storage of construction materials.

Right now, there are about 1,000 construction workers on the site. If you view the on-site camera, it doesn’t seem so but most of them are working within the interiors of the buildings. When fully built out, this complex will employ about 2,000 people. These statistics should give you some idea of the size of this project. It is complex and vast in scope. Just imagine building a small village in a year.

Ramp to one of the underground parking areas

I also learned that the entire project will have a tunnel system beneath it for employees and service workers to get from one place to another, large enough to accommodate service vehicles. There is also underground parking on site for hotel visitors. Single daytime or nighttime visitors will be able to park in the city’s “black parking lot” directly east across 95th Avenue.

They are also working on a possible gondola system, cooperatively run by this project and the major stakeholders in Westgate and Zanjero…perhaps with a connection to the Desert Diamond Casino. This concept has not been solidified yet and all parties are in the talking stage. Imagine being able to be transported by a skyway gondola from Crystal Lagoon to Tanger Outlets to the Gila River Arena, the State Farm Stadium or over to the casino. Amazing if it becomes a reality and somehow or another, I bet that it does.

Just imagine a ‘stay-cation’ for several days or a week. You can use the water by day, shop and dine at exclusive retailers and restaurants or take your children to the Mattel Amusement area and that night from your suite view a headline musical performance at the theater island facing the hotel. You might attend an NFL game or play the slots at the Desert Diamond Casino. There will certainly be a variety of ways to spend several days recreating, dining, or enjoying a variety of entertainment venues.

I do have breaking news. On April 12th, Tommy Fisher and his team will be making a major announcement about this project. I know about it but if I told you now, they would shoot me.  It will be exciting news and I will share the good news as soon as I am able to do so.

As I have said repeatedly, this will be the most impactful experiential retail and entertainment destination not just for Glendale and the State of Arizona but for the entire southwest region of the country. I expect we will see visitors not just from other parts of this country but visitors from all over the world. This project solidifies Glendale as a premier vacation destination as it is unique in so many ways.

I am excited to be the Councilmember representing this area, the Yucca District, and to welcome Crystal Lagoon Island Resort and I think you will as well once you see and experience the site when completed. I know this sounds trite…but it’s gonna knock your socks off!

Stay tuned for Mr. Fisher’s announcement in about 2 weeks sharing his exciting news about this truly unique project. I promise that you will not be disappointed.

© Joyce Clark, 2022      

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

Let’s review hotel projects first. I have no further data at this time other than their locations. Generally, most of the hotels that have been built in our district have approximately 200 rooms:

Townplace Suites Hotel at 7271 N. Zanjero Blvd. has been approved and is in the design review stage.

The Aloft Hotel by Marriot @ Westgate located at 6920 N. 93rd Avenue is open.

Tru by Hilton is located at 6610 N. 95th Avenue and is under construction.

Marriot Towne Place Hotel in Zanjero is now under construction.

The Holiday Inn Hotel is located at 6151 N. 99th Avenue, adjacent to TopGolf, is under construction.

We now have 5 hotels in the Zanjero area. Three are already in business and two are under construction. There are another 6 hotels in Westgate. Five are already in business and one is under construction and 1 hotel under construction on the west side of the Loop 101. With 12 hotels that brings the total number of hotel rooms in the area to approximately 2,000 to 2,400 rooms.

When it comes to apartments we also are experiencing a lot of activity. My reputation over the years has been to oppose apartments but there is one exception to that caveat. I do believe apartments are appropriate in a few selected locations: west of 91st Avenue in the Westgate/Zanjero area and on the west side of the Loop 101 close to these two major economic centers. Population mass is needed to sustain the Westgate/Zanjero areas now and into the future.

We will see little, if any, residential development on the west side of the Loop 101. Council would like to see more commercial and retail on the immediate west side of the Loop 101 and industrial development along the Loop 303 corridor.

Again, I have only apartment locations to offer and no hard data on the density or the number of units:

Urban 95 Apartments will be located at 9600 W. Georgia Avenue. It is approved but has not submitted for design review.

The Zanjero Apartments is located at 7375 N. Zanjero Blvd. and is under construction.

95 Camelback at 5151 N. 95th Avenue and is under construction.

Zanjero Sante Assisted Living at 7410 N. Zanjero Blvd. is approved and is under design review.

There are 3 more apartment complex proposals but they have not come before city council yet and until they receive city council approval or denial I am not at liberty to discuss them. There are more development projects that are only in the conceptual stage and may or may not ever end up being submitted to the city.

There were a few apartment complexes (2?) such as Summerly at Zanjero that were approved by city council while I was not a councilmember. As such I have very little information or history on them.

To sum it up, the Yucca district has 5 new hotels bringing the total to 12, 3 new apartment complexes and 1 assisted living facility recently opened, approved and under design review or under construction with more of each kind of development to come.

Elliot Pollack, one of the best know economic gurus in the state, once said during a speech he gave in Glendale years ago that Glendale and especially the Westgate/Zanjero/Loop 101 was destined to become the geographic center of the Valley. His prognostication is now becoming reality as development marches westward in the state. We are not only destined to become the Valley’s geographic center but we are already the state’s mega center for sports and entertainment. The Yucca district has a baseball Spring Training Complex, a hockey arena, the new brand of golf entertainment and a football stadium. More mega entertainment opportunities will be coming, of that I am certain.

Next up, I’ll be reviewing commercial and industrial development and the tremendous opportunities for job creation for Glendale’s residents. It is extensive. It will take me several days to compile all of the information.

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

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Fireworks: We are two days away from Independence Day, July 4th. It’s a time to celebrate the greatness of America. This is the only country in the world that people will lie, cheat, steal and fight to enter so we must be doing something right.  Fireworks are a tradition but abuse of their use is becoming more and more prevalent. Did you know that shooting any fireworks into the air is illegal in Glendale? Here’s another interesting piece of trivia. Consumer Reports states that 31% of all July 4th emergency room visits are injuries to a hand or finger. If you are not worried about losing these appendages shoot off those fireworks, by all means…but not in the air.

I will be at Westgate representing Glendale and leading the countdown to the kick-off of the fireworks. Please join me in our nation’s day of celebration.

Do you have pets that you generally keep outside? You had better bring them in or risk them taking off in a panic and ending up lost or at the pound as those fireworks go off all around your house. Our German Shepard, 10 years old, absolutely goes nuts and is scared to death when those fireworks go off. We are now well trained and automatically put her in the house from about 6 pm until the next morning.

Our Pond: I haven’t written about our pond in awhile. It’s hard to believe but it is over 8 years old and certainly is a ‘mature’ pond. I’ve included some photos of our filter systems and what the pond looks like today.

Looking down into the filter box you can see the rigid hosing that leads to the two major filter pumps…one for the large waterfall and one for the small waterfall. Another photo shows the filter media. The green pad is a major component. It can be fine to very coarse. We use a medium value. These pads also serve the filters at the top of each waterfall. The net goes in front of the green filter media and collects very coarse material such as decaying lily pads. The white grate is something we started to do a very long time ago as it prevented small fish and the tiny Gambusia (mosquito fish) from being pulled into the filter system which has a strong pull.

This photo shows the pond as it looks today. The vegetation in and around the pond is mature and generally only requires pruning. The photo of the fish shows one of my favorite Koi. The Koi with the red spot on its forehead is called a Tancho by the Japanese. The rounder the red spot the better.

The blue barrel contraption is of our own making. After a year or two, we realized the two main filters were not adequate, especially in dealing with algae in the summer so we devised our own system. Each blue barrel has a different filter media in it. The water travels from one barrel to another, past a UV light and then into the pond. Using this in conjunction with our main filters has solved the problem and algae are kept to a minimum.

It’s finally officially hot but no monsoon yet. According to weather forecasters, the high pressure ridge sitting over us has to move farther north, around the four corners area. That has not occurred yet because the jet stream is too far south and is blocking the heat ridge from moving north. We can still expect the monsoon but perhaps a little later than normal. I remember previous July 4ths as not only hot but humid as well…not this year.

Look for the grand opening of the Aloft Hotel this month. It becomes the latest addition to Glendale’s inventory of hotel rooms in the Westgate area. There are four more hotels either already under construction or in the planning stages. Before the next Super Bowl in Glendale the city will have a minimum of 2,000 rooms to accommodate visitors. Also look for the development of more office space in the Yucca district. Glendale currently has no inventory of office space so the city has prioritized more development of that kind of space as a goal. Ballpark Boulevard, designed to connect Camelback Ranch to Westgate is now under construction and will be completed next year. This will open the undeveloped land between 99th Avenue  and Camelback Ranch for development. The property owners of the land along the new extension of Ballpark Boulevard are currently designing a master plan for that area.

When will Bethany Home Road be extended between 83rd Avenue and 91st Avenue? That is up to the developers, Pulte Homes and the John F. Long Trust. Apparently, they not happy that the city, after seven or so years, has raised its Development Impact Fee rates. They want the city to mitigate the increase in fees. I don’t think that’s going to happen so it might be awhile before we see Bethany Home Road punch through. That’s OK with me and many of the Yucca district residents. The minute that stretch of Bethany is completed the traffic along 83rd Avenue will explode.

Do you have a subject or topic about Glendale and want more information? Is there a topic you would like to see a blog about? Just make a comment on this blog or send me an email at: clarkjv@aol.com .

© Joyce Clark, 2019         

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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