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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.

I’ve wanted to write this particular blog for nine months but confidentiality imposed by the principal developers precluded me from doing so.

Last September, the Glendale city council approved documents for the Crystal Lagoon Island Resort at Glendale. At that time David Leibowitz published an article disparaging the project. Here is the link to his original article: https://www.eastvalleytribune.com/opinion/valley-theme-park-plans-all-smoke-no-sizzle/article_50d85836-f6ab-11ea-a6a8-47e43bc1f48b.html .

In it he said, “Not to be outdone, the Glendale City Council last week approved ‘Crystal Lagoons, Island Resort,’ an 11-acre water paradise purported to include paddle boarding, scuba diving and boogie boarding – plus ‘water jetpacks.’ Whatever the hell those are.

“Naturally, Glendale electeds voted to waive $1 million in fees for the developer and employ a sweetheart financing deal known as a GPLET, which allows the builder to avoid paying property taxes for 25 years. That’s predicated on the project being built, of course, which I doubt. Not to sound cynical, but, like I said, I’ve been following theme park news for years. 

“The projects all follow a similar pattern: They get announced amid much braggadocio, make zero progress for years, then quietly expire.

“In this case, the political burbker du jour was Glendale Councilwoman Joyce Clark, who said at the Council meeting: “I am just so excited. … (This is) a blockbuster project that’s going to put Glendale on the map, not just in the Valley but in the Southwest.” Which I’m sure is what some elected yoyo said when the Garden of Eden was built – and with nary a tax break, if you can imagine that.”

Well, Mr. Leibowitz, today was the official groundbreaking for Crystal Lagoon Island Resort at Glendale. The project will be completed prior to the Super Bowl of 2023. I think it’s time you pound sand regarding your commentary about this project and I invite you to Crystal Lagoon Island Resort at Glendale when it is opened to pound said sand.

A project of this magnitude is not built nor planned in a day. The sale of the land has been completed at a cost of $27 million. Conceptual plans have been rendered and engineering/architectural plans are nearly completed. So now it is time to begin grading the land and that is exactly what is occurring now.

I suspect that Mr. Leibowitz’s motive for disparaging Glendale’s project had more to do with the election atmosphere in the fall of 2020. Add in his close connection in working with the Glendale fire fighter union. Glendale’s Primary Election was in August, 2020, a month before this blockbuster announcement. In that Primary Liebowitz and the Glendale firefighter union took a whippin’. They had backed and had poured tons of money supporting the opponent of Mayor Weiers and my opponent as well. They lost…again. You would think that they would learn the lesson to not mess with Clark and Weiers.

Liebowitz, stung after another firefighter election loss in Glendale, probably thought his article would be great payback and would be a perfect opportunity to go not to go after not only Glendale but me as well. It was like killing two birds with one stone. In this case, his stones missed their mark. I think we can write off Mr. Liebowitz and his opinions regarding anything Glendale related.

When the official groundbreaking occurred this past Thursday, June 10th, I said repeatedly this is the most significant project to come to Glendale since the arena opened in 2003 and the stadium opened in 2006.

Think about it. Why do so many of us escape to California for vacations? The incredible weather along the coast, of course, but it is the beach and water fun and the myriad of theme parks. I can’t think of a single theme park over there that combines a beach with rides.

That’s what makes Crystal Lagoon Island Resort such a unique venue, especially in the Arizona desert. I’m not sure the public realizes just how much one can do.

  • Do you want to swim, scuba dive, water jet pack or boogie board all day? No problem. You and your family can do that with a lunch break at one of the dozen or so restaurants available.
  • Or maybe it’s a day with the kids or grandkids at the Mattel Amusement Park including Thomas the Train and Hot Wheels rides. Over the coming months Mattel will be announcing more components for their amusement park. So be on the lookout for them.
  • Perhaps the older kids would prefer the “fly”or 4 D theaters similar to the “Soarin’ Around the World” attraction at Disney’s California Adventure theme park.
  • Have some visitors? They will be able to stay at Crystal Lagoon Island Resort where 650 hotel rooms will be available. Then you can all meet for a leisurely lunch followed by shopping at one or all five of the themed retail/restaurant island areas.
  • Looking for something unique to show off? Go to the Aerophile’s Aerobar for extraordinary food and drinks 130 feet off the ground. Want to show off the entire Valley of the Sun? Then the tethered hot air balloon rising 400 feet is just the ticket.
  • Need a bit more? Then plan on attending a live outdoor musical concert with well known musical artists nearly every night of the year. More announcements will be made about this element when the principals are ready to do so.

Marry Crystal Lagoon Island Resort with the Westgate/Zanjero area and it becomes a major vacation destination. Want to golf? Go to TopGolf or PopStroke (Tiger Woods designed mini golf). Professional sports venues of NFL football, NHL hockey or MLB spring training baseball await. If your passion is bowling there’s even a bowling alley! Professional shoppers beware as you head off to Tanger Outlets at Westgate or the unique, themed shops at Crystal Lagoon.

Just imagine! When Glendale hosts the Super Bowl in January of 2023, a couple or family can stay at one of the dozen hotels (nearly 2,000 suites available) and be within walking distance of all that I have mentioned above.

I hope I have been able to convey the magnitude of Crystal Lagoon Island Resort and its impact on Glendale with expected visitors of 5,000 to 6,000 a day. It is significant and truly incredible!

So, David Liebowitz…go pound sand…at Crystal Lagoon Island Resort. It’s coming despite your negativism and disbelief.

© Joyce Clark, 2021       

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.

I’ve reported on residential, hotel and apartment development in our district. Now, it’s time to tackle the most difficult and complicated subject of all – retail, commercial and industrial development. I say it’s difficult and complicated because so much is going on in these areas. The Yucca district is simply exploding with these kinds of development.

To organize the material is some fashion, I’ve separated projects into Conditional Use Permits (CUP), in Design Review (DR), those requesting new zoning or a change in the existing zoning (ZON), and under construction. Some development projects require a CUP that has been approved by the citizen Planning Commission. The Planning Commission uses guidelines to determine if the granting of a CUP is appropriate. If you are ever interested in seeing the Planning Commission in action they are televised on Glendale’s Channel 11 and if you use the city website and go to the agenda of the Planning Commission, there is also an option to view the video of the meeting.

Some projects either already have their zoning approved or are in the process of getting their zoning and are now in the process of having all plans related to their project reviewed by the Planning Department. Everything is reviewed from electrical designs to the exterior elevations of the project. The design review process is complicated and takes months to gain approval.

The following projects have been granted a CUP:

Equipment Storage Rentals located at the southwest corner of 71st Avenue and Northern Ave. It is located in an industrial area of Glendale along Northern Avenue.

Bank of America drive thru located at 7448 W. Glendale Avenue will not have an accompanying bank branch building. This will strictly be a drive thru facility.

Camelback Shopping Center is located at 5070 N, 83rd Avenue. It will be just north of the Dignity Emergency Room facility. There will be an EOS Fitness Center and 3 pads for retail shops. The tenants of these 3 shops have not been announced.

The following projects are under design review. They will not begin construction until their design review process is completed and their designs (from electrical, plumbing, exterior, etc.) have been approved by the city’s planning department:

Commercial vehicle storage yard located at 7190 N. 110th Avenue near Glen Harbor Commercial Park and the landfill.

Glendale Avenue Storage located at 10911 W. Glenn Drive. It is in the same area as the storage project listed above.

Zanjero Retail is located at 9200 W. Glendale Avenue. This development is across the street from Cabela’s on the north side of Glendale Avenue. The only tenant that has been confirmed to me is Starbucks. There will be an apartment component (cited in a previous blog) to the north of the retail component of this project).

WalMart Electric Vehicle Charging Stations located at 5010 N. 95th Avenue. This is a new addition to the Super WalMart located on 95th Avenue north of Camelback Road.

 The next group of properties to be reviewed is the activity primarily (although not exclusively) surrounding the Loop 303. The city calls this area, “The New Frontier.” These involve properties abutting to or very close to the Loop 303.Two factors determine the type of development that will occur. One is city council policy directing that this area be used to create jobs for our residents. The other is the fact that some of these properties are within the Luke Air Force Base noise contour lines and Glendale, which is home to LAFB, has pledged to uphold those noise contours to preserve LAFB, its mission and its importance to the nation.

This is the most complicated update to compile. Some parcels have submitted for annexation and along with their requested annexation they could be asking for simultaneous rezoning. Others have been annexed and are in various stages in the city process.Below I have summarized each individually, identify its location and attempted to indicate where it is within city processes:

The Church of Christ is a one acre annexation located at 8305 W. Northern Avenue (southwest corner of 83rd Ave. and Northern Ave.) Construction is complete and the project is awaiting formal approval from the Planning Commission and the City Council.

Annexation 204 is called Northern 107. It consists of 10 acres. An application for annexation has been submitted and it is awaiting Planning Department and City Council approvals.

Annexation 206 is called Bethany/303. It is 76 acres and is located at Sarival and W. Claremont. It was just heard by the city council on February 11th and council consensus was given to move forward on the annexation.

The next 3 annexations are in the planning stages and have formally submitted applications to the city for: annexation, final plat, rezoning/general plan amendment, design review, OR required conditional use permits:

Annexation 207 located at the southwest corner of Loop 303 and Glendale Avenue.

Annexation 208 called 303 West Crossing located at the northeast corner of Sarival Farms Road and Maryland Avenue.

Annexation 209 called Copper Wiring Logistics Center located at 13402 W. Northern Avenue.

The project known as T-2 located at 10501 N. Reems Road is in the process of receiving its Final Plat approval from the city.

The project known as West 303 is located at the northeast corner of Sarival Farms Road and Maryland Avenues. It is in the process of seeking rezoning and/or a general plan amendment.

The Barclay Group project is located at the southwest corner of the Loop 303 and Glendale Avenue. It is in the process of seeking rezoning and/or a general plan amendment.

Park 303 located at the southwest corner of Sarival Avenue and Glendale Avenue is in the design review stage.

EOS Fitness located at 5070 N. 83rd Avenue is also in the design review stage as well at the rezoning and/or general plan amendment stage.

The Cornerstone Camelback project located at 5205 N. 99th Avenue is in the rezoning process.

Centerpoint located at 9501 W. Cardinals Way (southwest corner of 95th Avenue and Cardinals Way is currently in the rezoning process.

The Lincoln Logistics 303 PAD located at 6600 N. Sarival Road is also currently in the rezoning process.

The project known as Zanjero Retail located at 9200 W. Glendale Avenue is under design review.

Sparrow located at the northwest corner of 91st Avenue and Zanjero Blvd. is also in the design review stage.

The Westgate Shell Shops located at 9405 W. Glendale Avenue are retail, spec buildings currently under construction.

Swire Coca-Cola located at 7845 N. 106th Avenue in the Glen Harbor Industrial Park is expanding its warehouse by 147,804 square feet and is under construction.

The Camelback Self Storage located at 5205 N. 99th Avenue is under construction.

Red Bull located at the Woolf Logistics Center in the area of Loop 303 at 10501 N. Reems Road is under construction.

White Claw, located at the same Woolf Logistics Center is also under a fast-track construction schedule and plans to be open in about 6 months.

Westgate Caramba restaurant located at 9455 W. Glendale Avenue is also under construction.

These 21 projects represent thousands of acres and thousands of square feet of development located from Westgate/Zanjero westward to the Loop 303. As a casual reader of this information you may not realize that this is an amazing time in Glendale’s history. The development under way as well as those projects yet to be announced will confirm that Glendale has become an economic power house within the Valley. These projects combined will provide jobs in the retail, office, and industrial/manufacturing/distribution sectors. A hundred jobs here and a hundred jobs there soon add up to thousands.

The only caveat I will provide is that I don’t think I missed any projects but in compiling all of the material I presented and summarized it is always possible that I missed something. If that is the case I do apologize. I am sure I will hear about it.

© 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.

 

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