By Joan Fudala
It’s time for the annual review of some of what’s happened in the past 12 months, and what’s likely to come in ever-evolving Scottsdale.
Read this, and you’ll be an informed host for winter guests, or you can attend your next chamber mixer or holiday party armed with plenty of local small talk. This is only a representative sample of changes around our town … you’ll surely add more of your own.
Support your local businesses, and help boost our economy in 2014!
Restaurants and nightclubs
Capriotti’s, Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers, Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row, Alo Café, Virtu Honest Craft at the Bespoke Inn, Hi-Fi Kitchen & Cocktails, Morning Squeeze, Original ChopShop Co., Metropolis, Maya Day & Nightclub, Cornish Pasty—all in downtown Scottsdale; Gertrude’s at Desert Botanical Garden; Pig & Pickle at Thomas and Hayden roads; Blind Pig on Hayden south of Osborn; The Brooklyn Café on McDonald; McDonald’s, the kosher Kitchen 18 and Fate Brewing at Scottsdale and Shea; Voila French Bistro and Papa Murphy’s take-and-bake pizza on Via Linda; Portillo’s and Karaikudi Palace at Shea and Loop 101; Hopdoddy Burger Bar on Scottsdale road north of Shea; Giant Rustic Pizza on Frank Lloyd Wright at Thompson Peak; Basil & Garlic Bistro on Poinsettia Drive off 94th Street; Pellini Italian Eatery at Scottsdale and Greenway-Hayden Loop; Potbelly Sandwich Shop and a new Starbucks on Scottsdale road south of Thunderbird; Inchin’s Bamboo Garden on Scottsdale Road just south of Shea; The Habit Burger Grill at the Promenade; Coconuts Fish Café on Bell and Scottsdale roads; Windy City Cafe and Twisted Rose Winery and Eatery on Northsight; Wok Box at Gateway 101 Center; Grabba Green at Sonora Village; Juby True at Scottsdale Quarter; Altitude Coffee Lab on Hayden in the Airpark; Which Wich on Scottsdale Road in Grayhawk; Pita Café at Scottsdale & Pinnacle Peak roads; Teatro Pizzeria on North Scottsdale Road near Carefree.
Butterfly Wonderland on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community; Scottsdale Charro-sponsored Scottsdale Showdown bull riding event at WestWorld in October; Bespoke Inn (Scottsdale’s first bed & breakfast) on Marshall Way; Holiday Inn Express in Desert Ridge near Mayo Hospital; Scottsdale Beat the Heat Race/5K in June; Octane Raceway at The Pavilions at Talking Stick; the Up With Downtown promotional group.
Conn’s, Today’s Furniture, Burlington Coat Factory at The Pavilions at Talking Stick; Dolce Salon & Spa, Le Creuset, Oil & Vinegar, Lindsay Lou Boutique, Urban Outfitters, Apricot Lane at Scottsdale Quarter; Wine Warehouse and Good Feet on Scottsdale Road in the Airpark area; Goodwill store, SackTime and StudioFIT at East Thunderbird Square; Athleta at Kierland Commons; Nancy Max & Co. on Redfield; Bell Lexus dealership on Scottsdale Road at Mayo; E & J’s Designer Shoe Outlet at Scottsdale and Lincoln; Living Spaces furniture and Cox Solutions Store at Scottsdale Promenade; Dolce Nord at Hayden Peak Crossing; Hot Petunias Boutique on Thompson Peak.
Health and wellness
Scottsdale introduced the “Cure Corridor” concept that links the area’s world-renowned medical and research facilities; Scottsdale Healthcare and John C. Lincoln announced a new alliance; Bell Urgent Care opened on Bell near 64th Street; Scottsdale Healthcare’s Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health is opening a clinic at the Scottsdale Unified School District’s Cholla Campus to serve the special needs population.
FineMark National Bank & Trust on Doubletree Ranch Road; McLaren Scottsdale exotic car dealership on Raintree; JetLinx Scottsdale at Scottsdale Airport; the entrepreneurial start-ups Peanut Butter Americano, Whistl and Post.Bid.Ship.
Optima Sonoran Village at Camelback Road and 68th Street; Broadstone Lincoln apartments on the northwest corner of Scottsdale Road and Lincoln Drive; The Jefferson on the southeast corner of Scottsdale Road and Thompson Peak Parkway; Phase I-SkySong Apartments on McDowell Road.
A $4.25 million renovation of the Health Science Building at Scottsdale Community College for the Nursing Program; voters approved a budget override for the Paradise Valley Unified School District (where most of Scottsdale’s children attend schools north of the Airpark area), while voters in the Scottsdale Unified School District turned SUSD’s override ballot question down.
Browns Ranch Trailhead and the Jane Rau Trail in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, as well as the Granite Mountain and Fraesfield Mountain trailheads; a multimillion expansion to the Tony Nelssen Equestrian facility at WestWorld; a “Park & Ride” facility on the southeast corner of Scottsdale and Thunderbird roads in the Airpark; improvements to Scottsdale Road between Adobe Drive and Pinnacle Peak Road; more land purchased at a state auction for the McDowell Sonoran Preserve; the Eureka Loft in the former Scottsdale Room space at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library where local entrepreneurs can collaborate and innovate; Pickleball at Club SAR; ordinance passed that finally allows ice cream trucks in Scottsdale neighborhoods; new safety ordinance that regulated pedicabs; First Church of Christ-Scientist, Glass and Garden Community Church and Holy Cross Lutheran Church added to the Scottsdale Historic Register.
Artist Tad Savinar’s six Historical Happenstance Markers along Scottsdale road; Jeff Gold’s Pop Culture mural at the Granite Reef Senior Center; sculpture in memory of Family Circus cartoonist Bil Keane at the McCormick Stillman Railroad Park.
More new stuff
Paradise Valley Architecture book by Doug Sydnor, Episcopal Church of the Nativity on Miller south of Williams converted a half-built commercial building/eyesore into a new place of worship; Scottsdale’s first medical marijuana dispensary; a citizen/business-driven Scottsdale Gateway Alliance group to revitalize the McDowell Road corridor.
Virginia Korte and Guy Phillips were sworn into the Scottsdale City Council; Fritz Behring is the new Scottsdale city manager; George Martinez is the new executive director of Scottsdale Leadership; Jim Pepper Henry is the new Heard Museum director; Carrie Heinonen is the new Musical Instrument Museum director; Brig. Gen. Michael T. McGuire is the new adjutant general of the Arizona National Guard.
Most Romantic City, according to Liveability.com; Google’s 2013 eCity Award; sixth-safest city in the United States, according to Business Insider; Scottsdale Unified School District being an A-rated district for the third consecutive year, according to the Arizona Department of Education.
Strict public safety ordinance enacted this year for all nightclubs; the historic Pink Pony on Scottsdale Road is undergoing another major renovation; T. Roosevelt’s is now EVO; T Cook’s and Mix Up Bar at the Royal Palms have been renovated; Breakfast Joynt moved to DC Ranch; Pomo Pizzeria moved from The Borgata to Gainey Village; Chop and Wok (closed for two years) reopened on Scottsdale Road south of Shea; X-Tapa Joe’s on Pinnacle Peak closed for a few months and has recently reopened; historic Pinnacle Peak Patio is undergoing an expansion.
Camelback Golf Club’s former Indian Bend Golf Course has undergone a major renovation and reopened as the Ambiente Course; new clubhouse and grill at McDowell Mountain Golf Club.
Scottsdale Healthcare moved its headquarters and foundation offices to the northeast corner of Hayden and Via de Ventura; a former office building at Scottsdale and Highland is transforming into the Phoenix Motor Company’s Mercedes-Benz dealership; First Scottsdale Bank acquired Gold Canyon Bank; the Airpark-based Martz Agency is now Martz Parsons; Earnhardt Hyundai North Scottsdale is relocating to Frank Lloyd Wright and Northsight; Sunrise Bank is merging with First Fidelity Bank; ZocDocs is expanding at its Scottsdale Waterfront office.
Two Plates Full moved from The Borgata to the Shops at Gainey Village; Sphinx Date Palm Pantry has a new look at Scottsdale and Earll; Sleep America has opened in a former Denny’s on Scottsdale Road at Cochise; Victoria’s Secret at Kierland Commons has moved into a larger space (former home of Restoration Hardware) on Scottsdale Road at the main entrance; Mackie’s Parlour moved to The Shops at Gainey Village.
Scottsdale Fire Department trucks are changing from historic optic yellow to red-white-blue paint schemes.
Scottsdale Community College library is undergoing renovations and the college is also adding an outdoor performing arts amphitheater; Cocopah, Ingleside, Mohave and Supai schools unveiled renovations at the start of the school year; Scottsdale Unified School District launched its annual Parent University program.
The first phase of renovations/improvements at the Franciscan Renewal Center is complete; after several dormant years, the Scottsdale Community Players are again staging performances at the Stagebrush Theatre in downtown Scottsdale.
What & Who is gone
The Borgata is virtually empty, soon to be razed for condos; Rural/Metro Corp. moving out of its billing and operations center at Granite Reef and Indian School roads to make way for apartments; Dash Luxury Furniture on Redfield; Whole Foods on Raintree; Living Furniture on 71st Street; Hacienda D’ Mexico on Greenway-Hayden Loop.
Tourism & the arts
Former Days Inn near Fashion Square was torn down; Frank Lloyd Wright’s archives moved from Taliesin West to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Axis/Radius, Martini Ranch, Scratch Pastries, Modern Steak, Big Earl’s BBQ, Old Town Whiskey, Praying Monk, Saddle Ranch Chop House in downtown Scottsdale; J. Alexander’s at The Borgata; Blue Wasabi Sushi & Martini Bar on Scottsdale Road; Village Inn on Shea at Loop 101; SaladWorks at Frank Lloyd Wright & Loop 101; Voltaire on McDonald; Cask 63 at the Shops at Gainey Village; Indulge Burgers & More at Scottsdale and Shea; Davanti Enoteca at Scottsdale & Lincoln; Buster’s in McCormick Ranch; Mia Francesca at DC Ranch Marketplace; Blu Burger Grill on Jomax/Alma School.
The Scottsdale Room history center on the mezzanine level of the Civic Center Library closed, with its books and materials disbursed throughout the library and to storage; moved on to other places: City Treasurer David Smith retired; Scottsdale Cultural Council President Bill Banchs resigned; founding principal of Notre Dame Prep High School David Gonsalves retired; baseball and broadcast legend Joe Garagiola retired as a baseball announcer.
Seven key figures in the Scottsdale area passed away during the past 12 months, including: former Councilman Bill Soderquist; Mountain Shadows Resort and Rawhide Founder Jim Paul; retired Coronado High School baseball coach Roy Coppinger; Fry’s President Jon Flora; Bashas’/AJ’s President Eddie Basha; architect Paolo Soleri; philanthropist Ruth Barker; former Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation leader Clinton Pattea; long-time Scottsdale Heathcare auxiliary leader Dot Stough; former TV anchor and Scottsdale School Board Member Bill Close; journalists Moyca Manoil and Maggie Wilson.
On the Horizon
Scottsdale Fashion Square plans to expand; an outlet mall is coming to SRPMIC; a CVS pharmacy is rising at Hilton Village; retail at Silverstone (former Rawhide site) will include a Sprouts grocery.
Restaurants & nightclubs
Bottle Blonde, Hula’s Modern Tiki, Union Barrel House, Ricky’s Authentic Mexican Food, Bootleggers to downtown Scottsdale; Taphouse Kitchen to Hilton Village; Naya Mediterranean Cuisine and Cuttlefish to The Shops at Gainey Village; Scottsdale Station to McCormick Ranch on Hayden; Scrambles-A Breakfast Joint to new shops at Lincoln & Scottsdale roads; C3 Kitchen to Scottsdale Quarter; Pita Jungle to Frank Lloyd Wright & Thompson Peak; a Los Sombreros in the Airpark; Wicked 6 Bar & Grill at SunRidge Canyon golf course in Fountain Hills.
Proton Beam facility under construction on the Mayo Clinic Hospital campus, as well as a cancer center, due to open in 2015; Ironwood Cancer & Research Center plans to build a facility on Desert Cove near Shea.
Tourism, art & culture
Scottsdale Museum of the West in downtown Scottsdale is moving ahead; a new creative arts center will transform a former shooting range and knit shop in downtown Scottsdale; a 20-foot stainless steel horse sculpture is coming to WestWorld; major renovations at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport will expand Terminal 3 and close Terminal 2; enhancements to the TPC golf course; a resort at Grayhawk; new Sister Cities relationships in Africa and Ireland.
Las Aguas apartments at the site of former car dealership Pitre Buick on McDowell road; MarkTaylor apartments east of SkySong on McDowell road; Blue Sky apartments at Scottsdale and Camelback roads; Broadstone Waterfront apartments, retail and restaurant complex on Marshall Way; apartments near Valley Ho; Crossroads East multi-story mixed use project on Scottsdale Road at Loop 101; Alta Scottsdale condos to the site of the former Rural/Metro billing and call center; apartments on Greenway-Hayden Loop east of Scottsdale road; Sierra Reserve in northern Scottsdale near the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
Voters defeated an update to Scottsdale’s General Plan in a March 2012 special election but will likely reconsider a citizen-tweaked and rewritten plan in November 2014; Scottsdale City Council election in fall 2014; improvements to Arizona Canal pathways; enhancements to the 50-year-old Desert Foothills Scenic Drive; construction on roundabout on Hayden at Northsight continues.
New sports complex and fine arts center at Notre Dame Prep High School.
Promising BHI’s (Big Hairy Ideas)
A Sky Trail along McDowell Road; a Desert Discovery Center adjacent to the GateWay to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
Still awaiting word
A redeveloped Mountain Shadows resort … finalization of the American Airlines and US Airways merger … the fate of Greasewood Flat and the shuttered Reata Pass … whether Prince William and Prince Harry will come to Scottsdale’s Polo Championships next year … who will run for Scottsdale City Council in 2014.
As for what never happend, bonds of $212 million that would have funded enhancements to Scottsdale infrastructure were rejected by votes in November. Also Scottsdale did not cede its “West’s Most Western Town” slogan to Cave Creek.
Congrats to these classics for their 50-plus years of staying power: the Paradise Valley Unified School District, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2013; the Chew family’s Mexican Imports (opened in 1928 as Chew’s Market) turned 85 years old in 2013; OLPH’s Old Mission Church turned 80; Desert Botanical Garden turned 75; the Silverman family’s Chaparral Suites (opened in 1953 as the Paradise Valley Guest Ranch) celebrated 60 years; Starfire Golf Course (opened as Sundown Ranch CC; later called Scottsdale Country Club) turns 60 this month; Seventh-day Adventist’s Thunderbird Academy at the Airpark turned 60; the Sugar Bowl turned 55; Desert Foothills Scenic Drive turned 50. n
Joan Fudala is a Scottsdale-based community historian and author. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.