Flashback 2014: Leaning toward 2015

Flashback 2014: Leaning toward 2015

An indispensible recap of Scottsdale’s comings and goings … and what lies ahead

By Joan Fudala

In a world-renowned, dazzling destination in the desert, Scottsdale is bound to have changes year-to-year. How to keep up with them all! Here are just a few of the evolutions over the past 12 months in our fair city.

What’s New

In the downtown Scottsdale area: Bottled Blonde, Derby Public House, Second Story Liquor Bar, the Original Bootlegger Plates & Pours, Ricky’s Tacos & Beer, Boondocks Patio & Grill, Jimmy John’s, Union Barrelhouse, Wasted Grain, Lo Lo’s Chicken & Waffles, ROK Social House, Park Place Bar & Grill, The King, Sip Coffee & Beer House, Cake nightclub, Modify Yoga Spa Café, Craft 64; Bink’s at Hilton Village; Paul Martin’s American Grill, Vivo Ristorante and Sumo Maya near Lincoln/Scottsdale; Fogon and Burger 21 at The Seville; Pizza Me, The Vig and Akita Sushi in McCormick Ranch; Shops at Gainey Village added: Cuttlefish, Forno Fabbri Italian Market & Mozzarella Bar, Naya (opened November 2013), Notorious Burgers, Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana; new in the Shea Corridor: The Standard, Black & Bleu, Haweli Indian Grill & Bar, Eggstasy, Salt and Lime; in the Scottsdale Airport/Airpark area: O.H.S.O. Distillery, Fired Pie, Zinburger, Los Sombreros; Spiga Ristorante & Pizzeria on Pinnacle Peak Road; Wild Ocean Seafood Market & Grille at La Mirada (December opening planned)

Topgolf Riverwalk near Talking Stick Golf Club; two-wheeled, self-powered golf bikes at Kierland Golf Course; the inaugural Fiat of Scottsdale Rugby Bowl; OdySea Mirror Maze/Laser Maze near Talking Stick;

Retail and Services:
Throughout the downtown Scottsdale Area: Urban Outfitters, Fit Republic, Mully’s Touch of Ireland, Dogs Etc. Pet Boutique, House of Tudor Fabrics and Fine Furnishings, Steinway Piano Store; Wild Bird Centers of Scottsdale and Urgent Care at Scottsdale/Shea; Intermix and Suitsupply at the Scottsdale Quarter; Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen at Kierland Commons; a McLaren Scottsdale dealership, Toys & Playtime Oasis, Imagine Outdoor Living and Hirsh Luxury Boutique in the Airpark; Earnhardt Mazda on Hayden; PGA Superstore at Scottsdale 101; Goodwill Donation Xpress on East Bell; Western Territory Company at el Pedregal

Arts & Culture:
Scottsdale’s Museum of the West in the downtown area opens in January; new public art at Cavalliere Park (Sonoran Seed Pods), Northsight roundabout (Aspire) and Silverstone entry (reCurrents)

Roundabout traffic circle at Northsight and Hayden roads in the Airpark; all-enclosed/climate-controlled Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center at WestWorld; Blue Star Memorial honoring Scottsdale armed service members at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park (sponsored by local garden clubs); Kovach Family Nature Trail at the Lost Dog Wash Trailhead; a City Council-endorsed unity pledge; trails in McDowell Sonoran Preserve named to honor Chet Andrews and Roy Kinsey (Andrews-Kinsey Trail, as well as Barb Hull (Barb’s Trail)

After two failed attempts, the Scottsdale Unified School District override was approved by voters in November; Chaparral High opened a fitness center; DC Ranch opened a community garden at Copper Ridge Elementary School; the cafeteria at Cactus Shadows High has been expanded; Archway Classical Academy and Cicero Prep are two new charter school campuses in Scottsdale

Weebly opened its North American customer service operations headquarters at the Galleria Corporate Centre; Theranos healthcare company leased space at SkySong; condos and apartment homes adjacent to the Scottsdale Quarter are nearing completion, as are condos and apartments on the west end of the Scottsdale Waterfront; Andara Senior Lifestyle Community on 114th Street; North Valley Surgery Center opened on Raintree

Scottsdale’s seventh sister-city relationship – Uasin Gishu, Kenya; same-sex marriage became legal in Arizona in October; first medical-marijuana kitchen approved for Scottsdale

New faces:
Scottsdale Cultural Council President/CEO Neale Perl; Fiesta Bowl President/CEO Mike Nealy; Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust President/CEO Dr. Susan Pepin

Nov. 4 Scottsdale City Council election results (winners taking office in January 2015): Linda Milhaven reelected; David Smith and Kathy Littlefield elected to their first four-year terms (incumbent Dennis Robbins was narrowly defeated and will be leaving the council in January); Scottsdale-area resident and former Cold Stone Creamery top executive Doug Ducey was elected governor of Arizona

August primary election results for the town of Paradise Valley (taking office in January 2015): Michael Collins was elected mayor; Jerald Bien-Willner, Paul Dembow and Maria Syms were elected to four-year terms; David Sherf and Mark Stanton were elected to two-year terms.

What’s Different

Historic Pink Pony renovated under new ownership; Salty Senorita moved a few doors down along Scottsdale Road; The Beverly replaced Mabel’s on Main; The Living Room Wine Café & Lounge replaced Armitage Bistro at DC Ranch Marketplace; The Grill at TPC Scottsdale is now Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar; Jade Palace to La Mirada at Pinnacle Peak

The McCormick Scottsdale, formerly Millennium Resort and Villas Scottsdale, is newly renovated; Echo Canyon Trailhead on Camelback Mountain has been refurbished; the Montelucia is now the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia; the Radisson Fort McDowell is now the We-Ko-Pa Resort and Conference Center; the east cellphone waiting area/lot at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has moved farther east on the airport, and Terminal 4 has added an indoor fitness trail for travelers

TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course has been extensively renovated; Golf Club of Scottsdale is now Scottsdale National and owned by Bob Parsons; Vista Verde has been renamed Tegavah Golf Course; Phoenix transferred Papago Golf Course to Arizona State University; Phoenix Coyotes are now the Arizona Coyotes; post-season college football game formerly known as the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl is now the Cactus Bowl

Lyle Anderson sold the land planned for Sierra Reserve on Dynamite Boulevard; Signature Flight Support purchased Scottsdale AirCenter as a fixed-base operator at Scottsdale Airport

Tonelea Elementary School closed and its students moved to a new location within the Scottsdale school district; Pardes Jewish Day School moved from Phoenix to the Scottsdale Airpark area; Lexis Prep moved from the Airpark area to the Cholla campus of the Scottsdale school district

Economic Development offices moved to mezzanine of Scottsdale Civic Center Library, adjacent to the Eureka Loft; Scottsdale Stadium has undergone some upgrades

Loop 101 freeway widening is in progress

What’s Gone

Petite Maison, The Orange Table (moved to Tempe), Nourish, American Junkie, Red Lobster, Spanish Fly, Searsucker in downtown Scottsdale; Voltaire/Brooklyn Cafe on McDonald Drive; Scottsdale Station in the Village at Hayden; Applebee’s on 90th Street; Renegade by MOD on Shea; El Santo Cantina on Butherus; Miracle Mile Deli at the Promenade; Elephant Bar at Scottsdale 101; Miller’s Deli at Hayden Peak Crossing; X-Tapa Joe’s on Pinnacle Peak; Taco Haus in the Shea Corridor

Coldwater Creek at Kierland Commons; E&J Shoes at The Promenade; historic Pottery Paradise in downtown Scottsdale

Art, Culture, Tourism:
The Heard Museum’s North Branch (at The Summit) closed; Lisa Sette Gallery moved from Marshall Way to downtown Phoenix;

The Borgata shopping center was razed in late spring to make way for condos; the Rural Metro call center building at Indian School and Granite Reef was razed to make way for Alta Scottsdale apartment complex; Loloma Transit Center/iconic clock tower; Paddock Pools headquarters on Thomas; Scottsdale 6 Drive-in; Mountain Shadows Resort in Paradise Valley

Moved to other places:
Scottsdale Leadership Executive Director George Martinez resigned; 42-year Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce Office Manager Leslie Nyquist retired; Scottsdale Public Library System Director Carol Damaso retired; McCormick Stillman Railroad Park Director Bob McNair retired; Councilman Robert Littlefield reached his term limit after serving 12 years on the Scottsdale City Council; Director of Scottsdale Community College’s Southwest Studies Marshall Trimble retired (but remains active as Arizona’s Official Historian)

Sadly, we’ve lost:
Business and civic leader Bob Karatz; McDowell Sonoran Preserve advocate Chet Andrews; civic leader Ted Tyler; family doctor and Scottsdale Healthcare executive Dr. Jack Cook; artist and educator Warren Gentry; Junie B. author Barbara Park; city of Scottsdale retired executive Dave Harris; financier Charles Keating; city recreation staff member Allie Ortega; restaurateur Joe Miller; Bill Thompson (Wallace of “The Wallace and Ladmo Show”); U.S. Marine Corps veteran and former state Sen. Tom Smith; former Scottsdale’s first city attorney Ozzie Burton

What’s Coming

Scottsdale Museum of the West opens in January on Marshall Way

Super Bowl XLIX held in Glendale Feb. 1, with lots of pre-game activities in Scottsdale; OdySea Aquarium and The Cove Family Fun Center to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community; major renovation to the Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center (spa has been renovated); 2016 NCAA football championship game to University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale

Retail and restaurants:
Big expansion of Scottsdale Fashion Square downtown (and relocation/expansion of Harkins’ Camelview theater); Sprouts to Silverstone; Scottsdale Beer Company to Pima Crossing; Rise & Grind to Shea corridor; Kneaders to the Airpark; The Upton restaurant in downtown Scottsdale; following sales to developers, Pinnacle Peak-area cowboy restaurants Pinnacle Peak Patio and Greasewood Flat will be closing sometime in the coming year; an expanded Harley Davidson of Scottsdale in the Airpark; American Girl store to the new multiuse building under construction at Scottsdale Quarter

An update to the General Plan (in the works for several years); taxiway at Scottsdale Airport to be rebuilt; transportation improvements to the 90th Street/Shea area

A former car dealership on Hayden will become the Impact Church; condos at the former Borgata shopping center site; custom homes are under construction on a portion of the Mountain Shadows Resort site in Paradise Valley

The Phoenix Veterans Administration Health Care System will open a clinic on Via Linda in Scottsdale; Mayo Medical School—in collaboration with Arizona State University—will be coming to Scottsdale

Other plans:
A privately funded memorial near City Hall honoring Scottsdalians who died in combat; a long-anticipated Desert Discovery Center that complements the McDowell Sonoran Preserve

What Never Happened

The city didn’t sell the historic Design Studio/original Ascension Lutheran Church; tighter restrictions on sign walkers failed; a proposal to close Palomino branch library again failed; SB 1062 (a potentially divisive and discriminatory bill) was vetoed by Gov. Brewer

Memorable 2014 Moments

The mega-monsoons of late August/early September; nail-biting conclusion to a dramatic Scottsdale City Council campaign season; San Francisco Giants— Scottsdale’s “hometown” Spring Training team—winning another World Series
2015 Milestones to celebrate: 80th anniversary of Scottsdale’s Post 44, American Legion; 60th anniversary of the Scottsdale Public Library; 40th anniversary of McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park; 20th anniversary of the Scottsdale Cares utility bill donation program; 10th anniversary of the creation of the Scottsdale Fire Department

Joan Fudala is a Scottsdale author and community historian. Contact: jfudala@cox.net.