These days, visitors to McDowell Mountain Ranch likely view the community as a lovely example of a mature, well maintained master–planned development.
However, it’s interesting to remember that as late as 1995, the area that currently includes The Ranch was still relatively barren land and that, until the mid-1980’s, it was actually just unincorporated territory north of the City of Scottsdale.
For those who reside here, it’s probably fascinating to pause occasionally and reflect on just how the community evolved. With that in mind, we’ve assembled an historical timeline designed to evoke memories for some of the original residents and inform those who came later. While many of the earliest events were drawn from materials published by the community itself, most of the information since the late 90’s was actually extracted from our own newsletters.
I hope that you find it both entertaining and instructive. It’s amazing to see how the community grew and to appreciate all the elements that contribute to the ambience of McDowell Mountain Ranch and our wonderful lifestyle. And, because they are an essential part of the maturation process of any community, we’ve even made room for those ultimately unsuccessful missteps that were part of the process.
1992 – The Herberger family sells its 3,200-acre ranch to Newhall Land & Farming Company.
1994 – Nearly 900 acres are donated to the City of Scottsdale as part of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve
1994 – McDowell Mountain Ranch wins unanimous support of the Scottsdale Planning Commission and the City Council.
1995 – Sales begin (prices range from the mid-$120’s to more than $500,000) at the McDowell Mountain Ranch Information Center, which is eventually renamed the McDowell Center.
1996 – McDowell Mountain Ranch is sold by Newhall Land & Farming Company to a joint venture partnership of Haas & Haynie Corporation, San Francisco, Calif., and Sunbelt Holdings, based in Scottsdale.
1996 – A 70-acre campus is donated to the City of Scottsdale for the Desert Canyon School and Arabian Library.
1997 – McDowell Mountain Ranch is ranked among the top 10 master-planned communities in the nation for sales volume.
1998 – Construction begins on Thompson Peak Parkway Bridge.
1998 – The Alltel Ice Den opens on Bell Road.
1998 – The Desert Canyon elementary school opens.
1998 – The Thompson Peak Parkway Bridge opens.
1999 – The National Association of Home Builders honors McDowell Mountain Ranch as one of the top five master-planned communities in the country.
1999 – The Desert Canyon Shopping Center opens.
2000 – The McDowell Mountain Ranch Community Association takes over the management of the community from the developer, Sunbelt Holdings.
2001 – Community Association purchases the former Information Center (later to be renamed “The McDowell Center”) from Sunbelt Holdings
2002 – McDowell Mountain Marketplace shopping center opens with Bashas’ as the anchor tenant.
2003 – McDowell Mountain Ranch is officially Sold Out.
February, 2003 – Allstate Insurance office opens at McDowell Mountain Marketplace.
April, 2003 – Holland Boone opens at 90th St & Bell Rd. Status Salon & Spa opens at Desert Canyon Center. Mountainside Fitness Express opens near the Alltel Ice Den.
April, 2003 – Woodside Homes announces plans for their new community, Trails North.
May, 2003 – Amore Pizza, Curves, and The Front, a computer gaming venue, open at Desert Canyon Center. La Villa Caffe opens at McDowell Mountain Marketplace. The fire station opens.
July, 2003 – Community Bank of Arizona purchases Valley Bank at Desert Canyon Center.
July, 2003 – Karate USA opens at Desert Canyon Center
July, 2003 – Trails North begins construction
July, 2003 – The budget for McDowell Mountain Ranch Park & Aquatic Center is approved.
July, 2003 – WestWorld Trail Head opens.
September, 2003 – Desert Canyon Center is sold.
September, 2003 – DC Ranch receives approval for subdivision off of 94th St.
September, 2003 – McDowell Mountain Yankees are the Little League State Champions –10 years of age and under.
November, 2003 – Chicago Pizza Works and Chiropractor, David Sipes, open at the McDowell Mountain Marketplace
November, 2003 – Dr. Glenn Hanf purchases McDowell Mountain Dentistry.
January, 2004 – McDowell Mountain Alliance, a community watchdog group, is formed.
January, 2004 – Open House is held to introduce designs for McDowell Mountain Ranch Park & Aquatic Center.
February, 2004 – The McDowell Mountain Ranch Homeowners Association votes to proceed with improvements to the McDowell Center.
March, 2004 – Bar Stool Connection opens at the Desert Canyon Center. Pump It Up opens at Horseman’s Park.
April, 2004 – The 1st Annual McDowell Mountain Music Festival is held.
June, 2004 – The Preserve Initiative passes, securing funds for the Gateway Center Development.
July, 2004 – Artist, Norie Sato, is named the winner of national competition to design public art for the new Aquatic Center.
September, 2004 – Woodside Homes begins sales for Trails North community.
September, 2004 – Oggi’s Opens at 87th St & Bell Rd.
September, 2004 – Volunteers dismantle Toll Brothers fence that blocks access to The Preserve.
November, 2004 – The $217 Million school bond referendum passes. The referendum upgrades existing schools but makes no allowance for a 6th Scottsdale high school.
January, 2005 – The Arizona State Land Department announces plans to auction properties in and around West World.
February, 2005 – Rosemary Thyme Café opens at the Desert Canyon Center.
February, 2005 – McDowell Mountain Storage opens at Horseman’s Park.
February, 2005 – The newly renovated McDowell enter opens.
March, 2005 – ALLTEL joins Sprint at the Desert Canyon cell tower.
March, 2005 – Byxbee Development begins seeking tenants for Windgate Crossing, its commercial center at the northwest corner of Thompson Peak Parkway & Bell Rd. Plans call for the center to be anchored by CVS and Bank of America.
May, 2005 – John Fern, proprietor of Caffe Portobello, announces that he’ll be opening Satori Sushi at the McDowell Mountain Marketplace.
May, 2005 – The City of Scottsdale breaks ground on the Aquatic Center.
September, 2005 – Circle K submits application to construct 2,500 square foot convenience store with ten fueling stations at the corner of Thompson Peak Parkway & Bell Rd in McDowell Mountain Ranch.
September, 2005 – Scottsdale City Council awards a contract to Weddle-Gilmore Architects to design and prepare construction plans for Gateway Center.
September, 2005 – City of Scottsdale outbids builders for the 80-acre parcel at the north side of 94th St & Bell Rd.
November, 2005 – The Family Zone is created.
November, 2005 – The Offices at McDowell Mountain on Thompson Peak Parkway welcomes its first tenant, Edward Jones.
February, 2006 – Gateway Center plans are unveiled at a public presentation.
March, 2006 – Voices, a music and arts studio opens at 91st St & Bell Road.
March, 2006 – The 3rd annual McDowell Mountain Music Festival is held.
May, 2006 – City of Scottsdale completes the construction of an unpaved trail in the wash that runs north between Castle Chase, Trovas and 100 Hills communities, connecting to the existing Quartz Trail which begins at the edge of the Desert Canyon School.
August 2006 – The SUSD Math and Science Academy at Copper Ridge opens.
August, 2006 – Formal groundbreaking for the Arabian Library is held. Nori Sato will design the entrance to the library to resemble a canyon.
October, 2006 – Retail Assistance Corporation opens at The Office at McDowell Mountain on Thompson Peak Parkway.
October, 2006 – The Grand Opening is held for the completion of Thompson Peak Parkway.
November, 2006 – BNC Bank opens its second Scottsdale branch in the Alltel Ice Den.
January, 2007 – McDowell Mountain Park and Aquatic Center opens.
January, 2007 – McDowell Mountain Counseling opens at Aquila Office Center.
February, 2007 – City Council votes to approve a new marketing study for the Desert Discovery Center.
February, 2007 – Cena to Go and Classic Cooking open at Desert Canyon Center. Hart West Financial opens at Aquila Office Center. Smoothie King opens at McDowell Mountain Village. Quicken Loans opens in the McDowell Mountain Business Park located at Pima and Bell.
February, 2007 – Windgate Ranch introduces their model homes by hosting a benefit for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale.
April, 2007 – University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management offers the first degree program outside its Tucson home campus at McDowell Mountain Business Park.
April, 2007 – Just Juvenile Baby Store opens at Desert Canyon Center.
May, 2007 – US Postal Service opens a substation in the Paper Chase store located at 91st St and Bell Road. T’s Accessories opens in the McDowell Mountain Village.
July, 2007 – My Gym and Chef’s Academy open in the Horseman’s Park area.
August, 2007 – Chase Bank opens in the McDowell Mountain Marketplace.
September, 2007 – The Arabian Library opens.
September, 2007 – McDowell Mountain Little League 9-10 year old All Stars win Scottsdale District Championship.
September, 2007 – The 71 acre state of the art CAP Basin sports complex on Bell Road and 82nd Street is selected by the American Public Works Association as their Project of the Year.
October, 2007 – Bounce-U opens in the Horseman’s Park area.
November, 2007 – The Bison Museum opens in the Horseman’s Park area.
November, 2007 – Aquila Dental Design opens at Aquila Office Center.
January, 2008 – Toll Brothers versus City of Scottsdale case is decided. The ruling requires the City to pay Toll $82 million to acquire the 383 acre parcel that they bought at auction from the state for approximately $34 million.
January, 2008 – Bank of America, Temple Sports Grill and CVS Drugstore open at Windgate Crossing.
January, 2008 – Saguaro Sabercats of Saguaro High School win their second straight Class 4A Division 1 Championship, and the Saints of Notre Dame Preparatory win their first Class 4A Division Crown.
March, 2008 – Viking Cleaners opens at Windgate Crossing Shopping Center.
March, 2008 – Bagel Nosh opens on the SW corner of Pima & Bell Roads.
May, 2008 – Taylor’s Sports Cards opens at the Desert Canyon Center.
May, 2008 – Classic Cooking Academy opens at the Desert Canyon Center.
June, 2008 – The 3,914 foot mountain peak over the Gateway Center is designated as “Drinkwater Peak,” named after the former mayor, Herb Drinkwater.
June, 2008 – Formal Groundbreaking Ceremony is held for the Gateway Center.
September, 2008 – Classic Cooking’s Wine and Coffee Café opens at Desert Canyon Center.
September, 2008 – The Arabian Horse Show, held at WestWorld, wins the 2008 award for Urban Special Events at the Governor’s Conference on tourism.
October, 2008 – Alltel Ice Den celebrates its 10 year anniversary.
October, 2008 – The Hampton Group is granted a zoning change by the Planning Commission for the Scottsdale Epicenter (NE corner of Pima and Bell Roads) to construct two 5-story hotels.
January, 2009 – McDowell Mountain Animal Hospital opens at the Windgate Crossing Center
February, 2009 – The effort to develop the Desert Discovery Center in The Preserve was shelved for the time being. This somewhat controversial project was still in the process of defining
whether it was to be a locally oriented educational facility or a more elaborate tourist
March, 2009 – Yogurtology opens in the AJ’s shopping center on the corner of FLW & TPP.
May, 2009 – The Gateway Access Area to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve holds its grand opening on May 2nd.
June, 2009 – Union Hills Drive, which ran west from Thompson Peak Parkway, has it’s name changed to Legacy Boulevard.
June, 2009 – Bob Cafarella, the Preserve Director who was instrumental in making the Gateway a reality, announced he was stepping down from his position.
July, 2009 – It was announced that both Desert Mountain and Chaparral High Schools made Newsweek Magazine’s List of the Top High Schools in the country. The selections were based on their 2008 performance.
September, 2009 – The new half-mile Bajada Nature Trail in The Preserve opens. It was built to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.
October, 2009 – Brad and Aaron May, a father and son restaurateur team, open Over Easy and a Sports Bar, called 18°, in an adjacent section of the Ice Den.
October, 2009 – Newpath Network’s quest to install cell phone relay transmitters in MMR was reviewed at the city’s Development Review Board meeting on October 15th. Eight applications for the installation of Distributed Antenna Systems were approved.
November, 2009 – Notre Dame Preparatory (located on 98th Street & Bell Road) announced plans for a long term $76 million campus expansion program that will eventually enable the school to accommodate as many as 1,200 students.
November, 2009 – The recently reconstituted Desert Discovery Center Planning Committee requested that the Scottsdale City Council authorize a $500,000 expenditure from the existing Capital Improvement Project Contingency Fund. They intend to use the funds to hire a consultant to develop the architectural and business plans required to convert the existing Gateway Center into a major tourist destination.
January, 2010 -– Pascal Dionot, the Executive Director of the Classic Cooking Academy in the Desert Canyon Center, reopened the doors of his seasonal café, serving breakfast and lunch through May.
January, 2010 – Chris Wallen, a Financial Advisor at Edward Jones, located near the Bashas’ center, was appointed as regional leader to oversee 40 other offices in the Northeast Valley.
January, 2010 – Installation begins Newpath Network’s “Distributed Antenna System” eight nodes. They resemble unusually tall saguaro cacti or are installed on “new and improved” light poles.
February, 2010 – The McDowell Mountain Ranch Park and Aquatic Center was voted the “Best Public Pool” in the valley in the New Times magazine for 2009.
March, 2010 – The Ship-Rite store in the Desert Canyon Center, owned for several years by Sudha Parikh, changed hands.
March, 2010 – The small 4.24 acre parcel on the northeast corner of 101 and Frank Lloyd Wright, which was owned by the Arizona State Land Department and that had been occupied by a landscape company for many years, was rezoned from Industrial Park District (I-1) to Central Business District (C-2).
April, 2010 – MMR named one of the best communities in the valley by Phoenix Magazine. It was recognized as a particularly “Healthy ’Hood” based on a combination of our own recreational options and our access to The Preserve.
April, 2010 – The Salt River Pima Indian Community opens Talking Stick Resort.
April, 2010 – The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) opens. It’s located in North Phoenix at the intersection of Mayo Boulevard and Tatum Boulevard.
May, 2010 – Meridian Bank in the Desert Canyon Center pulled up stakes and transferred all of their MMR related operations to their branch in the Promenade Shopping Center on the corner of FLW & Scottsdale Roads.
May, 2010 – The Arizona State Land Department sold the 4.7 acre parcel on the NE corner of Loop 101 and Frank Lloyd Wright for sale to Koon-Boen Inc. for the minimum bid of $2.15 million.
June, 2010 – The MMR Homeowner’s Association announced that they will not be renewing the contract with Cox Communications that provided MMR residents with “basic cable” as part of the HOA fees. As a result, quarterly dues dropped $100 a quarter.
July, 2010 – MMR Vendors, the new business networking group servicing our MMR community, had its first membership only meeting.
July, 2010 – John Sather of Swaback Partners PLLC, the architectural design firm charged with developing the “Phase 2” concept plan for the Desert Discovery Center, reveals plans for the Desert Discovery Center, essentially a large museum adjacent to the Gateway Trailhead.
September, 2010 – Caffé Portobello has changed hands once again. Bill and Kari Wallace sold it to fellow MMR Resident Greg Kruger, and was transformed into the Twisted Lizard Tavern and Grille.
September, 2010 – Tony Pontarelli of Amoré Pizza & Wings opened the Amoré Sports Grill in the location that was formerly occupied by Oggi’s at Bell and Pima Roads.
September, 2010 – The city has finished adding another 100 parking stalls and making other changes to improve traffic flow at the Gateway Center.
October, 2010 – The city council approves the Notre Dame school expansion which includes additional classrooms. a new Performing Arts Center, a Gym Expansion and new athletic fields. The project also required the acquisition of about 7 acres of city land to the west of the campus.
November, 2010 – Grazie Pizzeria & Winebar in the Canyon Village Center on TPP & Legacy Blvd. closes.
November, 2010 – The city of Scottsdale requested development proposals for the 80 acre parcel they own at 94th Street & Bell Road. It was purchased at auction in 2005 for about $47 million as part of the effort to reassure Barrett-Jackson that there would be sufficient parking to accommodate their WestWorld related needs. However, this particular property became somewhat less essential when other parcels significantly closer to WestWorld were acquired.
January, 2011 – The Ice Den purchases additional land behind the facility and announces plans for expansion.
January, 2011 – Great Hearts Academies, a non-profit network of public charter schools, has just purchases a new 90,000 square foot building in the Horseman’s Park area.
January, 2011 – The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy (MSC) announces a new Executive Director, Mike Nolan, who succeeds retiree Ruthie Carll.
February, 2011 – The city approves a Series 6 bar permit for the Temple Bar Sports Grill located in Windgate Crossing.
March, 2011 – The Desert Canyon Center is sold the a Houston based investment trust called Whitestone REIT.
April, 2011 – Champion golfer Phil Mickelson purchases the Sanctuary Golf Course (on 105th street and Sheena Drive) for $2.2 million.
April, 2011 – Whitestone REIT, scored their first coup by luring State Farm agent (and former tenant) Ric
Newman back to the community.
April, 2011 – Frostyberry, a new frozen yogurt place, opens in the McDowell Mountain Marketplace just around the corner from Bashas’ and next door to Subway.
May, 2001 – A new butcher shop called the Bull Market opened on the SW corner of Bell and Pima Roads in the same building as the Amore Sports Grill.
May, 2011 – The golf club (formerly known as the Sanctuary) closed its doors for a $1 million makeover that will lengthen the course to more than 7,000 yards and improve its playability.
June, 2011 – The developers of Windgate Crossing complete the purchase of the 9 acre site that houses the existing shopping center and an additional 11 acres that wrap around the original site. Byxbee Development paid the Arizona State Land Department $3.49 million for the property.
June, 2011 – The City’s Economic Vitality Department got the go ahead to begin preliminary negotiations with Stagecoach Gap LLC for the development of the proposed Western Cultural Center. Limited to the 40 acre parcel on Bell Road east of 94th Street, the project is expected to include two or three museums, indoor and outdoor theater venues, a riding arena and open public event space along with a boutique hotel with approximately 150 rooms and an array of 5 to 8 individual restaurants.
July, 2011 – WestWorld’s General Manager Brian Dygert received a 5-2 endorsement from the City Council for his proposed $33 million funding and implementation plan at the council meeting. The plan is to enlarge, enclose and air condition the existing Equidome structure, while transforming it into the state-of-the-art Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center.
July, 2011 – Jessica Knits, the yarn store in the Desert Canyon Center which was owned by Jessica Cooper, has been sold to Tammy Barker.
August, 2011 – The red barn that was visible at WestWorld as you cross the bridge on TPP, was demolished. Better known as Brett’s Barn, the underutilized banquet facility was unable to address existing structural problems and bring it into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
August, 2011 – Sclafani’s Pizza, developed by Greg Kruger, the current owner of Twisted Lizard, opens its doors in the Desert Canyon Center for pickup and delivery service.
August, 2011 – Creative Nails & Spa opens in the Windgate Crossing Center. Owned by Tammy Tran, it’s her second location in Scottsdale.
September, 2011 – Physical therapist Jeffrey Kitchen opens a new outpatient facility called ReHab Plus in the McDowell Mountain Marketplace which specializes in both hands-on physical therapy techniques for the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and pre and post-operative rehabilitation.
September, 2011 – The Gateway 101 project, the 4.3 acre complex located on Frank Lloyd Wright across from the Town Centre (i.e. the Target Shopping Center), has signed leases with the Vitamin Shoppe, Starbucks, Teharu Sushi, Pet Club, Bruegger’s Bagels and Jersey Mike’s Subs.
September, 2011 – The old Regal Sonora Village Theater is reborn as the Studio Movie Grill, one of the new concept “dine and drink” theater venues, offering a menu and a selection of beers, wines and other spirits.
October, 2011 – The previously named Sanctuary Golf Course reopens under the new ownership of Phil Mickelson and is renamed McDowell Mountain Golf Club. The driving range and putting and chipping/bunker areas were redone and new tee boxes were constructed on each hole to allow the option of adding an additional 400 yards of play.
October, 2011 – Construction begins on the new Tom’s Thumb Trailhead at the intersection of 128th Street and Pinnacle Peak Road. Expected to be completed in the summer of 2012, the new trailhead will include 200 parking spaces, horse trailer parking, shade ramadas, restrooms, interpretive and directional signs, hitching rails and an access control gate.
November, 2011 – The Auto Salon, on the corner of Bell Road and 94th Street, is sold and transformed into Tom’s Thumb Fresh Market by MMR resident Jonathan Kish. In addition to the car washes and fuel, the market will offer a selection of locally-grown produce, gourmet coffee and a BBQ Bistro.
December, 2011 – Twisted Lizard has a change of ownership. Greg Kruger sold the restaurant to his long time friend, Darren Taylor. Greg decided to close Sclafani’s Pizza.
January, 2012 – Whitestone REIT, the owners of the Desert Canyon Center, added two new tenants, the Unity Chess Club and Red Brick Home Lending.
January, 2012 – Walt Altmann, who owns the UPS Store in the McDowell Mountain Marketplace (Bashas’ Shopping Center) buys the UPS store at the AJ’s Shopping Center.
February, 2012 – Pet Gourmet opens for business in the Safeway Shopping Center. It offers natural, holistic super premium products, including raw foods.
March, 2012 – Satori Sushi, in the McDowell Mountain Marketplace (a.k.a the Bashas’s Center), changed hands. John Fern, who once also owned part of Caffé Portobello, sold the restaurant to a new owner, known as B.K.
April, 2012 – Classic Cooking, the culinary training school located in the Desert Canyon Center, opens a new café called Test Kitchen in the space next door, formerly occupied by Sclafani’s Pizza. It’s serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and will be hosting pizza-making classes. There are a selection of wines on hand and a variety of fresh brewed specialty coffees.
May, 2012 – Moda Forte Boutique and Salon, owned by mother-daughter team Denise Forte Ghiglia and Nicolle Levrett, opens at Windgate Crossing. They offer a combination of eclectic and chic clothing and fashion accessories as well as hairstyling, cutting and coloring and eye lash and hair extensions.
May, 2012 – Work begins on the $43 million transformation of Westworld’s aging Equidome into the “state of the art” Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center.
June, 2012 – The Ice Den’s new addition opens. It contains a third ice surface that can accommodate both public skating and Coyotes’ practices during the winter season and can then be reconfigured to handle athletically oriented uses like indoor soccer, lacrosse, and sports camps.
June, 2012 – Byxbee Development Partners, who had purchased the 10 acre parcel on the NW corner of Bell Road and TPP (wrapping around the existing Windgate Crossing Commercial Center) from the Arizona State Land Department last year, decides to sell it instead of developing it. Deco Communities, an organization with a background in residential development here in the valley, offers to purchase the site providing they could obtain approval for the construction of residential condominiums.
July, 2012 – The northwest corner of Pima Road and Frank Lloyd Wright, was best known for being the most convenient place to buy Xmas trees. Now, a Memphis-based development group has submitted plans to build a 14,000 square foot, two-story restaurant and bar on the site.
August, 2012 – The City of Scottsdale installed a microwave dish on the newly completed 3rd tower at the summit of Thompson Peak. The $125,000 dish is designed to improve intergovernmental communications and to provide backup capabilities for both the city’s Department of Public Safety and the Water Services.
August, 2012 – The SUSD added solar panels at the Desert Canyon School campus and, in the process of doing so, managed to create a substantial number of covered parking spaces.
September, 2012 – Grazie Pizzeria, located at the Legacy Boulevard intersection, is reincarnated as Ciao Grazie, a wine bar and Italian Bistro, with a new owner, Franco Dalu.
October, 2012 – DC Ranch, the Scottsdale Unified School District and a group of outside vendors join together to develop a new community garden, located on the Copper Ridge School Campus.
November, 2012 – Construction begins on Odysea in the Desert, just past the northeast corner of Via De Ventura and the 101 recently. When completed, this 522,000 square foot entertainment complex will include a Butterfly Wonderland, the OdySea Aquarium, an IMAX theatre, a Ripley’s Believe It or Not and an interactive exhibit called Arizona Experience.
January, 2013 – The completely remodeled McDowell Mountain Golf Club clubhouse opens. It offers offers entertainment, dining and socializing venues along with spectacular views.
February, 2013 – Posh Salon and Spa, which was located in the Desert Canyon Center, moved their operation to the McDowell Mountain Marketplace in the former location of Sports Cutters.
February, 2013 – The Test Kitchen restaurant closed its doors.
April, 2013 – Sports Grill 101, which was located on the SW corner of Pima and Bell, has new owners who are in the process of undergoing a major renovation.
May, 2013 – Amanda Coe, who’s also an MMR resident, is opens The Exercise Coach in the McDowell Mountain Marketplace.
May, 2013 – The McDowell Mountain Ranch Homeowner’s Association Board approves the first Art Walk and Wine Tasting Event to be held at the McDowell Center in October.
May, 2013 – Two restaurants located at Market Street at DC Ranch close their doors. The casualties were the West Addison Tavern and Mia Francesca.
June, 2013 – Drops of Rainbow Fine Art School opens in the Desert Canyon Center. Owner Lena Rojdestvenski offers classes in drawing and painting.
July, 2013 – The city installs a turnstile access system at the Aquatic Center Skate Park. The monitoring system tracks users as they enter, with a minimal cost for an electronic key card to access the facility.
July, 2013 – Metlife sold the McDowell Mountain Marketplace (a.k.a. the Bashas’ Shopping Center) to YAM Management for $14.125 million. YAM, a real estate holding company owned by Bob Parsons, the Executive Chairman of GoDaddy. Metlife had been the center’s owner but on paper, the property was listed as belonging to Blackrock Realty Advisors. Blackrock/Metlife purchased the center at the peak of the market in 2006 for $22.5 million.
August, 2013 – Pita Jungle opens in the Scottsdale Horizon Shopping Center (a.k.a. the Safeway Center) in the location previously occupied by Baja Fresh.
September, 2013 – Laura Moon Styling opens in the Desert Canyon Center, offering cuts, color and styling for men, women and children.
October, 2013 – Kaleidoscope, offering organic cold pressed juices, and more, opens at Windgate Crossing.
October, 2013 – Village Health Club & Spa, located at Legacy and Thompson Peak Parkway, opens a new tennis facility just south of the Copper Ridge School complex. It offers a total of ten courts that will be available to members of the club as part of their basic membership package, in addition to a 2,000 square foot clubhouse with a viewing area, snack bar and an on-site child care facility.
October, 2013 – The long anticipated opening of both the Brown’s Ranch Trailhead and a series of new trails in the northern Preserve comes to fruition. It was previously a working cattle ranch through much of the last century.
October, 2013 – Echo condominium project, slated for the NW corner of Bell Road and Thompson Peak Pkwy between the Windgate Crossing Shopping Center and the Windgate Ranch Community, is sold. The new buyer is Standard Pacific Homes, who will be building a 44 unit townhouse community called Villas Altazona.
October, 2013 – Desert Canyon Center adds Gazelle Medical Spa and Aesthetics to their tenant roster.
November, 2013 – The Desert Canyon Center welcomed two new fitness options to the businesses there. ToBeRe, owned by MMR resident places its workout emphasis on one’s state of mind playing a significant role in their workshop. Momentum offers traditional Korean martial arts for all ages, Fitness Kickboxing and Thai Yoga.
November, 2013 – The new, 130,000 square foot enclosed, climate controlled Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center opens.
November, 2013 – The Arizona State Land Department (ASLD) auctioned off 2,365 acres that sits between the eastern edge of MMR and the crest of the McDowell’s to the City of Scottsdale for $21.3 million.
November, 2013 – McDonald’s opened its doors in Pima Crossing.
December, 2013 – The Odysea in the Desert added two new attractions, Mirror Maze and Laser Maze.
December, 2013 – The Windgate Crossing Center added Amenzone Fitness to their tenant roster.
December, 2013 – A State Farm office and Squeezy (juices and more) opens in the McDowell Mountain Marketplace.
January, 2014 – Scottsdale breaks ground on the Museum of the West, located on Marshall Way in Old Town.
February, 2014 – Notre Dame begins construction of its new athletic field, which will include the installation of a synthetic turf playing surface for the football field and the installation of the lights and the stands. The Sports Complex, which also includes facilities for track, soccer and lacrosse, was kicked off by adding a campus access road, parking lots and infrastructure and will ultimately conclude with the construction of a performing and fine arts center. The Sports Complex will be named for Scot Bemis, the school’s football passed away.
March, 2014 – The new Community Garden at DC Ranch holds it’s grand opening.
May, 2014 – Cream City Café, owned by Kami Eshragh, opens at the Desert Canyon Center, serving panini’s, soups, salads, coffee, homemade ice cream and other frozen treats.
June, 2014 – An Allstate Insurance office owned by Steve Terry opens in the Desert Canyon Center.
June, 2014 – The McDowell Mountain Marketplace (a.k.a. the Bashas’ Center), welcomes Finders Keepers, a high-end women’s consignment store owned by Terri Sheehy.
June, 2014 – Scottsdale’s new 65,000 square-foot TopGolf entertainment venue opens in front of the Talking Stick Resort (east of the 101 at Indian Bend Road). It uses balls with computer chips inside to track their flight and relay distance and accuracy information.
July, 2014 –Desert Community Robotics moves down the road to the Aquila Business Center in order to obtain additional space.
August, 2014 – Satori Sushi in the McDowell Mountain Marketplace closed its doors.
August, 2014 – Goodwill Industries Express Drop Off moved into the space at McDowell Mountain Marketplace that had once housed Jennifer Pilates.
September, 2014 – A new Veriszon cell tower on Bell Road in the vicinity of the water storage tanks near Arizona Highlands is completed. It resembles a saguaro cactus.
September, 2014 – Holland Boone, the store on Bell Road and 90th Street, which specializes in pewter and other home accessories, has sublet space to iConsignStores.com which offers a selection of rustic furniture.
October, 2014 – Hi-Tone Music Studio opens for business in the Desert Canyon Center, offering lessons in strings, percussion, piano, voice and more.
October, 2014 – Over at the DC Ranch Marketplace, The Living Room Wine Café replaces the recently departed Armitage Wine Bar and Jalapeño Inferno, a Mexican restaurant, opens its doors.
October, 2014 – Bashas’ undergoes a renovation which will add a Yogurt ’n Salad Bar, a fresh Sushi Bar and a Blue Bell Ice Cream Bar along with a new Starbucks Coffee.
November, 2014 – Nori Sushi and Asian Kitchen opens in the McDowell Mountain Marketplace space previously occupied by Satori Sushi. It’s owned by MMR resident Mr. Hyun Wook Lee, who already operates Nori Sushi restaurants in Los Angeles (West Hollywood) and in the Desert Ridge Marketplace.
December, 2014 – WestWorld introduces their signature piece of public art at an evening ceremony. The 20- foot-tall, 10,000-pound stainless steel horse was designed by Scottsdale based artist Jeff Zischke and is called Impulsion.
February, 2015 – The outdoor fireplace at Twisted Lizard is completed.
April, 2015 – Freshbox opens in the space adjacent to the Exercise Coach in McDowell Mountain Marketplace. It’s owned by David Vasquez and Sophia Zori, who also own the Yogurtology shop in the AJ’s shopping Center. They will be offering juices, salads, sandwiches and other healthy choice items.
April, 2015 – Classic Cooking debuts their new venture called La Pizzetta, offering wood-fired pizza and a selection of beers and wines. It’s located next door to Classic Cooking’s Culinary School in the Desert Canyon Center.
April, 2015 – Irene Clary of CATCLAR Investments, the developer of a new project located near 91st Street and Bahia in Horseman’s Park, opens SOHO Scottsdale, (small office, home office), a “work-live-play” project.
May, 2015 – Cox Cable installs new “one gigabyte” fiber lines that will deliver 1,000% increases in current internet access speed north of McDowell Mountain Ranch Road.
May, 2015 – Rochelli’s, the well regarded pizzeria in the McDowell Mountain Marketplace that took over the location from Chicago Pizza, closed its doors.
July, 2015 – Holland Boone, the polished pewter and home accessories shop that was located on Bell Road and 90th Street, closes and alters their marketing strategy and focus on providing their goods on line. They will continue to operate the smoothie bar that they added last year.
September, 2015 – Helene’s Team, which started a summer program to introduce Pickleball to the community, inspired others to create a permanent club-like entity to carry the idea forward and a formal petition to the HOA for the creation of regulation courts was submitted.
October, 2015 – Sam Campana, a former mayor of Scottsdale and an “advocate” for DDCS Inc., the group that’s attempting to negotiate a contract with the City to become the vendor that brings the Desert Discovery Center to fruition, and Christine Kovach, the chair of that same organization, whose family trust has endowed such projects as the Bajada Trail at the Gateway Center and the Kovach Family Nature Trail at Lost Dog Wash, hold a series of meetings with various groups to introduce their vision of the Desert Discovery Center to the public.
November, 2015 – Bob Parsons, the person responsible for the McDowell Mountain Marketplace, opens the largest retail Harley-Davidson operation in North America when on the west side of Hayden Roadjust south of Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd.
December, 2015 – A new Medical Group practice, HonorHealth, opens at the Desert Canyon Center. It was formed by the merger of Scottsdale Healthcare and the John C. Lincoln Health Network.