From the Communications Chair

Politics. Not touching it. COVID–19 not going there. Masking, social distancing, in person schooling vs. homeschooling, a vaccine, HOA rules and regulations, elections? No, no, no, no, no, and no way. As I sit at my desk on this day, September 16th thinking about what to write about for the Lifestyles Magazine, that won’t get me in trouble. 2021 comes to mind. Yes, writing about the future. That may keep me out of trouble.

Now please don’t get me wrong. I do not shy away from tough issues. But having someone write about any emotional issue attached to what we are experiencing in 2020 is about the last thing we need. Plus, everything has been covered like a zillion times on social media, the platform for sharing facts, logic, and understanding. – That didn’t take me long to go there. But let’s look towards the future. As Doc Brown once stated, “It hasn’t been written yet.”
As 2020 comes to a close, the normal question is, what will 2021 bring? Well, I am not a fortune teller, but I have lived through some volatile times. I’ve seen the world experience many ups and downs, but with each down period, I have seen the world’s amazing resilience to come back. A little stronger, a little smarter. I have seen those who stood on soapboxes and screamed at the top of their lungs what others stand on top of their soapboxes and screamed back in defiance you’re wrong, I’m right. I have seen that in a fleeting period
of time, both sides move on to the next issue as life and times are not static; they are fluid.

The changes in life
Change happens on a daily basis. Some is easily evident, some is not. Like the stop sign that suddenly goes in at an intersection, you have driven through 1,000 times, and you didn’t realize it was there until the police stop you for running the stop sign. Ok, off topic, sorry, my mind wonders sometimes. Changes are constant in life. And changes are coming right here to our very own Desert Ridge. So much so that in my mind, the future is so bright, we are all going to have to wear shades.
My wife and I first came out to Desert Ridge circa 2005. We were told this would be the home to the largest high-end shopping center in the southwest. Shopping- that piqued the interest of several of my family members. Besides that, a new highway was being built to carry area residents all over the valley. The plans included several parks, schools, dining, entertainment, and a museum dedicated to musical instruments. We looked at the monuments that read Desert Ridge. The font was strikingly similar to that of Disney World. We all know Disney World is the happiest place on earth, so Desert Ridge must be a close second. Therefore, who wouldn’t want to be a part of this? We signed up!
As you know, the economic and ensuing real estate downturn of 2008 devastated those plans.
Some developers walked away from projects by reverting land they had purchased for development back to the Arizona State Land Department (ASLD), and the anchor high-end shopping mall originally envisioned and planned for CityNorth was never built. In fact, the master developer of Desert Ridge filed bankruptcy.

New construction has begun
It took about 10 years for developers to start looking at Desert Ridge again. Those developers/builders that stayed the course and endured the housing market downturn resumed and completed their developments. Toll Brothers returned and completed the remaining condo buildings for the Villages at Aviano neighborhood. Taylor Morrison was awarded the highest bid from the ASLD public land auction and commenced and completed their new gated development of Sanctuary at Desert Ridge. The Statesman Group of Companies ramped up building activities for Toscana at Desert Ridge breaking ground on the Luxe (luxury condos), The Manor Village (Senior Living Community) and Montreux (luxury apartments) signature brand developments. Restaurants, offices and entertainment returned to High Street. Finally, Crown Development, a well-heeled visionary developer, purchased the land west of 56th Street and north of the 101 in order to commence the development of CityNorth, the “Crown Jewel” of Desert Ridge, along with the rights as the new Desert Ridge Master Developer. If you have not driven by there recently, do take the trip. It’s exciting to see it coming together like that light at the end of the tunnel.
With the leadership and reputation for success that Crown Development enjoys, it did not take long for other developers to once again look at the undeveloped parcels in Desert Ridge. A partnership between D. R. Horton and Shea Homes to build their new 903 single-family homes gated neighborhood northeast of Deer Valley Drive and southeast of Pinnacle Peak Road, named Talinn at Desert Ridge. D. R. Horton is also building out 56th Street to connect to Pinnacle Peak Road. A welcome release valve to the traffic on Tatum. This is just the latest. There are additional developers engaging Crown Development about other Desert Ridge projects. These will not happen overnight, but it certainly gives us something to talk about in optimistic terms.
Yes 2020, will most likely go down in the books as one of the most challenging years in our history. Hopefully, like other post traumatic years, we will get through this and on to brighter days. Let’s hope 2020 will be a fading image in our rear mirror as we cruise into 2021 and beyond. And remember to wear your shades!
PS: Also, when you do go dine out, please tip your wait staff generously. It’s been a very tough year in the hospitality industry. They rely on our generosity to survive.

Rob Reichstein
Communications Chair
Desert Ridge Community Association