Dear Desert Ridge Community Member,
Please allow me this opportunity to introduce myself and Gray. We are the new Master Developer of Desert Ridge, successor to the original Illinois-based company. The role was established by the Arizona State Land Department (ASLD) in 1993 to ensure that Desert Ridge develops as a high quality master planned community consistent with the Desert Ridge Master Development Plan. The lease for the Desert Ridge Commercial Core, assigned to Gray late last year, designates the holder of this lease Master Developer for the entire community, and we are honored to be in this stewardship role.
For more than two decades Gray has been a leading real estate investment, development and management company in the Phoenix area. Although best known for its high-end multifamily communities, Gray is also a full-service architectural and land planning firm with considerable master planned community experience. We will soon be relocating our corporate offices from Arcadia to CityNorth.
Like all communities, the deep recession and painfully slow recovery of the past few years have severely slowed activity within Desert Ridge and the North Valley as a whole. That will change dramatically in the coming months and we look forward to facilitating future activity in keeping with the highest standards of existing development. Here are our initial priorities:
The City of Phoenix guiding policy document for the 5,700-acre master plan is the 23-year old Desert Ridge Specific Plan (DRSP). We will initiate a comprehensive review of the plan with the Desert Ridge Community Association, the City, and ASLD and explore affixing zoning for all remaining undeveloped land in keeping with the DRSP to ensure maximum clarity and certainty for all parties well into the future.
Mayor Greg Stanton has promoted a vision for a portion of Desert Ridge south of the freeway as a world-class biomedical corridor. We look forward to working with the City, ASLD, Arizona State University and the Mayo Clinic to help realize this exciting vision.
Gray is not involved in either the Marketplace or the first phase of CityNorth but we look forward to working with those immediate neighbors to ensure a well-planned and fully integrated build-out of the remaining 120 acre Desert Ridge Core. The existing plan and layout will likely remain very much as originally conceived but with more class ‘A’ corporate office and less retail.
We will immediately study ways to alleviate traffic congestion on Tatum, including potential opportunities to accelerate remaining road construction.
It bears repeating that we are truly honored and humbled to serve in the capacity of Desert Ridge Master Developer. Given the opportunities presented by the resurgent economy it is an opportune time to quickly address a number of pressing priorities of importance to the community. As Desert Ridge approaches full build-out in the years ahead, the need for a “master developer” will soon pass and we will then retire the role altogether. We look forward to working with the DRCA, ASLD and the City of Phoenix to ensure the community’s goals are fully realized to the very best of our ability.
Chief Operating Officer