AMC Esplanade 14 movie theater will re-open as posh Fork & Screen

fork and screen logoBiltmore-area movie-goers have undoubtedly noticed that the  AMC Esplanade 14 movie theater at 2512 E Camelback Road has been closed down this summer.  In August, the Esplanade will reopen as the latest site of AMC’s newest concept, the upscale Fork & Screen.

With this renovation, AMC is trying to attract the posh “dinner and a movie” crowd to the Biltmore location. The new movie venue will offer luxe décor, top-shelf cocktails, wait staff and bartender service and even private suites in which to watch the movies.

Oh, and for all you jobseekers out there, AMC is currently hiring wait staff, bartenders, back-of-house people (dishwashers, cooks, etc), and even a theater manager. Search available openings on, using the employer name “TD-AMC Dine-In Theatre”.

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West Valley cities continue to grow

The Glendale-Peoria Today reports in their July 9th edition a “growth sputter”, with growth in the west valley down to “more manageable” rates for all cities.

The pace of growth has slowed to a crawl, but I was actually surprised to see any growth at all.  Here is a chart showing the growth by city for the year ending July 2009:

City Population 7/1/09 Growth
Avondale 89,914 2.3% 135.6%
Buckeye 51,462 8.7 449.3
El Mirage 24,739 0.2 225.1
Glendale 252,188 0.6 14.8
Goodyear 66,308 6.7 252.3
Litchfield Park 5,162 0.9 35.5
Peoria 162,740 2.9 49.6
Phoenix 1,601,587 1.5 21.1
Surprise 94,899 2.4 206.4
Tolleson 7,302 1.7 46.8
Wickenburg 6,637 0.3 9.4
Youngtown 4,895 0.2 62.6


Notes & Thoughts…

I wonder if any (or how many) cities will show a negative number for the year 2009-2010..?

High growth during the 2000’s indicates a likelihood of a higher number of homes which have negative equity today.  Some of this has already been seen by a higher percentage of foreclosures in these areas; I wonder if these cities will show a longer persistence of short sales & foreclosures as families try to move during the coming years and find out they’re still upside-down..?

I wonder if this helps show Greater Phoenix is still a growth area..?  Even though we don’t have a high concentration of Fortune 500 companies or a dominant industry, if people continue moving here from other parts of the country our housing market will eventually stabilize.

Your pleasantly surprised by every piece of good news these days Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

New Master Planned Community in North Peoria

North Peoria.

Mountains, desert, Lake Pleasant, rapid population growth, infrastructure development…  And a new master planned community? reported on Friday that developer Community Southwest is in talks with Peoria to work out the details of the costs involved with building out the infrastructure for a 695-acre development at the northeast corner of Deer Valley and Lake Pleasant Pkwy.

(click to enlarge map)

north peoria map 051410a

Is it too soon for a major project in our current economic environment?  Maybe; maybe not.  But it’s another example of somebody with a lot of experience and access to as much research as exists, who is willing to bet big on the Valley’s future (and more specifically the NW Valley’s future.)

Your head down & swinging hard for another year Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

Peoria’s new Beardsley Connector offramp

There’s a lot of construction in Phoenix. I guess this is probably true in most cities – maybe it’s just a fact of life, that they’re always building things, and then breaking them down to make them bigger.

Sometimes the construction is because the city is growing; other times it’s because they’re trying to make something better. The new Beardsley Connector offramp is one of these. No one can/will tell me why this wasn’t built as part of this section of Loop 101 when the freeway opened in the late 1990s, but at least now the City of Peoria is spending tens of millions of dollars to fix what seems like an oversight.

Most people in the NW Valley are excited about the new Beardsley Connector, as they’ll no longer have to drive 2 extra miles each time they enter and exit Loop 101. But it’s bitter sweet to the people whose neighborhood used to back to a large desert wash and will soon back to a large offramp and thoroughfare instead.

Here’s what the desert wash used to look like:

In October the city posted a notice of what was coming:

Next they started clearing & grading the paths (which my kids thought was cool.)

Yesterday I stopped to watch the construction work and was amazed by how much activity is happening at once – it was like a swarm of ants (humongous ants, mind you) working together through what seems like chaos. Pretty impressive, actually.

Here’s what’s going on now:

Ah, progress.

Your bitter sweet Realtor,

Chris Butterworth


Freeway construction in the NW Valley

Cheryl & I moved to Peoria shortly after the NW Corner of Loop 101 opened, and one of the first things we said was how stupid it was there wasn’t an offramp at Beardsley.  This would be the obvious exit for everyone in North Peoria.  Instead, people either exit at 75th Ave or Union Hills and then double back to get where they’re going.

In the early 2000’s the City of Peoria started holding talks to get community feedback about adding a Beardsley Connector, and after a lot of uproar from my Fletcher Heights neighbors (NMBY!), the project was approved.

Construction started recently, and I’ll be anxious to watch the progression and see the finished product – it’ll save me 10-15 minutes a day of extra driving!

(Red line shows the new connection, Blue circle & arrow shows who is excited about it.)

beardsley offramp map 1






Your wonders why they don’t just build freeways right the first time Realtor,

Chris Butterworth