West Valley

Pets abandoned in foreclosure homes

A shocking number of dogs and cats have been rescued from local foreclosure and short sale homes where their owners have abandoned them, leaving them to starve to death.

Your donation of food and supplies will help to save the lives of these homeless pets who have been rescued by Lost Our Home Pet Foundation.

Can you even imagine the horror of this situation for the animals involved? I’m almost ashamed to be part of the human race when I think that some people can do this to their pets. You just close the door and walk away?! You can’t even be bothered to pay the small fee to surrender your pet at a shelter?  It’s sickening.

Contact Lost Our Home Pet Foundation

or call 602-230-HELP(4357)

This organization is supported by the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing System. And also by Chris Butterworth and Heather Barr, The Phoenix Agents at Thompson’s Realty. And our broker, Jay & Francy Thompson. And about a bajillion other cool peeps in town.

Pet Food Drive Locations

  • Wet or dry dog and cat food of any type

  • Pet toys

  • Cat Litter/litter pans

  • Water or food dishes

This is an ongoing project with no end date in sight.

ARMLS Support Center: Phoenix
5033 N. 19th Ave. Suite 113
Phoenix, AZ 85015
Mon – Friday 8:30 – 5:00

ARMLS Support Center: SE Valley
1363 S. Vineyard
Mesa, AZ 85210
Mon – Friday 8:30 – 5:00

Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS®
4221 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Phone: 480-945-2651
Mon – Friday 8:00 -5:00 EXCEPT Tuesday
which is 9:00 – 5:00

ARMLS Main Office : Tempe
130 S. Priest Dr. Suite 101
Tempe, AZ 85281
Mon – Friday 8:30 – 5:00

ARMLS Support Center: Glendale
17235 N. 75th Ave. Suite E-160
Glendale, AZ 85308
Mon – Friday 8:30 – 5:00

ARMLS Support Center: Scottsdale
7600 E. Redfield Rd. Suite 170
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Mon – Friday 8:30 – 5:00

SoHo in Peoria?

Can downtown Peoria become a vibrant center for art and artists, similar to the SoHo district in Manhattan?

Last summer the City of Peoria hired an arts consulting firm to develop an arts and culture plan.  Recently the firm unveiled their proposal, featuring plenty of live-work space.

I'm not convinced the plan will succeed, but I applaud Peoria for trying.  I can picture downtown Peoria being cool & hip - it's already a little bit quirky, urban, and walking-friendly, but it definitely needs some revitalization.

I'm concerned about the amount of competition from the Phoenix Arts District and Tempe's Mill Avenue, which are already connected to each other by the light rail.  And there are only so many artists out there; Peoria might find themselves on the outside looking in on this one.  On the other hand, being only a couple of miles from Glendale's stadium district, including Westgate and Park West, could be advantageous.

Your wishing the project great success Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

ASU West cuts MBA program

When the smoke from the budgetary cuts clears, The College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences will be the lone college remaining at ASU West.

reported on AZCentral.com

All graduate degrees, including the W.P. Carey School of Business master's program and the School of Global Management, will cease to exist at the west campus.  The College of Education and Leadership and the nursing program are also being moved to other campuses.

I think it's a shame.  ASU West is special to me; I received my MBA there while attending classes in the evenings after work, and then studying like heck on the weekends.  The education was terrific, but that's only half the story.  I still keep in touch with many of my fellow students and professors - lots of good, smart, interesting, hard-working, diverse, well-connected people.

I also think it's a shame because ASU West had been growing nicely with the West Valley, and the dual degree with Thunderbird School of Global Management drew talent to the area from across the globe.

Hopefully things will change when the economy rebounds, and in 5 years we'll be talking once again about the great things ASU West is doing.

Your happy to have gone to school, happy to not be going to school, and sad to see it closed Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

Photo Radar goes live in West Valley

photoradarcameraphoto credit:  azcentral.com

I've been watching the photo radar progression over the last few months.  First the local police forces stepped up their radar patrols to catch speeders and slow down traffic.  (I was lucky enough to receive a warning!)  Next came the use of moveable photo radar - a van equipped with photo radar is parked at different locations.  Recently they started installing permanent equipment along Loop 101, similar to what's been in place in Scottsdale for the last couple of years.

AZCentral.com reports DPS has installed 9 cameras along west valley freeways:  3 on eastbound I-10 in Buckeye; 3 on eastbound Loop 101 between 75th Ave and I-17; and 3 on southbound Loop 101 between Bethany Home and I-10.


** Note - I think I saw 4 cameras yesterday on southbound Loop 101, with the first one being somewhere around Northern.  I'll double check & post an update next time I drive that way.  (update - there is a 4th camera, located just south of Olive at the Northern Ave exit sign.)

I've also seen a continued use of the photo radar vans on the opposite side of the freeways from these cameras.

I'm not here to argue the politics in favor of or against the use of photo radar; I'm just here to remind you to keep your speed in check.

Your relying on cruise control and patience Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

Realtors wanted

I'm looking to add one or two realtors who know the North, West, or Northwest Valley, to my team. You don't have to be a writer, but you do have to put your heart and soul into customer service.

We're getting to the point where we need help servicing our clients. Our other choices are to turn down business, or to lower our service levels - neither of which are very appealing!

Full disclosure: although we have extra business, and we'll be able to make some referrals, it's not enough "extra" business to keep somebody busy full-time. (but it could be an extra boost.)

So if you're a local realtor, and this sounds interesting (or if you know a realtor who might find this exciting), please give me a call/email and we can talk more about it.

Your looking to grow Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

[tags] Help Wanted [/tags]

Glendale Glitters ushers in the Holidays

This is a great way to spend an evening. We were there on Sunday last weekend for the season opening lighting of the trees. Well, we missed the actual lighting, and the trees were lit up when we arrived. But it was fun anyway. They had crafts, food, pony carriage rides, a chorus & orchestra in the amphitheater, and thousands of lights in the trees.

Visit the City of Glendale's site to learn more about the events each weekend.


Our kids both had fun, and it was a good way to catch some holiday spirit.

Your not quite ready to play Santa Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

[tags] Glendale, Glendale Glitters, holiday festival, Fletcher Heights [/tags]

West Valley Population Explodes – my unscientific opinion

Every morning my oldest son & I join thousands of other Phoenicians in the tradition of parents taking their kids to school. However, in our case it's a little more of a journey than it is for most people; we leave our house in the Arrowhead area (Northwest Valley) and travel to ACT School in downtown Phoenix. Last year my son attended Chrysalis Academy in Tempe, but our route through central Phoenix was the same.

Well, now that we're about a month into the school year, one thing has become very clear to me: Traffic is much worse this year! I take the 101 South from Peoria/Glendale (not much traffic) to I-10 eastbound (using the carpool lane). Last year I was able to get onto I-10, and I usually had about a mile or so to merge over into the carpool lane before we hit major traffic. This year the I-10 traffic is backing up onto the 101 offramp! (see my expertly drawn illustrations below!)

Statistics? None. Housing permits? Nope. County Recorder's Office official data? No way. But how can you argue with the change in traffic?

The only thing I can surmise is that there are more people living west of the Loop 101.. An absolute population boom!

- Chris Butterworth

Listing in Litchfield Park, Wigwam Creek

We have a listing in the terrific community of Wigwam Creek in Litchfield Park. This is a fairly large single level home (2,134 sq ft) with 4 bedrooms and 2 baths, and is being offered at $279,000. You can learn everything about it at www.5438Rattler.com .


Please note: while this web site's main purpose is to inform our readers, encourage thought, share ideas, and generally make our inter-office discussions public, we also realize you never know who might know somebody who's looking, and we owe our clients maximum exposure. To our valued readers, please take this in stride; we don't have any advertising on this website, and our posts about listings represent a very small percentage of the overall content. Plus, you might even find something of value from this listing! Thank you.

- Chris Butterworth

[tags] Litchfield Park, Wigwam Creek, Listing, House for Sale [/tags]

Own a pro sports team: West Valley Blades for sale

This doesn't relate very well to real estate, except maybe as a testament for how far the Valley has grown. But still, how many times have we second-guessed ownership of our favorite teams? "I would have drafted so-and-so." "That was a stupid trade." "I can't believe they hired that coach!" The list goes on and on..

Well, now's your chance to do something about it. For the low, introductory price of $75,000, you can be the owner of the West Valley Blades, a professional golfing team.

Read more about it here.

And if you do happen to buy this team, just remember where you heard about it. Pass a couple of free golf lessons my way, and I'll be shooting in double-digits in no time!

- Chris Butterworth

The Dodgers Spring Training facility gets approved: another feather in Glendale’s cap

As Steve mentioned earlier today (he beat me to the punch!), the Dodgers will be playing spring ball in Glendale in 2009, along with the White Sox if they can find another team to fill their spot in Tucson. This is good news on several levels – more baseball locally, more economic impact, more support of future growth, more national recognition for the area, etc. etc. etc. But what blows my mind is just how fast this area has exploded. I'm trying to picture another area which has changed more in a 10-year period than the area in Glendale along the 101 Corridor.

This whole area was nothing but farm-land at the turn of the century (although the Peoria Sports Complex wasn't too far away at Bell & 83rd Ave.) Then, one by one, new developments appeared, and each one seemed to make the ones before it look like they had been there forever. The completion of Loop 101; Glendale Arena (now known as Jobing.com Arena); Cabelas; Westgate; and the Arizona Cardinal's Stadium (now known as the University of Phoenix Stadium). The construction of Zanjero; several hotels (John Q Hammond Renaissance Hotel, Springhill Suites, Residence Inn); and Parkwest. And the proposals for Glendale Main Street and the Bidwills' skyscraper. And now another main attraction...

We've written about some of these before:

Glendale Main Street

Glendale's Sky Scraper

Stadium Area Development

Glendale Hotels "on the clock"

If you haven't been out to this part of town in awhile, you're not going to recognize it!

- Chris Butterworth

Westgate City Center

As I wrote in a previous post back in January (Click Here to read) the AVP Volleyball Tour that travels the country highlighting the best players in sand volleyball made a stop in Arizona this past weekend.  Previously they had called Tempe home, but changed the venue this year to The Westgate City Center in Glendale.  I must admit, I've only been out to Westgate a couple of times.  Once to the then Cardinals Stadium (now known as the University of Phoenix Stadium) for The Men's Luxury Toy Expo and Auction with my father so we could gawk at all of the different ways to spend money on completely useless items.  I've also been out there to see a Phoenix Coyotes hockey game at the Jobing.com Arena earlier this year.  Both times we neglected to take a good tour of the entire Westgate City Center area. 

Being that my wife is a volleyball nut, playing on scholarship at NAU, and now coaching various club and high school teams around the valley, we, of course, had to make some time to go and watch some pretty amazing athletes play beach volleyball.  We went Saturday night (neither one of us had any interest in sitting through the 100 degree heat during the day) and got to see 3 matches.  The highlight of the night was getting to see Misty May and Keri Walsh, pictured above, (both of which my wife played against in college) beat up on there opponents advancing to the Quarter Finals of the tournament. 

Even more than getting to enjoy the beach volleyball atmosphere and getting the opportunity to see Olympic gold medalists do what they do best, we also had a chance to walk around and experience the Westgate City Center just a little bit.  I was quite impressed with what they have to offer.  It's not just a gathering of sports venues and the obligitory grouping of restaurants that typically accompany, but they also had shopping (both boutique and national stores), night clubs/bars, a movie theater, hotels, residential development and commercial office space all set in a small downtown setting.  It reminded me of a combination of The Arizona Center and Kierland.

If you haven't had a chance to visit I'd recommend doing so.  It's worth it.

-Steve Nicks

Saguaro Ranch Park in Glendale

I've lived in Peoria for nine years now (after having spent most of my life in Arcadia), and although I've been to Saguaro Ranch Park before, I didn't realize just how historic it is. This park, located on the west side of 59th Ave just south of Peoria, has a rich history of over 100 years, coinciding with the construction of the initial stretch of the CAP canal!

The City of Glendale has done a great job of restoring many of the buildings to their original and working condition, and does a good job of keeping the park true to its original "farm & ranch" roots. Mixed in with the play areas, picnic tables, barbeques, and soccer fields are live orchards and farm birds – we saw peacocks, chickens, and roosters (which cockadoodle-dooed at us all morning!)

One big difference between when the park was established & now is our food supply, and how much we've all become city slickers. On the way to the park I told my boys we were going to a park that had chickens. My three-year-old's eyes lit up, then he said "I hope they have chicken nuggets!"

Click here to learn more about this park & its rich history. I recommend checking it out when you're looking for a neat place to picnic.

- Chris Butterworth

Glendale Hotels On the Clock as Big Games Approach

In a post I wrote a few months back, I commented on the lack of hotels/entertainment the West Valley has in order to support the upcoming Superbowl XLII & Fiesta Bowl attendees.  Now it's nearly May, and it looks like Glendale finally might have some places for the visitors to lay their head at night.  According to a recent article, Steve Ellman  announced on Monday, April 23rd, that a 9 acre parcel in Westgate has been sold to the developers of the Hampton Inn and Suites.  Although the 9 acre parcel will eventually be home to a total of 2 or 3 hotels, only 1 (a 149 room hotel) will be ready in time for the big game.  Also in planning and construction stages are 3 other hotels near Westgate including a John Q. Hammond Renaissance Hotel (expected to open early fall 2007), a Springhill Suites as well as a Residence Inn (both expected to open sometime between July & September 2007) in the Zanjero developement near Cabelas.  Obviously many visitors will have to find other hotels in the area in which to stay, but hopefully the four mentioned in this post will be up and running smoothly prior to the arrival of our guests.  Who knows... maybe the Cardinals will surprise us this year, and make it to the big game!  Maybe that would help ease the burden on the hotels. 

If you are planning a trip to/around Glendale, AZ for this game or any other reason, here are a few others (already completed) to check out:

Enjoy your visit and be sure to check out my series of posts on Arizona Sights & Wonders for a list of places to see while you're here!

Loop 303: Road Construction AHEAD!

Get ready folks!  Those of you who travel the 303 will have some bumpy roads & detours to manipulate in the near future.  The Maricopa County Department of Transportation will be installing traffic lights at the intersection of Waddell & Loop 303.  For those of us who travel this strip very often, this intersection can be deadly, especially for anyone trying to cross the 303.  Unfortunately, I see this as only a band-aid solution.  Something is definitely needed to increase the safety of all drivers, however, I wish short-term solutions would be coupled with something more long-term. 

The current improvement calls not only for traffic lights, but left turn lanes as well in all 4 directions.  These improvements will begin shortly and will call for the following closures:

  • Waddell Rd. will be closed from Cotton Lane to Sarival through May 4th... Loop 303 will remain open during this time

  • Loop 303 will be closed between Cactus Rd. & Greenway from May 7th - May 25th, but Waddell will be open

For more information on these closures, you can call the MCDOT hotline at 480-350-9288

Click here to see the article

Glendale Updating Street Light Technology

When I was an undergrad at the University of Arizona in the late '80s, there was a lot of talk about Low Pressure Sodium lights. (These are the darker, yellowish, not-so-bright streetlights that you see in some parts of town.) Everybody was talking about how great they were, well mostly my professors and some newspaper articles – keep in mind I didn't know many locals. I was told "They use less energy", and "They allow the Hubble Telescope to see further into space," and "They're the future of lighting." Well, my friends and I never quite agreed. Frankly, we thought, as far as lighting goes, they're awful. Lights should be … well, light.

Fast forward to today. There has been such a revolution in lighting over the last few years.. Car headlights are brighter and more focused. Cell phones' display screens are amazing (who hasn't seen a concert where cell phones in the crowd have replaced cigarette lighters from years past?) Fluorescent bulbs have become more "natural". I have a tiny little flashlight, that I bought for $3 at a checkout counter, that shines a terrific, clean, pure white light. But the kicker was last holiday season – did anyone else notice how awesome the LCD Holiday Lights looked? It just seemed outdated to not be able to use any of this technology for larger purposes.

Well, fortunately the City of Glendale agrees with us. It turns out they have been quietly replacing every Low Pressure Sodium streetlight (all 18,500 of them!) with brighter white lights, while at the same time adding a shield to focus the light downward (to help darken the sky for astronomical purposes) and a tracking monitor so they can respond immediately when a light bulb burns out. Here's an article posted on AZCentral.com.

Good for Glendale – I hope other cities follow suit, and make yellowish low pressure sodium lights another one of those '80s fads that has run its course. (kind of like Members Only jackets, Valley Girl expressions, and Rocky movies… oh wait!)

- Chris Butterworth

"College Town" coming to Glendale and West Phoenix

ASU West and Thunderbird School of Global Management have both announced plans to build thriving, "pedestrian-friendly hubs where students can work, shop, eat and sleep".  ASU West is going to develop its land on the northeast part of the campus (the southwest corner of Thunderbird and 43rd Ave) into 1 million square feet of retail shops, office buildings, apartments, and senior housing.  Thunderbird has plans to shrink its educational center, and build around it a 175-room hotel, upscale apartments, hundreds of live/work units, and office and retail space.  Here's the complete article from AZCentral.com.

This is great news for the Glendale / West Phoenix area.  Good college towns are a symbiotic relationship between the students' experiences and the surrounding businesses.  Anyone who has attended this type of school understands what I'm talking about - when a large number of students live on & around campus, there is a certain vibe to the community that is hard to replicate.  Businesses spring up to cater to the students, and continue to grow outward in expanding circles.  A good vibe, along with good businesses and amenities, will help to attract more and better students, which helps the process continue.  As the area becomes more "hip", it will begin to attract more upscale businesses (and other developments), and the area can become a self-sustaining educational and economic hub of activity.  Think Austin, TX; Palo Alto, CA; and our own Mill Ave & Tempe Town Lake area as good examples, and let's hope these new projects can have anywhere near this kind of success!

Let's give these new College Towns our support!


Mesa Waterpark @ Riverview

Although Surprise was expecting to be the site for a revolutionary water park, in the end, Mesa has convinced the builder that their offer was a better fit. Currently, there are 3 water parks in the metropolitan Phoenix area (not including those which require a hotel-stay)... Waterworld Safari in North Phoenix, Big Surf in Tempe, and Golfland Sunsplash in Mesa. I don't know all of the details regarding the two cities' offers, however, I can look at a map and determine for myself that a water park somewhere in the far West Valley (Surprise, Waddell, Glendale, Litchfield Park, Goodyear, Buckeye) would have given many current West Valley residents a much closer alternative than the 3 listed above, not to mention the not-too-distant-future residents who will be looking for relief from the sun.

Honestly, if it was just me, lounging by my own pool would satisfy me on hot, summer days. But, I have children. 4 of them! And, occasionally they prefer something out of the ordinary. I remember being a kid and going to Big Surf for a special day with my family, or heading to Waterworld with my teenage friends. It would have been nice to have a water park a little more local than 45 minutes away. With the Cabela's store now open in Glendale, I would have figured that the water park would profit from those shoppers/visitors as well. The new water park sounds intriguing with its projected offering of snorkeling, white water rafting, and surfing, in addition to other sporting activities.

The $250 million dollar resort/water park is being built by Waveyard Development LLC, out of Scottsdale. When the entire project & surrounding development comes to fruition, it will likely be over $500 million.

A November referendum could have an impact on this park as the developers have asked for residents' input to make sure they are "on board with the deal," prior to any construction. Additionally, a deal with the city (likely to include incentives) must be satisfied to determine how to best convert a municipal golf course and softball fields into a private, world-class amusement park. At this point, I don't know what private means... whether a membership, reservations at the resort, or simply an admission ticket will be required.

We'll have to follow up with the referendum and the city deal to know whether or not this waterpark will, in fact, be constructed in Mesa, but that's how it looks at this time.

Click here to read the article

West Valley housing boom

I read a couple of articles every week which, if you read between the lines, all say the same thing:  the slow housing market in the Valley of the Sun is temporary, and we should expect a long-term outlook of strong growth for the coming decades.  That stands to reason, since there are approximately 10,000 net new people moving to the Phoenix area every month.  Eventually that demand will soak up all the excess inventory of houses currently for sale, and will drive our growth engine once again.

Last month economist Elliott Pollack advised a group of business and civic leaders in the West Valley that "you're not only growing, but you're now the major player in the game."  He went on to outline his long-term expectations for each of the West Valley cities.

What does this mean to the average homeowner in the West Valley?  Nothing different from what we've been saying for months..  If you're going to move locally, go ahead - any loss you take on the home you're selling will be recaptured on the home you're buying.  If you're moving out of state, or if you're selling without buying another home, you will probably be better off to wait a year or two, if possible.  And if you've bought in the West Valley, you should be in for many years of solid appreciation.  And that's good news to all of us!


New Listing in Villa de Paz: 10020 W. Roma Ave

This golf community home comes with real, green grass that you don't have to mow! It is located in Laurelwood, a small subdivision of homes with its own community pool & covered play area. The HOA maintains the front yard of every home in this subdivision. It sits on a corner lot, right across from the pool & play area. If you know someone looking for a home in this area, please forward this information to them, or have them give me a call - 623-824-1222.

Click here for a flyer.

Click here for a digital tour.

Super Bowl XLII: West Valley Is On the Clock!

Now that Super Bowl XLI is in the past, Arizonans are anticipating the next one, which will take place February 3, 2008, at Cardinals Stadium (aka University of Phoenix Stadium). Although Super Bowl XLII is expected to pump 400 million dollars into our local economy, will the area merchants be ready to handle a crowd of this magnitude?

Hosting the Super Bowl is an exciting thing for Arizona, but even more so for those of us living in the West Valley. Ever since Super Bowl XLII was awarded to Glendale in October 2003, we have seen the transformation of farm land into what is quickly becoming Zanjero, Westgate, the Glendale Arena (aka Jobing.com Arena) and Cardinals Stadium. We have also seen Loop 101 connected to I10 since that time!

As much as I am thrilled that we are finally gaining some great entertainment opportunities on this side of town, I am not persuaded that Super Bowl XLII will provide us with the boost in our economy that forecasters are predicting mostly due to the lack of establishments ready to serve the crowd.

For one thing, I'm not seeing the number of hotels in the area that will be required to house all of the fans expected to attend the game, not to mention the fans who just want to bask in the atmosphere. If they can't find the rooms they need within minutes of the stadium... where are they going to go? I can answer that. They're going to go to the East Valley, spend their vacation money there, and commute to the West Valley for the game. I know, I know, that's still the local economy, but hey I'd like to see the west-side provide the necessary establishments to support our incoming visitors. This will be our moment to shine!

It just seems to me like some of the projects are dragging their feet getting completed. Maybe it's all of the approvals that go into constructing a building from scratch, maybe it's the materials not being readily available. But we're to the count-down now. We're on the clock now, and these businesses should be up and running before the Super Bowl is here. It's not the best time to train people when there are large crowds. The stores don't wait until December to start hiring their Christmas help... there's a reason. They need to be efficient when the crowds arrive... not in training. Time to get your head in the game and complete the projects so the employees can be trained and ready to handle our winter visitors.