By Scott Gaertner, Associate Broker
It now appears that Ashler Hills Park has jumped through all the necessary hurdles and that construction will begin early next year. Yay!
Like most things worth having in life, it did not come without a struggle. A small group of dissenters tried to quietly derail the process at the 11th hour. We would never have known had the local newspaper not written about it. We notified those of you interested in the park’s progress, and your response saved the day! Over 500 of you signed our change.org petition, and others joined us at the city council and planning meetings to show there were many more voices to be heard. Finally, the Scottsdale City Council voted unanimously 7 to 0 to approve the plan in its entirety. Thank you all so much for your help!
It will be the first park in the area, and it will be a fantastic reflection of the community it serves. The plan is tailored to blend in rather than compete with the beauty of the High Sonoran Desert and to facilitate the unique needs of the people who live there.
People often say that some of the best things about Scottsdale North are the lush cactus, trees, and greenery, the views of the mountains, and the starry night skies. Over half of the park’s land will be left alone to preserve its natural beauty, and the plants will be taken care of in the parts that will be changed. Important plants will be carefully moved to a place where there is less plant life. The views of the boulder-strewn mountains won’t be blocked by tall structures. The materials used to build the park were chosen because they fit in with the desert around it. That cool structure for shade you see in the picture above? It will actually blend in better as it ages. And of course, all of the lighting is downlit and covered to minimize light escaping and washing out our dark sky.
The neighborhood surrounding the park is home to the highest concentration of Baby Boomers in the United States. But these Boomers aren’t your typical couch potatoes. They moved to Scottsdale North because they wanted to make the most of their active lives.
Many of the adjacent neighborhoods have golf courses, gyms, and tennis facilities. Along with hiking, biking, and boating, which they can do nearby, this park will now have pickleball, which is their favorite sport. It will also have outdoor exercise equipment for adults spread out along the paths so that people of all ages can use the park. If you want to learn more about adult equipment, go to scottsdalenorthpark.com. We have pictures and videos on the site.
This means that the most beautiful and unique area of Scottsdale will soon be home to the most beautiful and unique park. But unfortunately, we will be the only ones who know about it. The park will be hidden by Target and the Summit Shopping Center. That makes the park a perfect analogy or metaphor for our area. Scottsdale North is the most unique and beautiful part of the Valley, but most of the world doesn’t even know that it exists. Don’t believe me? Google “North Scottsdale Map” and you will see the northern boundary is Dynamite Road. That leaves off the best 15 miles of Scottsdale!
I know we have discussed this previously, but shouldn’t we tell the world we exist? The unique qualities that make Scottsdale North so special should be widely known. And we need a name. If you tell someone you live in North Scottsdale, they might think you mean McCormick Ranch. Our area needs its own brand.
A unique name for the neighborhood sets it apart and gives outsiders some context. Locations such as Arcadia and Moon Valley come to mind. Locals will know exactly where you are and what you’re talking about when you use those names. “Oh. Arcadia, that is close to Paradise Valley, and it has lots of citrus trees and greenery.” I’d like to suggest “Scottsdale North” as a perfect name for this purpose.
To begin the process, we could ask the city to rename Ashler Hills Park to Scottsdale North. A possible next step might be to create a Wikipedia page that defines the area as we know it. I have taken the liberty of starting a page to get your thoughts, and hopefully it is active when you read this. Simply look up Scottsdale North, Arizona on Wikipedia. Then drop me your thoughts and ideas!
Scott Gaertner is an Associate Broker with Keller Williams Arizona Realty who for the past 35+ years has helped more people find their lifestyle niche in the Scottsdale North area than anyone else. He also contributes his thoughts on the real estate market and lifestyle interests in the area and is the creator of ConnectingScottsdaleNorth.com. For additional info, visit scottgaertnergroup.com or call 480-634-5000.