Gertrude Stein might say, “A road is a road is a road.”
But to the city of Glendale, a new stretch of Cardinals Way means opportunity, growth, money: A road is a road is the future.
And, if the vision of a giant waterpark splashes down, the road also leads to fun.
The city of Glendale recently celebrated a modest, mile-long stretch of pavement.
The east-west arterial along the Bethany Home Road alignment “fills a gap between 83rd and 91st avenues,” according to a city press release.
While some might merely shrug at a minor road, the city says Cardinals Way paves the way (so to speak) to Glendale’s future in the Sports and Entertainment District.
According to Jayme Chapin of the city’s Engineering Department, construction on the road began last November, with the city paying $2.2 million and $3.8 million from the developer.
“The city was responsible for the north half and the developer was responsible for the signals, so their cost was higher,” Chapin said. “The city’s portion of the money came from development impact fees.”
Speakers at a press conference announcing of the road included Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers; Nicole Bidwill, vice president of the Arizona Cardinals; and Greg Abrams, vice president of land acquisition and development for Pulte Homes of Arizona. Cardinals mascot Big Red and the Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders joined in the cheers.
While the road is another alternative to get to Cardinals games at State Farm Stadium and Coyotes games at Gila River Arena, the new section of road also leads to what could be the biggest project ever to hit Glendale.
The 11-acre Crystal Lagoons Island Resort development is planned for Cardinals Way and 95th Avenue. In addition to a water park, it is projected to have shops, restaurants, bars, offices and a hotel.
In September, shortly after Glendale City Council approved the lagoon project, Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps said there would be a “major announcement” in the coming weeks.
“We’re looking in October to make a couple major announcements. The north end, the anchor hotel, and the south end, the family entertainment center—when we announce what those are and the companies behind them, it will truly give this project amenities you will not find anywhere else in the United States,” Phelps told The Glendale Star.
But no announcement was made in October.
The Glendale Star asked about progress on the project. “There is no update on the Lagoons,” said Sue Breding, a city spokeswoman.
While the big lagoon is still in the idea phase, StoneHaven has moved ahead, with recent Planning Commission approval of its plan for 628 homes.
The StoneHaven site is located between 91st and 83rd avenues, north of Camelback Road.
Pulte Homes is the lead developer. Others include Lennar and Taylor Morrison.
Pulte Homes also has several high-end communities in the West Valley, with gated homes in Peoria, Goodyear and Buckeye.
According to its website, “StoneHaven is a new construction master plan community in Glendale.” Various designs are available for homes selling from $309,000 to $370,000.
Just to the north of StoneHaven, crowds at State Farm Stadium football games have been kept low during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nicole Bidwill, the sister of Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill, said the new road is a glimpse into the future.
“Even in times of adversity and challenge, progress is possible when you are committed to it, and the city of Glendale clearly is,” said Nicole Bidwill, with the Arizona Cardinals. “Hopefully a return to ‘normal’ is in our very near future. And full crowds and large events will be able to take advantage of this extension to make the fan experience even better and smoother.”
The ever-optimistic mayor of Glendale shared the Weiers excitement about the new road.
“After all these years, Bethany Home Road with this Cardinals Way extension now connects East Valley and Central Phoenix residents to Westgate, State Farm Stadium and the Sports and Entertainment District,” said Weiers. “Glendale is committed to making sure we have the infrastructure in place to support the continued economic boom found in our city.”