When Glendale (Az.) officials committed to funding Camelback Ranch-Glendale as a spring-training destination, economic development was a prime consideration. That long-awaited development could now be on the horizon.
When the spring home of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox opened in 2009, city officials envisioned as the core of economic development in an underdeveloped part of Glendale. But the Great Recession put the brakes on outside investment in the area, and since that 2009 opening the ballpark has been an island, with most new development happening to the east at the Sports and Entertainment District. The notion of using sports facilities as development drivers has a mixed record: despite the issues with Camelback Ranch-Glendale, the Sports and Entertainment District has been a success, with plenty of hotels, retail, bars and restaurants popping up around State Farm Stadium and Gila River Arena.
With the extension of a street linking Camelback Ranch-Glendale and the Sports and Entertainment District and interest from developers, the city may finally be on the verge of seeing long-awaited investments. From Your Valley:
“It was a long time coming, but I think what we envisioned there will take shape over the next couple of years, and you will see a totally different book to that area in a couple of years,” said Glendale Vice Mayor Joyce Clark of the Yucca District, the only current member of City Council who was on Council for the 2007 vote.
The leading reason for the expected development is the extension of Ballpark Boulevard, the only road into the complex, to join with Maryland Avenue. The extension, planned to be completed by Spring 2020, will connect Camelback Ranch more closely to the rest of Glendale’s Sports and Entertainment District, which includes the University of Phoenix Stadium, Gila River Arena, Westgate Entertainment District, Tanger Outlets and the newly opened Topgolf. The city and the spring training facility anticipate development will occur along the new route…..
The cost for the road extension will be split between Mattamy Homes, Glendale, the Dodgers and the White Sox.
There’s planned development closer to the ballpark, too, though no concrete steps have been taken yet.
It will be interesting to see what sort of development the Dodgers and White Sox have in mind close to the ballpark. Entertainment districts have always been a part of Cactus League camp proposals, but they’ve not always worked out — just witness the lack of development around Camelback Ranch-Glendale and Goodyear Ballpark.