Demolition has finally commenced at the Mountain Shadows Resort, a Paradise Valley landmark that was a popular hangout for locals and celebrities before shutting down nearly a decade ago.
The move is the first tangible step toward the long-awaited redevelopment of the property, which until recently has been the center of contentious debate amongst the town, surrounding residents and the property owner.
Now that agreements have been reached and the owner, Irvine, Calif.-based Crown Realty & Development, has paid off its debts following a July 2012 bankruptcy protection filing, the massive overhaul of the property at 56th Street and Lincoln Drive is coming to fruition.
The redevelopment plan calls for a new 150-plus room boutique hotel, redesigned golf course and a 40-home subdivision. It is to be done in phases, but in aggregate will cost as much as $300 million and could take up to four years to complete, said Robert Flaxman, president and CEO of Crown.
Flaxman said Crown will partner with several home builders for the subdivision, but declined to give any names. He also wasn’t ready to disclose who the hotel operator would be, although recent news reports indicate that Scottsdale-based Westroc Hospitality has signed a letter of intent.
Flaxman said the existing 337-room resort, which has been closed since September 2004, needs to be torn down because it doesn’t even come close to meeting today’s building codes. It also bears no real historical or architectural significance, he said.
Additionally, “it was latent with asbestos,” Flaxman said, which is being removed.
The 18-hole golf course, driving range and clubhouse, which comes equipped with a restaurant, fitness center, pro shop and tennis courts, has remained open. Crown had acquired the property for $42 million in 2007 with a $32 million loan from US Bank, records show. The owners’ plans to immediately ramp up revitalization efforts were stalled as the economic downturn hit shortly after the acquisition, court records show. During that limbo period, the Crown Realty affiliates — MTS Land LLC and MTS Golf LLC — defaulted on its loan and filed for bankruptcy.