A wave of urban growth continues to roll toward open land in north Scottsdale. A residential developer made a successful bid of $92.2 million Wednesday to purchase 288 acres of state trust land about a mile west of Scottsdale’s boundary just north of Loop 101, in the area of north Phoenix known as Desert Ridge.
That makes seven large state land parcels in Desert Ridge sold to developers since early 2004, edging closer to a swath of undeveloped state land in Scottsdale.
About 900 acres of state trust land known as the Crossroads, running east of Scottsdale Road along the Loop 101 corridor, is poised to become the next hub of extensive development in Scottsdale once the State Land Department begins selling parcels there, said senior city planner Don Hadder. The first of the sales in the Crossroads area could come in about two years, said Richard Hubbard, deputy state land commissioner.
Developers are expressing interest in various parcels and at least one developer has filed an application for an auction, Hubbard said. A decision on when to sell or lease is up to State Land Commissioner Mark Winkleman.
The Crossroads land — stretching roughly from south of Loop 101 near Union Hills Drive about 1 1 /2 miles north to the Thompson Peak Parkway area — is zoned for commercial, industrial and multifamily residential, Hadder said.
Scottsdale is targeting almost 20,000 acres of state trust land farther to the north and east for expansion of its McDowell Sonoran Preserve. If the city acquires that land, then the Crossroads would be the last large expanse of land in Scottsdale open to development, Hadder said.
Record-breaking auction results for Desert Ridge parcels indicate the potential high value of the Crossroads area.
Meritage Homes’ successful bid Wednesday was second to a record $100.5 million bid for 276 acres made in May 2004 by Pulte Homes.
An Aug. 13 auction for 502 acres open for development in the Desert Ridge area will open for bidding at $135 million — by far the highest in the history of the land trust, according to the State Land Department.
Hubbard said the department also is mapping its strategy for opening state land for lease or sale in the Paradise Ridge area, a strip that runs for several miles between Desert Ridge and Scottsdale’s boundary north of Loop 101.