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Tribe’s Trajectory for Development Along Loop 101 Uncertain

By Michael Clancy for The Arizona Republic

The Alter Group is developing Riverwalk and its new TopGolf driving range and upscale bar and grill on Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. Photo Credit: Charlie Leight/The Republic

The Alter Group is developing Riverwalk and its new TopGolf driving range and upscale bar and grill on Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. Photo Credit: Charlie Leight/The Republic

Whether more of the Salt River Reservation fields, growing primarily cotton, will be supplanted by development is a question that not even the tribal stewards can answer.

So much of the land along the freeway is controlled by individual landowners that it takes a dedicated developer to put enough acreage together to make a difference, said Candace Romero, spokeswoman for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Community.

Most of the focus thus far has been in the Via de Ventura area, known as the Talking Stick Cultural and Entertainment Destination area, where the tribe has planned a large entertainment, lodging and business area.

It includes the spring-training fields for the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Pavilions shopping area, the Talking Stick Resort and Casino, its golf course, and office developments on both sides of the freeway.

The newest project is TopGolf, under construction due west of the high-rise casino. The facility is part of Riverwalk, one of several developments along the highway.

Riverwalk, developed by the Alter Group, controls 176 acres between Indian Bend Road and Via de Ventura on the east side of the freeway. The project is approved for more than 600KSF of retail and hospitality uses, and 1.5MSF of corporate offices.

North of Riverwalk, on the west side of the freeway, the Pima Center has been open since 2006. Gerry Blomquist of Main Spring Capital Group, developer of the center, said it recently has brought in a branch of the Rancho Solano private school and a rehab center of Scottsdale Healthcare.

Blomquist says the project is about half finished, with more than 1MSF open and another million to go. The first million square feet is nearly full, he said.

Construction is likely to resume by the middle of 2014, said Blomquist.

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