Arizona land for sell
Tract zoned for large resort
may go for $80 million
By PAT MURPHY
Express Staff Writer
Sun Valley Co. owner Earl Holding
apparently has decided to sell a large, premium tract of vacant suburban
Phoenix land zoned for a major resort and golf course and use the sale
The estimated 100 acres could
fetch $80 million or more, according to Mayor Edward Lowry Jr., of the
Town of Paradise Valley, on which about 80 acres of the land is
situated. Another 20 acres is in the adjoining city of Scottsdale.
Holding paid a total of $5.2
million for the land when he bought it in two parcels in 1973 and 1995,
according to The Arizona Republic newspaper.
The Republic quoted Peter Johnson,
president of Holding’s Sinclair Oil Corp., which owns the land, as
saying if it were sold the money would be used elsewhere.
A spokesman for the Salt Lake
City-based Sinclair Oil confirmed for the Idaho Mountain Express the
property is available, but declined to say whether sale proceeds would
be used in Sun Valley, where Holding’s resort will unveil a master plan
April 6 that could include costly new hotel facilities. (See related
"Mr. Holding has always invested
in Sun Valley," the spokesperson said.
Sun Valley Resort has been
undergoing major renovations and additions that one spokesman for the
company said might exceed what Holding originally paid for the resort.
Covered with greasewood shrubs and
cactus and other desert growth, the Paradise Valley property is about
the last undeveloped piece of land in the suburban town of 14,000, and
may be the most expensive property on the market.
Mayor Lowry said acreage prices
have been "crazy" as a result of unavailable land. He said buyers have
been purchasing older homes for $500,000 , and up, razing them and
building multi-million dollars homes.
Paradise Valley zoning laws
require homes to be built on at least one acre.
He said the Holding property
probably is worth at least $800,000 per acre, maybe $1 million per acre.
Paradise Valley zoning would allow
a 500-room hotel and a golf course plus some condos. The acreage in the
city of Scottsdale facing on busy Scottsdale Road is zoned for offices
The mayor said he had heard
several groups had contacted Holding about the property, but could not
Lowry said that a group of
investors recently bought LaPosada, a far smaller combination
retail-resort complex, about a mile from the Holding property for $30
million and will spend another $30 million on renovations.
Paradise Valley is a bedroom
community on the north side of Phoenix’s landmark Camelback Mountain,
abutting the cities of Phoenix and Scottsdale some 15 miles from
downtown Phoenix and within walking distance of downtown Scottsdale’s
Fashion Square complex.
Over the years, it has become home
to well known public figures. Among them are Supreme Court Justice
Sandra Day O’Connor, former Vice President Dan Quayle, former TV
celebrity Hugh Downs, singers Alice Cooper and Stevie Nix, Family Circus
cartoonist Bil Keane, space artist Robert T. McCall, Intel chairman
Craig Barrett, Diamondbacks pitcher Randy Johnson, the late humorist
Erma Bombeck and the late Sen. Barry Goldwater, whose all-stone home sat
on a hilltop in the town with a 360-degree view.
Goldwater, who died in 1998 at 89
years old, amused guests with the tale of advice his father gave him
about Paradise Valley in the early 1900s--advice he says he wished he
His father, Goldwater said, told
him as a youth when living in downtown Phoenix that anyone who’d pay the
going price of 50 cents an acre for land in then-deserted, desert-dry
and relatively remote Paradise Valley was "nuts."
"I should’ve been so crazy,"
Goldwater would say.
The Goldwater home he built on 3.9
acres in 1957 in the shape of an arrowhead sold after his death for $4.1
million, or just over $1 million per acre.