Driving down Estrella Parkway, it seems our little town is really growing up. From new industry and small businesses to housing developments and homelessness... Goodyear has a lot on its plate.
Have you seen the construction next to the Goodyear Ballpark? That vacant land will be home to "Gates at Goodyear" - condos with mixed-use for the west Valley. Reportedly, "It will feature 80 residential units, with office, dining and retail space below. Noting Arizona’s heat and long-lasting sunlight as motivations, Fair also plans for the structure to be energy independent and efficient, with the goal of residents having net-zero energy consumption. One feature is that residents’ units will have what Fair describes as transition glass, which darkens when exposed to sunlight." The CEO is Andra Fair who got the idea from his land partner, David Byrd, who owns several Goodyear hotels. "The development also involves Sonnen home energy storage systems, so each unit will have two solar-powered batteries, allowing residents to go on or off the grid, he explained."
We're chomping at the bit for Saddle Mountain's patio to open. Maybe October? Hopefully? We can't wait!
MC85 at Lower Buckeye Road is going to take on new shape in Goodyear. Microsoft is moving in south of the Goodyear Airport. Check out more here.
A new school! Litchfield Elementary School District is building a new school. "School 16" will be located at 18601 W. Campbell Avenue in Goodyear... just north of Indian School Road and east of Perryville Road.
Pickleball courts at the Goodyear Community Park unveil September 22nd. Goodyear says, "The event will kick off with a tour of the court and remarks by city officials. Later, there will be on-court demonstrations by local pickleball players as well as mini-clinics covering the basics – from selecting the right paddle to understanding the rules of play. The celebration concludes with the courts open for general public play. The project, which was funded and approved in response to residents’ request, converted basketball courts to accommodate pickleball and maintain two high school-sized basketball courts." The cost to build these was $168,000. The project plan reports, "Repurpose the existing basketball court to include four lighted Pickleball Courts and two lighted high school level basketball courts. The courts will receive new court surfacing and striping."
Dunkin' Donuts is reportedly opening this week on Estrella Parkway just south of Van Buren. Don't forget, there's a fabulous Sunrise Donuts just south of there at 725 S. Estrella Parkway, Goodyear, Az. They're a mom and pop shop with lots to offer!
Rumor has it that a Culver's is opening in Goodyear. We checked with the company and they said they do NOT have plan for a Goodyear location. (Hope I'm proven wrong. Although, they are located in Avondale and around the west Valley.) They also sent the franchise link to me if anyone is wanting to open a Culver's. Anyone?
Dream Swirls, owned and operated by Estrella residents, moved to a new location. We stopped by during the grand opening and it was PACKED! I love mom and pop shops. Be sure to check them out. 15557 W. Roosevelt Street, Suite 102, Goodyear, Az. Near Robeks on Estrella Parkway.
A quick jaunt into Litchfield Park for a moment... Teacup has opened. Its menu looks awesome and I hope to get there soon.
The City of Goodyear made two new hires in big positions. Lori Gary is the new economic development director. Goodyear states, "Prior to accepting the post in Goodyear, Lori was a senior project manager for the city of Mesa’s Office of Economic Development. Specifically, she promoted new investment, redevelopment and reuse, and job creation within Mesa’s Fiesta District, Falcon District, and West Mesa."
Tammy Vo starts in October as the city's new communications director. "Tammy has spent the last six years working as the marketing and communications manager for the city of Phoenix. Before then, she spent 13 years in television news."
Both positions seem to have high turnover in Goodyear. Let's wish them the best of luck in our growing city.
Soon-to-be hired are interns for the Goodyear Spring Baseball Season. Check out opportunities here.
At Goodyear City Council tonight, Police Chief Jerry Geier and Sgt. Justin Hughes of the Professional Standards Unit will discuss a difficult issue... Homeless Outreach. The agenda reads, "City Management requested that staff prepare information on the issue of homeless outreach and nuisance behaviors such as panhandling in order to ascertain the Council’s level of interest in pursuing an ordinance, policy revision, or other action. This issue has not come before Council in the past."
When I assisted Goodyear with its All-America City application in 2008, Goodyear reportedly knew of just 11 homeless people. Now that the city has grown immensely, and so quickly, it's sadly obvious that number is growing. "Staff has compiled information on the issue of homeless outreach, including definitions, existing conditions, and information from other valley cities. Possible alternatives will be presented and direction will be based on Council feedback," Goodyear Staff Analysis.
Homeless Youth Connection sent out an email today inviting the community to attend its Empowering Youth Breakfast. It's October 25th. You must RSVP. More here.
If any of the above issues interest you, I encourage you to run for office. In 2021, several termed-out seats will be open and we'll have, potentially, an all new council. Now is the time to brush up and get involved.
We were beyond thrilled this week to see Councilmember Laura Kaino announce she's running for the position she was appointed to when Joanne Osborne vacated the seat. We worked with Kaino on the Goodyear Water Conservation Committee and hope she brings that knowledge and ideas to the table. Please follow her on Facebook. She's been very active in the community!
Open Seats in the Goodyear Spring Election of 2019 are:
Finally, if you're looking to watch some great high school volleyball this weekend, please check out the Wolves Classic Invitational at Estrella Foothills High School. It's Friday/Saturday. The school's high school Homecoming Parade and Carnival follows at 5pm Saturday night. Best wishes to all the students and athletes this weekend!
We'll continue to follow what's happening in Goodyear and the west Valley. Our mission to keep informed ramped up again this spring when a Goodyear City Councilmember falsely made accusations against us. She got us wondering about what's really happening. We know it's important to the community and taxpayers to stay informed. If there's something you'd like for us to check out, please contact us.
Goodyear City Council Work Session Recap
Goodyear Parks and Rec Director David Seid admitted the department missed the ball and "the original scope and associated budget request were grossly underestimated" regarding pickleball courts.
The City Staff Report states, "As a result, staff evaluated and identified the existing sport court area within the park as the ideal location for the pickleball facility. Staff determined that a modification of the existing courts could retain existing amenities as well as accommodate a new pickleball facility."
And, "... staff explored an additional option (1) to accommodate adult softball play within Foothills Community Park. Staff determined that an expansion of an existing youth sized baseball field to an adult sized field could continue to accommodate youth baseball, as well as youth and adult softball. Adding additional user groups to the field does not impact current users as the scheduled use times do not conflict. Little League, the primary user of the facility, fully supports this option."
Seid provided a couple of options about moving forward with pickleball courts and it appears Council is leaning toward Option 1... a $130,500 additional cost to complete ball field options at a total of $448,500.
ESTRELLA FIRE STATION
As we blogged last week, Goodyear Fire is looking at building Estrella's 2nd fire station at a previously dedicated site of Rainbow Valley and Willis Roads. As you may recall, a $53,000 fire station conducted by a foreign company identified Estrella Parkway and Willis Road as the most optimal location for a new fire station.
During tonight's work session, it appeared Council is in agreement the Willis Road location will be the new home for the new fire station.
In 2016, I asked Council to delay construction of Lucero until additional fire services were in place. Estrella is a linear community and when one part of the community is stretched further... as Lucero will do... it puts additional strain on safety services. Goodyear already has 17+ minute response times to parts of CantaMia per the fire study.
Now that construction is well underway at Lucero, I want to know what these two timelines look like today. Will a new fire station be up and running before the first family moves into Lucero?
Goodyear's newest city manager, Julie Arendall, said the City would respond to me at a future date.
THE NEW RESTAURANT AT THE PRESIDIO
Also on the agenda tonight was a Series 12 Liquor License for Beach House Food and Spirit. Amy Jo Schlecht is the applicant for Beach House Food and Spirits which will operate in Estrella's Presidio Residents Club.
MY TWO CENTS
Tonight's Regular City Council Meeting was mostly attended by City staff.
The meeting ran late due to additional meetings... but residents are always invited to attend and get involved.
Council won't know what resident needs are unless you go and speak up.
No doubt pickleball has turned into hot craze in Goodyear. You'll find people on the courts in Estrella night and day.
On Monday night, Goodyear staff asks Council for direction on additional funding to finance access to the growing sport.
HOW THIS STARTED
In the staff report, Goodyear Parks and Rec states...
Over the past few years, Parks and Recreation Department staff have received several inquiries from the community regarding pickleball play in Goodyear. Staff responded to these inquiries by exploring both short-term and long-term options to expand pickleball play for the public.
During FY18 budget discussions, council requested a cost estimate to create a dedicated pickleball court facility so that it may be considered in the final FY18 CIP budget. Staff worked with a contracted project manager to develop the cost estimate and project scope. The project was estimated at $168,000 and included the creation of six (6) lit pickleball courts to be installed in the northeast corner of Goodyear Community Park. Council approved the project scope and funding of $168,000 as part of the FY18 CIP Budget.
THE ESTRELLA CONNECTION
Staff reports an Estrella resident requested Council consider creating an adult softball field in Estrella which is predicted at costing $318,000. Council approved the lit, adult-sized softball field which would be built on the southeast corner of Foothills Community Park near Estrella Foothills High School.
In July, "staff realized that the original scope and associated budget request were grossly underestimated.
As a result, staff explored an additional option (1) to accommodate adult softball play within Foothills Community Park. Staff determined that an expansion of an existing youth sized baseball field to an adult sized field could continue to accommodate youth baseball, as well as youth and adult softball. Adding additional user groups to the field does not impact current users as the scheduled use times do not conflict. Little League, the primary user of the facility, fully supports this option. In addition, the Estrella resident who brought this request to council is also in support of either option, as both provide an opportunity for adult use.
Monday, Parks and Rec will ask Council its opinion on the Foothills ballfield project. If the existing youth field is expanded, it'd cost an additional $130,500.
To install a separate adult-sized softball field as originally scoped, an additional $979,200 is necessary.
Goodyear staff states $1,673,000 is left in the Capital Project Reserve which could be used for these projects.
We'll see what happens Monday night.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer Barber is a Goodyear resident resident of almost 20 years and a retired broadcast news journalist. Involved in various nonprofit and city organizations since 2008, Barber has a unique view of what's happening in the West Valley of Arizona.