Apr 24, 2023 - Business

Proposal would turn Turf Paradise into Moon Valley Business Park

An overhead map of an urban area showing multi-covered overlays top of a race track site.

Image: Courtesy of Phoenix planning and development department; design by Butler Design Group

Say goodbye to Turf Paradise and hello to Moon Valley Business Park.

The big picture: Plans submitted to the city's planning and development department show a developer's plans for the roughly 252-acre site in north Phoenix.

  • The northeastern portion would be a mix of single- and multi-family residences.
  • The middle of the property, including what is now the oval racetrack, would be a data center, with other industrial uses planned for the western portion along 19th Avenue.
  • A smaller area along Bell Road at 15th Avenue is designated for commercial use.

1 big landmark: A significant part of Turf Paradise may remain as is while the rest is redeveloped — the clubhouse could be used for parimutuel and offtrack betting "and other entertainment/public assembly uses," according to plans submitted to the city.

  • Turf Paradise is home to a sportsbook under a provision of Arizona's 2021 sports wagering law that allocates 10 licenses for brick-and-mortar betting sites for non-sports franchises.
  • The documents submitted by attorneys for the track's prospective buyer don't mention the sports book or whether it will remain.

Of note: James Watson, the managing partner for the development company, tells Axios Phoenix that the plans are subject to possible changes.

Catch up quick: Track owner Jerry Simms is negotiating the potential sale of Turf Paradise to CT Realty, which has offices in Dallas and Newport Beach, California.

  • The property is under contract but no sale has been completed.
  • Watson left open the possibility of continuing racing at the track for at least a limited period if the sale goes through.

What's next: The proposal could require an amendment to Phoenix's general plan land-use map.

  • Planning officials expressed concern about the proposed industrial uses adjacent to residential areas, and suggested "mitigating design features between those uses."

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