A major West Valley development project broke ground Tuesday in a ceremony that saw hundreds attend, including Gov. Jan Brewer and former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner.
The development known as Aspera is located south of the Community Church of Joy campus near 75th Avenue and Loop 101. Plans for the project include retail, multi-family housing, a Banner Health Center, senior living and Treasure House, the supervisory care facility spearheaded by Kurt and Brenda Warner that will serve as housing for high functioning individuals with developmental disabilities.
Don Cardon, CEO of the Cardon Development Group, said the project has been in the works for several years and has been a passion project for him and for everyone involved.
“The older you get the more you realize it really is about the people,” he said. “At the end of the day, our desire it to have a positive effect on people’s lives. Aspera is going to be a place that is active and alive, that is going to incorporate the surrounding community.”
Cardon shared a few details about the Aspera project and the impact it is expected to have. The economic impact after completion is estimated to be $137 million per year. It will call for 1,600 construction jobs and 1,700 permanent jobs once it is done. Traffic improvements will be done to both 75th Avenue and Loop 101 before any buildings go up, more than $5 million in improvements to 75th Avenue, Loop 101, Aspera Boulevard and 78th Avenue that are 100 percent paid for by the developer and then donated to the city of Glendale.
As Brewer noted in her comments, the project is nothing but beneficial to Glendale and the surrounding communities.
“Aspera is not getting one dollar of public investment from Glendale or the state of Arizona,” she said.
Brewer said Aspera moving forward as an entirely private venture should be taken as a sign that Arizona is making progress in its comeback from the recession.
“This tremendous and unique development is just further proof that Arizona is indeed open for business,” she said.
Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers said the City Council and staff worked hard on their end to ensure Aspera was the best it could be so that it would provide not only an economic boost but fit in well with the community. As for the economic boost, Weiers called back to the yearly impact and the job creation in praising what Aspera will do for the city.
“Truly, this project could not have come at a better time,” he said.
Banner Medical Group CEO Jim Brannon said the facility at Aspera will be a 20,000-square-foot medical center — not a hospital — that will feature offices for dozens of different specialists.
“It will be here for family practice,” he said. “Primary care needs. Pediatrics. Women’s health. Labs and X-rays will be available on site.”
Kurt Warner recalled the day a few years ago when he and Brenda unveiled their plans for Treasure House. He marveled at how far things have come and at how many people turned out for the ceremony.
“Your hearts are what make this exciting for me,” he said. “That’s what this project is all about and that’s what is going to make this such a special part of the community.”
Brenda Warner talked about her son Zachary, a special needs young man who was left with little or no options after he graduated high school four years ago.
“He made it through high school, he graduated, and now he’s done,” she said. “Where’s the rest? . . . What do we do now?”
That, she said, is where the idea for Treasure House came about. Kurt and Brenda Warner said they wanted a place where highly functioning young men and women like Zachary could thrive.
“I want them to have beautiful, full lives,” she said. “A job, a place to live, somewhere where they have their own space. This is what I dreamed of and I’m thrilled that you are all here to be a part of it.”
Jeff Dempsey may be reached at 623-876-2531 or firstname.lastname@example.org.