By the numbers: Paradise Valley sees spark of new building construction

Single family residential accounts for 347 Paradise Valley building permits since 2014. (Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

Since 2014, nearly 350 single-family building permits have been pursued at the Paradise Valley Planning Department, which is in addition to more than 100 permits issued for hotels in the same time period.

Through a public records request, the Independent received Town of Paradise Valley building permits for a 5-year period, between 2014-18, in the form of an Excel spreadsheet spanning hundreds of pages.

A breakdown of building permit records since 2014 include:

  • 347 single-family home permits requested;
  • 132 hotel permits requested; and
  • 13 church permits requested.

Town of Paradise Valley officials say these numbers illustrate a healthy local economy.

The Franciscan Renewal Center went through redevelopment in recent years (Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

“Construction activity is a sign of a healthy economy, and I believe the level of activity that we’re seeing in Paradise Valley is a reaffirmation of the desirability of our community,” Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner said.

“The resort redevelopment we have been seeing is also notable. For example, the Andaz property used to be known as the Cottonwoods, and was an under-performing property that was in need of renovation. A new ownership group came in and totally revamped the property. It is now a beautiful destination resort, and they didn’t add smaller ‘for sale’ residential units to do that – which is very impressive.”

The Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa and the Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa made up quite a few of the hotel permits requested through a records request, which were going through their municipal processes in 2015.

Deputy Town Manager Dawn Marie Buckland says the town thrives because of its resorts.

“They fund much of our budget through their sales tax dollars,” she said. “We’ve seen consistent upgrades and renovations of the resorts year after year, including ANdAZ, Sanctuary, Mountain Shadows, Camelback, DoubleTree, Scottsdale Plaza, Hermosa Inn, and Montelucia, as well as El Chorro; and the Smoke Tree Resort is at the Planning Commission for redevelopment. The resorts’ investment and the construction of the new Ritz-Carlton continue to demonstrate the confidence in the local economy and in Paradise Valley.”

However, Ms. Buckland points to the quantity of single-family home permits as a real indicator for what the town’s residents think about Paradise Valley, noting that the town consistently sees a steady stream of single-family residential home permits.

“This really reinforces that Paradise Valley is a very desirable community, and shows confidence in the Town Council, as well as the professional staff,” she said.

“People are making investments; building new homes on vacant lots as well as tearing down existing homes and building new. Residents simultaneously value beautiful desert vistas and privacy, and civic and community engagement, and are afforded ample opportunities for both.”

Ms. Buckland says for more than a decade, demolition and rebuilds within Paradise Valley make up half of their home building permits.

“The snapshot mirrors a trend we’re seeing in the metro Phoenix area, but for the rebuilds. Looking back since 2001, demolition and rebuilds consistently makes up about 50 percent of our new home building permits,” she said. “I am unaware of any other city in Arizona that sees that remarkable number of rebuilds. This is an extremely desirable location; I would expect that to continue.”

Mr. Bien-Willner also touched on the cyclic nature of the construction industry.

“In planning for the Town’s financial future, we must be mindful that these building and greater economic trends tend to be cyclical, and I will be sure that we focus and prepare for the next cycle of construction activity,” he said.

News Editor Melissa Rosequist can be reached by e-mail at or follow her on Twitter at

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