Thu, Nov. 21

Editorial: How will dominoes fall once '89 and Vine' becomes reality?

It's been years since the Verde Valley has seen a massive home and commercial building project.

And it no doubt will be several more years before we see large-scale construction begin on the "89 and Vine" project.

But the current rumblings, and confirmation of preliminary plans by project owners, is evidence that the landscape northeast of Cottonwood will certainly change.

And when that happens, it will be interesting to see how the dominoes fall as our community enters a new phase of growth.

The 760 acres north of the Verde Santa Fe development could one day have between 1,500 and 2,500 new homes with a complementary commercial area that dovetails with the Verde Valley's burgeoning wine industry - thus the name "89 and Vine."

The land already has been annexed by the City of Cottonwood. Once it is developed with the visible presence of municipal services, it will be interesting to see if the folks in Verde Santa Fe are suddenly more receptive to annexation.

And what will this development mean to the area's transportation system? Will one of the intersections coming from the Verde Santa Fe communities become a major arterial route to its new neighbor north of Cornville Road? Will that mean a new lighted intersection - or a roundabout - on Cornville Road?

And what about the development's northern most traffic pattern where 89A intersects with Bill Grey Road near the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church? Will that be the catalyst for a new entryway, and bridge crossing, into Cottonwood? Will the accompanying real estate suddenly become prime for even more development? Don't forget that the Mingus Union School District once considered that area a prospective site for a second high school. Could this new development pattern set that domino into motion?

It's debatable if the Upper Verde ever again will see the kind of growth and development that defined this region in the late 1980s and '90s. Growth proponents no doubt will look at the 89 and Vine project as the kind of development that could jump start the process all over again.

It will be an interesting time to see how the dominoes will fall.

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