Just How Big is Buckeye?
Just How Big is Buckeye?
How Many Communities are Planned in Buckeye?
How Many Single-Family Building Permits Have Been Issued?
In 1877, Thomas Newt Clanton set out from Creston, Iowa, with a party of six men, three women and ten children, bound for Arizona. Clanton suffered from ongoing health problems and believed the Arizona climate would improve his condition. The travelers settled near the area that was eventually to become the Town of Buckeye. It was a good move for him as he lived in Arizona for another 49 years before his death at age 82.
Development in the Buckeye Valley received its first great boost with the construction of the Buckeye Canal. In 1884, Malie Monroe Jackson, along with Joshua L. Spain and Henry Mitchell, began building a canal. Jackson named the canal in honor of his native state of Ohio, the "Buckeye State." Completed in 1886, Thomas Clanton helped build 10 miles of the canal running adjacent to his homestead. In 1887, Clanton applied for a post office to be established in the new community, and in 1888, the United States Postal Service granted the request, naming the new station "Buckeye" after the canal. Thomas Clanton and his family were the first permanent Anglo residents of Buckeye. That same year, Thomas Clanton teamed with Phoenix surgeon Oscar L. Mahoney, and subdivided 60 acres of their land. A business district was established between 4th and 6th Streets on Centre Avenue. A town site was platted and Clanton named the new town Sidney, though why he chose that name remains a mystery. However, because of the significance of the canal, over time the town became known as Buckeye, and the name was legally changed in 1910. Also in 1888, William "Bucky" O'Neil and Associates organized the Buckeye Irrigation Company, renaming the Buckeye Canal Company, and had it certified by the Territorial Secretary. Bucky O'Neil later went on to become one of the famous Rough Riders.
Advances in transportation put Buckeye on the map. In 1910, the Arizona Eastern Railroad came to Buckeye; in 1911, the first automobile; by 1912, a steam rail line connected with Phoenix; and by 1915, a state highway. The coming of the railroad was so signifigcant that the business district was moved to accommodate the location of the railroad station.
As a result, Buckeye was booming! By 1912, major buildings were constructed along with the expansion of the business community. Buckeye was incorporated in 1926 and included 440 acres, or less than one square mile. The first mayor was Hugh M. Watson, founder of the Buckeye Valley Bank. His son, Hugh Watson, Jr. served as mayor fron 1956 to 1958.
In 1935, the Buckeye Chamber of Commerce started the Helzapoppin' Days, which has become a local tradition. The festivities included street dances, a parade, a carnival and a rodeo. Proceeds were given to local churches to distribute to the needy and for scholarships. Celebrities such as cowboy singing star Gene Autry attended the events. Current Town celebrations include the annual Pioneer Days, which features a parade, the Helzapoppin' Rodeo, now a major PRCA event, the Melodrama and carnival. CountryFest is scheduled in the fall, along with spring and fall Demolition Derbies, Air Fair and more. The Town of Buckeye is always "a poppin'!"
Old U.S. 80 is Buckeye's historic main street (Monroe Avenue and M.C. 85 today) Originally called the Dixie Overland Highway or the Broadway of America, old U.S. 80 was the first all-year, coast-to-coast route. Before 1926, developers and towns scrambled to join together to be on a cross country route. Since these highways shared the same roadbed through parts of the country, people began to be confused by the many colorful names given these routes. In 1926 the federal government stepped in and replaced the names with a numerical system. Old U.S. 80 started at Tybee island, Georgia and crossed the country entering Arizona near Douglas, continuing through Tucson, Phoenix, and Buckeye south to Gila Bend then exiting the state at Yuma. Its western terminus was San Diego.
Tourists are becoming so interested in following the historic routes that most states have formed "route" associations that provide websites for information. The Main Street communities in each state are very active in providing input to these associations. Visitors are looking for original pieces of the roadbed as well as historic sites along the highways. They are also interested in stopping at long-time businesses that may still exist. Once they stop in a community, they are exposed to all the town has to offer.
The Buckeye Main Street Coalition, consisting of an Executive Director, volunteer Board of Directors and many members, is working to revitalize and renovate Historic Downtown. The Nels Bensen Victorian house, (also refered to as the Raney house) was rescued from demolition by Ian Horvath Development following a two year stay at the corner of 6th and Monroe and moved south to within a quarter mile of it's original location. Plans for the home include restoration and renovation and it will eventually become the restaurant portion of a complex known as "The Benson House Brewery". Included in that complex will be a micro brewery producing their own Benson House Rye, which is currently on tap at Duners Pizza restaurant. The Coalition, which originally rescued the Raney house from a developer, then sold it to the Town for office space, works closely with parties interested in downtown buildings and businesses. Volunteer members are always welcome! (www.mainstreetcoalition.com)
Buckeye’s air transportation needs are served by Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Phoenix Goodyear Airport, and the Buckeye Municipal Airport.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the United States and is a 35-minute drive from downtown Buckeye. Phoenix Goodyear Airport is a reliever airport for Sky Harbor and is located ten minutes away.
The Town of Buckeye is home to the Buckeye Municipal Airport. The airport is located two miles south of Interstate 10 and the Palo Verde Road interchange. Currently, the airport is equipped with a 5,500-foot runway that can accommodate corporate aircraft as well as small general aviation aircraft. Storage hangars, parking, fueling facilities, and other aviation services are accessible.
Maricopa County 85, State Route 85, Interstate 10, old U.S. Highway 80, and the Sun Valley Parkway all intersect the Town of Buckeye. Old U.S. Highway 80 is a two-lane scenic by-way with a steel truss bridge that crosses the Gila River. Driving over the bridge you can see the Gillespie Dam. During the flood of 1993, the water in the Gila River rose so high that it caused the dam to break and flood the farms to the south.
The railroad is still a major mode of transportation for goods produced in Buckeye.
Buckeye has a Town Manager and a seven-member council. Administrative offices are located at 1101 E.Ash Ave.. For more information on town departments or functions, call (623) 349-6000.
Health care in the Buckeye Valley is currently located east of the Town of Buckeye, beginning in Goodyear. There are three medical offices and three dental offices in Buckeye, staffed with experienced physicians, dentists and health care professionals. In addition, Buckeye is the home base of an air ambulance helicopter, fully equiped to move seriously ill or emergency cases to hospitals in Phoenix. Hospitals are coming soon to Buckeye. Groundbreaking for a new facility affiliated with West Vally Hospital is scheduled in summer of 2009, to be located on Broadway Road. Banner Medical has a hospital campus due to begin construction in 2010.
The homes of Buckeye reflect the tradition of steady growth and progress. Wonderful homes nestled within quiet, friendly neighborhoods offer the best in affordable suburban living. Home buyers can choose from new single-family residences, homes located in the historic district, or custom homes at the base of the White Tank Mountains. Choices are exceptional in the many surrounding master planned communities, as well as the neighborhood developments. Many residents, who commute to work in Phoenix and elsewhere in the area, find that they can take advantage of Buckeye’s small town ambiance while also receiving a great deal more for their real estate dollar. Two of our communities were named among the "Top 100 Best Master-Planned Communities" in 2009 by Where to Retire Magazine. Come check out Sun City Festival and Sundance for yourselves! Living in surroundings dominated by a desert climate means adjustment for many of the new residents. Average spring temperatures can range from 48 to 72 degrees F; summer ranges from 65 to 108 degrees F. Average rainfall is just over four inches. Monsoon from July through September brings wind and rain to the valley floor.
Verrado opened in January 2004, and after much buzz and anticipation, is Buckeye’s first major master-planned development. With up to a 20-year build out planned, the project has the capacity for 14,000 homes. Verrado builders are now beginning the second phase of the project. The first part includes 900 units from builders such as Pulte Homes, Engle, T.W. Lewis, Aston Woods Homes, and Monterey Homes.
Bashas’ Main Street Market occupies a portion of the 40,000 square feet of commercial space in the heart of Verrado’s Main Street, with 45 rental apartment units on top- Main Street Lofts at Verrado. Plans also include 325 acres of parks and open spaces. Every neighborhood is designed around a park, so no home will be farther than two blocks from a park. Verrado Middle School, part of the Litchfield Elementary School District, opened two years ago, followed by Verrado High School. Verrado’s multi-phase project offers 100 unique home designs, ranging in price from the $200,000 to $600,000. (www.verrado.com)
After months of heated debate, Buckeye voters overwhelmingly approved the annexation of Douglas Ranch. At 36 square miles, this is Arizona’s largest master-planned community to date. Douglas Ranch was approved by a 67 percent margin. This vote was important to the town because it proved the people are interested in becoming engaged in Buckeye’s growth process, and they are welcoming the quality development. Buckeye scored another big plus in annexing Douglas Ranch – the rights to the Hassayampa River groundwater aquifer, the largest untapped aquifer in the state.
The Douglas Ranch site is about 25 miles northeast of downtown Buckeye, and is in a infrastructure planning stage. The finished project could have the potential to include 83,000 homes and 250,000 residents. The community is divided into 27 separate planning areas, including 2,000 commercial acres and 947 acres for employment space. Educational facilities will be built all over the community, with 12 high schools and 25 elementary schools already planned. At least 22 percent of the land in Douglas Ranch will be left open for trails and parks, and developers plan to build 22 golf courses. Home prices in Douglas Ranch will range across the board– the community will feature all types of housing, from entry-level to custom-built.
Although this master-planned development’s name is derived from an ancient Phoenician cultural center, Tartesso aspires to be among the most modern of communities. The sprawling 12,000-acre development has been approved for 40,000 homes.
The first phase, located at Sun Valley Parkway and Tartesso Parkway (Indian School Road), will include sites for 17 elementary schools and three high schools.
Open space will be abundant in Tartesso, with plans for 26 parks in the works. The largest of these parks will feature full-size baseball fields, lighted basketball courts, facilities for smaller children, and picnic areas. A Tartesso golf course has not been planned. Commercial or mixed-use sites in Tartesso potentially could encompass 717 acres, or more than 10 million square feet. Tartesso will be accessible from Interstate 10 by two existing interchanges at Sun Valley Parkway and Miller Road. Three additional interchanges eventually will be installed at Johnson Road, Bruner Road, and Wilson Avenue. Tartesso Elementary School opened in August 2008. (www.tartesso.com)
Festival Ranch (Sun City Festival)
Festival Ranch has begun construction on more than 24,000 housing units, 7,000 of which will be included in the “active adult” part of the community – Sun City Festival. Fourteen golf courses, seven million square feet of commercial space, and schools built in the Wickenburg Elementary School District are part of Festival Ranch's master-plan.
The Buckeye Business community mirrors the successes found throughout Maricopa County. Its diverse employment base is comprised of many thriving small businesses, combined with large enterprise. This is the key to a strong and flexible local economy. Sundance Town Center, on the corner of Watson and Yuma, opened in 2007. Included in this area are a Lowes, PetSmart, Wal-Mart Super Center and a number of other retail shops and restaurants including Cracker Barrel, Chipotle, KFC Wendy's and El Pollo Loco. Ground was broken at the I-10 and South Verrado Way, soon to be Buckeye Parkway, in February. Buckeye Parkway Center is being constructed as an “outside” mall, with ample parking, and green space. Slated to open in the summer of 2010, it will contain a number of large retail outlets, grocery store, home accessories, crafts, home improvement and restaurants. Over the past ten years, Arizona has been one of the fastest growing states in the United States. Tremendous job opportunities, a great lifestyle, and a highly desirable climate have fueled the population increase. The community serves as one of the fastest growing economic hubs. It is easy to see why so many business success stories begin right here in Buckeye.
Town of Buckeye
Wal-Mart Distribution Center
Golden Eagle Distribution
Restaurants which dot the town and the surrounding area range from fine dining to fast food. Whether it’s Southwestern with spice and zest, or good old-fashioned home cooking you crave, you’re sure to be pleased with the variety, value and quality of food right here in Buckeye. Try the Verrado Grille for ambiance, Sundance Golf Club & Restaurant for fine prime rib, La Placita for Mexican specialties, Memphis Best BBQ fror the best barbeque in the nation and Millstone Cafe for a selection of interesting and different salads and sandwiches.
Visitors and tourists in the West Valley area will find accommodations to suit every need and budget. Hotels, motels, extended stay and executive facilities are located in neighboring communities. Thousands of rooms, convention facilities and conference centers are located within a twenty-mile radius.
People in Buckeye love to get outdoors and play. Natural recreational opportunities abound throughout the area. Bikers, hikers and nature-lovers all enjoy the wide-open spaces and the many paths that travel through White Tanks Park and Buckeye Hills. Robbins Butte, home to a variety of species, attracts bird watchers throughout the year. For those who like horseback riding, Eagle Mountain Boarding Stables, located in Rainbow Valley just south of Buckeye, offers several options from desert trail rides to mountain riding experiences. Eagletail Horse Adventures also offers horsebackriding, with many options ranging from short rides to all day, and also features a lovely "bunkhouse' for overnight visitors.
Buckeye Town Park, adjacent to downtown, is home to the Buckeye Historical and Archeological Museum which features an impressive collection of pottery made by the Hohokam, early inhabitants of the valley. The journey takes the visitor through the rich agricultural heritage of the settlers from the midwest, including the building of the Buckeye Canal. Be sure to enjoy this local treasure.
In addition, the Town Park is home to an Olympic-sized swimming pool complete with 35-foot-high water slide and other water features that keep everyone cool and relaxed. Take advantage of the volleyball pits, ball fields, picnic tables and skate park. Any of the local restaurants will provide a great picnic meal for the park.The White Tanks Mountain Regional Park offers direct access to the natural beauty of the Sonoran Desert. The park provides a rugged experience with hiking, mountain bike and horse trails, as well as overnight camping. Ancient petroglyphs, wildlife and a waterfall can sometimes be seen at the park.
Beginning in January 2009, Buckeye's new Heritage Park will begin construction and renovation on the old Eastman Gin property. The new Park will be part of the Arizona Centennial Celebration in 2012, with the completion of a mini-gin producing one pound bales of cotton, an ampitheater, a new museum building and planted acreage to maintain our agricultural heritage.
Outdoor activities are not confined to the White Tanks. Sportsmen find that dove, quail and javelina hunting abounds. Bird watchers can take advantage of the many wildlife preserves. Golf aficionados find the views from area golf courses unsurpassed. And the more adventurous can experience the thrill of skydiving at Desert Sky Diving, located at the Buckeye Municipal Airport.
Don’t miss the many local events that take place throughout the year. Professional rodeos, demolition derbies, Pioneer Days, CountryFest, Fourth of July, the Electric Light Parade, and the Holiday Arts and Crafts Boutique are a few of the annual events.
At El Dorado Hot Springs, located in Tonopah just minutes west of Buckeye, visitors enjoy a large subterranean hot springs of pure, odorless, tasteless mineral water naturally heated by Mother Earth. Some say it’s like bathing in liquid silk, making one’s hair and skin feel like velvet.
Buckeye is home to numerous civic clubs and community organizations. These organizations are devoted to creating strong ties, providing leadership, and helping the needy.
Buckeye’s faith community is as strong and vibrant as ever. You will find a deep commitment to spiritual growth and sense of community in our residents. The region is home to various denominations, and local worship facilities strive to serve and enrich the lives of all participants. Religious leaders encourage worship, provide guidance, and offer assistance to those in need.