New Owner Formally Submits Plans to Transform the Smoke Tree Property into Boutique Hotel

Article originally posted on HERE on March 10, 2023

After much public outreach, Scottsdale-based Walton Global, a real estate investment and land asset management company with US$3.4 billion under management, has submitted an application with the Town of Paradise Valley to redevelop the old Smoke Tree Resort near Scottsdale Road and Lincoln Drive in Paradise Valley.

The development team was sensitive to the needs and concerns of the surrounding area and its residents which is why it held two major public events to gain input and feedback.

The result is a proposed 82-room boutique resort with two culinary concepts– an all-day market bistro and a dinner-only fine dining restaurant, spearheaded by acclaimed local Chef Matt Carter, restaurateur and partner of The Mission, Zinc Bistro & Fat Ox. Both would provide a welcoming space for locals and visitors which is why the developers have labeled this project the “Living Room of Paradise Valley.”

The application was submitted February 17th to the Town of Paradise Valley.

The Smoke Tree Resort was originally built in 1954. It enjoyed a storied heyday but as the decades passed and trends changed, the resort fell into disrepair and eventually into bankruptcy. It has been shuttered for several years and its restaurant has been vacant for more than 10 years.

The property continued to deteriorate, creating a prominent eyesore facing Lincoln Drive.

Walton Global purchased the five-acre property in June 2022 with the intent of creating a modern boutique resort that respects and reflects Paradise Valley’s history.

In addition to boutique guest rooms and two new dining experiences, the proposal also calls for:

  • A centralized pool and amenity area surrounded by guest rooms.
  • Five guest casitas with private plunge pools.
  • Landscaping to create shaded pedestrian-focused spaces.
  • Underground parking.

The application DOES NOT include controversial elements that have challenged Smoke Tree and other hotel redevelopments in the past such as roof top bars, condominiums, for-sale units, and excessive height and density.

“I have lived in Paradise Valley for 15 years. The area deserves to see this once grand property transformed into an upscale and welcoming resort and culinary experience that reflects the high standards of Paradise Valley, its residents, and its visitors. We heard the same thing from the hundreds of residents who attended our two major public events to seek input about what should be done at Smoke Tree,” said Walton Global Executive Vice President Matt Keister.

“It’s long past time for this neglected property in Paradise Valley to be revitalized and reimagined. I love these plans for a tasteful, beautiful boutique hotel inclusive of a new restaurant by a group we all know and respect,” said Clay Coady, a Paradise Valley resident and owner of the neighboring Applewood Pet Resort

The redevelopment was designed by “best in class” professionals including Allen-Philp, an architectural firm based in Scottsdale with an exceptional hotel portfolio that includes The Sanctuary, The Boulders, Fairmont Princess, and several other award-winning hotel properties.

“This is a win for all concerned. As the gateway to the town, we are excited to see this site revived with a modern boutique resort designed with input from neighbors and designed with residents as well as visitors in mind. Our goal is to establish this property as ‘Paradise Valley’s Living Room’ and bring new life to this special place,” said Walton Global CEO Bill Doherty.

Walton Global is a privately-owned, leading land asset management and global real estate investment company that concentrates on the research, acquisition, administration, planning, and development of land. With more than 44 years of experience, Walton has a proven track record of administering land investment projects within the fastest growing metropolitan areas in North America. The company manages and administers US$3.4 billion in assets on behalf of its global investors located in 73 countries, builders and developers and industry partners. Walton has ~93,000 acres of land under ownership, management, and administration, making up ~164 masterplans in the United States and Canada with business lines ranging from exit-focused pre-development land acquisition, land development, builder land financing and build-to-rent.