Mohave County
May 2024
Volume 24 Issue 3

Emerald Bay development project causing a stir in Bullhead City

Business, Journal, March 2024 | 0 comments

March 2024

BULLHEAD CITY — A potential development project that could transform an undeveloped swath of land into a bustling residential community is causing a stir in Bullhead City. The project, dubbed Emerald Bay, is proposed by developer S3 Group and could include hundreds of homes, a marina, a golf course, and a hotel. “As with all projects, we are cautiously optimistic about the outcome of this exciting new addition to the city,” Mackenzie Covert, Bullhead City public information officer, told local news.

However, the proposed development has hit a snag. Approximately four acres of the land earmarked for the Emerald Bay project is currently owned by the Colorado River Union High School District (CRUHSD) and is being used as a dirt parking lot. The developer approached the school district with a proposal for a land exchange, which has sparked a debate among the district’s board members.

“We met with them over the weekend and what they offered, is that they would take … our four acres in the back of our dirt parking lot, they want all of that,” CRUHSD board president Richard Cardone revealed at a recent board meeting. The proposed exchange would see CRUHSD receiving 1.5 acres near a water holding tank owned by the school district by the Fieldhouse, which could then be developed into a three-acre parking lot.

Cardone expressed dissatisfaction with the proposal, stating, “I told them, I understand low-ball offers — but I also understand insults, too. I don’t know which one that was.”

His sentiments were echoed by other board members, who questioned the wisdom of the deal. “We are absolutely on the track of needing more space and needing more land ourselves, so why would we contemplate getting rid of land?” board member Ashley Gerich asked.

Board member Carey Fearing noted the attractiveness of the land to investors due to a new bridge nearing completion and stated that the district “holds all the cards” in any negotiations. The board has since instructed the district administration to research the costs of acquiring between five and 15 acres of state land west of the Fieldhouse for possible expansion. “Let’s not be greedy by any means, but let’s be proactive and protect our own,” Fearing advised.

The proposed land exchange has not yet been formally presented to the governing board, but it may be in the future. The board voted that any future negotiations with S3 Group be done in public at a board meeting. S3 Group is expected to present its plans to the Planning and Zoning Commission in April.

Covert explained that if approved, S3 Group would need to refine the details of the plans and potentially bring more items for approval to the Bullhead City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission. The outcome of this potential development remains uncertain, but it is clear that the decision will have significant implications for the future of Bullhead City

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