Sun City West Overview

Sun City West is a 16,900-home community 2.5 miles west of the original Sun City Arizona. Del Webb constructed the community between 1978 and 1997 and it is favored by home buyers who want reasonably priced homes in a large amenity-laden active adult golf course community.

After the completion of the incredibly popular Sun City Arizona community in 1978, Del Webb Corporation purchased a large tract of land to the northwest and began construction on Sun City West. The newer community incorporates many of the same popular active adult attractions as Sun City, but on a slightly smaller scale.

With the knowledge the Del Webb Corporation gained on the original community, they were able to design a community that matched the needs for an evolving retirement population. This active adult community includes the perfect mix of amenities and activities that cater to active adults who want to stay physically and socially active. The community was designed to intertwine with a variety of retail stores and shopping centers. Most residents find that all of their shopping needs can be accomplished via the golf-cart-legal streets. Within the community, residents have convenient access to supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, restaurants, post offices, churches and Del E. Webb Hospital.

Sun City West Amenities

This 55+ community includes an enviable lineup of amenities that includes four recreation centers, nine golf courses and nine restaurants. The recreation centers house a variety of attractions such as indoor and outdoor pools, state-of-the-art fitness centers, indoor and outdoor walking tracks, ballrooms, dance studios, hobby and craft rooms, computer lab, Stardust Theater, concert hall and library.

The R.H. Johnson Center is spread across 48 acres and includes six activity areas with 118,000 square feet of amenities under one roof. It is the largest activity center in Arizona. The Palm Ridge Center clubhouse has three pools including one outdoor and two indoor, plus a large fitness center, tennis courts, indoor walking track, ballroom and club rooms. The Beardsley Center features an Olympic-size indoor pool, fitness center, club and meeting rooms, mini-golf course, horseshoes, greenhouse and a park with shady picnic pavilions. A fourth clubhouse, the Kuentz Center includes an exercise room, outdoor pool, tennis courts, walking track, softball field, club and meeting rooms, woodworking shop and the Stardust Theatre.

The grounds are adorned with amenities that beckon for residents to come out and enjoy the Arizona sunshine. Numerous tennis, bocce ball, pickleball and shuffleboard courts are dotted throughout the community. Additionally, the community has a softball field, lawn bowling rinks, volleyball and basketball courts, walking trails, garden plots and dog parks.

Sun City West Homes & Real Estate

There are a wide variety of housing styles to match the preferences and budgets of almost any buyer. Throughout the 19-year construction of the community there were over 140 different models offered. Homebuyers can select from single-family homes or attached homes. The single-family homes range in size from 800 to over 4,600 square feet. Attached homes include a variety of ranch villas and apartment-style flats that range from about 760 to 1,880 square feet.

As expected, some of the homes in the community that were built in the early years tend to show their age. More recently, however, many homes have been updated or remodeled with more modern floor plan layouts and desirable finishes. Buyers in the community are most attracted to the affordability of the homes. It is an ideal community for buyers who prefer price and location over new construction.

Sun City West Lifestyle

There are over 100 chartered clubs and interest groups represented in this 55+ community. Regardless of your passion, you are likely to find other like-minded residents who share similar interests. In addition to the many clubs and interest groups, the community hosts an exciting lineup of fun activities that include fitness classes, continuing education classes, parties and organized trips to area attractions.

The majority of the community is unincorporated and without schools. As a result, residents enjoy some of the lowest property taxes in the nation. Plus, a large volunteer organization in the community helps maintain the grounds, organize events, teach classes and staff community buildings. The incredible volunteerism in the community helps keep the yearly association fees to a reasonable low cost.


Sun City West is situated 19 miles northwest of downtown Phoenix in Arizona. Within nine miles, residents can enjoy the Arrowhead Mall, Challenger Space Center, West Valley Art Museum, Wildlife World Zoo, Arizona State University-West, Rio Salado College and Lake Pleasant. Plus, sports enthusiasts will enjoy the proximity to sporting venues hosting local teams such as the Cardinals (NFL), Coyotes (NHL) and several Major League Baseball spring training camps.

  • 1971-72: Del E. Webb Development Co purchased 13,000 acres west of Sun City, including the Circle One Ranch, for future development
  • January 1975: John Meeker, president of DEVCO, announced plans for a second active adult community (Sun City West) to be built on that land
  • February 15, 1978, some 500 civic and business leaders attend the official ground breaking for Sun City West – held one-half mile north of Bell Road on an extension of Dysart Road, due to a lack of accessible roads within the new community. Dignitaries in attendance included  Arizona Gov. Wesley Bolin, U.S. Sen. Dennis DeConcini, DEVCO Chairman R.H. Johnson, DEVCO President John Meeker, and J.G. Boswell VP and G.M. Hank Raymond.
  • Oct. 16, 1978: Luman and Mary Wick from Topeka, Kan.; and Edward and Clarice Uhl from Alameda, Calif., pick up their keys and become the first residents of Sun City West.
  • Feb. 17, 1979: Hillcrest Golf Course opens
  • March 1979: R.H. Johnson Social Hall Opens
  • September 1979: Pebblebrook Golf Course opens
  • Oct. 16, 1979: R.H. Johnson Library opens
  • Feb. 22, 1980: Bell Road Bridge over the Agua Fria River collapses into flood waters, closing the bridge.
  • Sept. 12, 1980: Sundome Center for Performing Arts opens
  • November 1980: Stardust Golf Course opens
  • 1982: back 9 holes open at Briarwood Golf Course
  • December 1984: Grandview Golf Course opens
  • June 3, 1985: Beardsley Park opens
  • Feb. 10, 1989: Kuentz Rec Center opens
  • 1992: DEVCO announces plans for Expansion Area, adding 1,335 acres and  6,000 to 6,400 people
  • January 1994: Deer Valley opens
  • May 27, 1994: Palm Ridge Rec Center opens
  • February 1995: Desert Trails opens
  • August 1998: the last two new Sun City West homes were sold
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