KODAK Digital Still CameraSilverado was to be a shining new community for north-west Arizona. Situated just off US-93, outside Kingman, the 5000-acre site would have homes (around 113 luxury dwellings would stand on their own two-and-a-half acre plots), parks with barbecue grills and an 18-hole golf course designed by Forrest Richardson. Neighborhood communities were planned with 12,000 homes, schools, a fire station, shops and a sewage plant. ‘The quiet beauty of the surrounding desert’ would, said the developers, ‘enhance life’s daily experiences.’

And then, in 2008, the housing market crashed and so did the plans for Silverado. The owners applied to the Mohave County Board of Supervisors to rezone 1400 acres residential to general commercial/highway frontage to build the Albiasa solar plant. Although, despite controversy over how much groundwater this would use, the county approved the zoning in 2009, Albiasa never applied to the Arizona Corporation Commission for approval and the project was never built.

Just over three years ago, the Board of Supervisors unanimously denied allowing developers more time to meet the conditions of rezoning the property, putting the nail in the coffin for any future commercial development. You can still see the road layout on Google maps, although many of those roads are overgrown or with huge washes now bisecting them.

Today Silverado is returning to the desert. The dozen or so luxury houses that were built stand empty, some with their windows intact, some open to the elements. Many of these houses were days from completion, with their garage doors and light bulbs fitted. Some fittings have been removed but they’re surprisingly unvandalized. All that remains of the so-called dream community are these mouldering houses that never saw life and some faded boards along the highway exhorting people to buy land at Silverado Ranch.

15 thoughts on “THE TOWN THAT NEVER WAS

    • Yes, it is. They’ve been using that website address for a long time, although it does appear to be have been updated. Land has been sold up there – land will always be sold anywhere – but the ‘town’ still remains a few empty houses and some platted roads.


    • Hi George, I don’t know if this is an old site but just thought I’d ask.. when you say couplex, do you mean near the Silverado homes that were being built? My husband and I are just curious because we were told no one could by any of them and they were being tore down. We are moving to kingman soon and have been trying to find something to just enjoy the rest of our years together and nothing more.


  1. Such a shame. If they had made it a nice affordable retirement development, they would have been able to market it to folks in the big cities like was done with many places in Florida back in the 60’s and 70’s.


  2. One potential problem only became obvious after the plans were done and they started building; parts of the development were apparently home to the dumping of radioactive waste back in the mid 20th century, resulting in no one wanting to live there. While the radiation levels will keep decreasing over time, right now, it simply isn’t safe. So it remains barren.

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  3. I seen this place in july 2008. The homes were still very very intact and had stuff ready to work on them just waiting including paint. garage doors in the garage. Painting supplies blinds to be hung. I remember seeing fans, Fridge and stove in one it looked like it was a model or was to be. Right off the highway is a large home that was the office as well as a home being built across the streey which was vandalized by that time. Someone was living in the office at that time. I was there was like 9-11 more homes towards the road that have been demolished.


  4. I just recently went to visit the homes that are left standing there. They are still in good structure. Needs a lot of work. Despite the vandalism they’re beautiful.


  5. I can’t find records of any dump site or any legal info on radioactive waste dumping. just was out there a few months ago. it is a high dollar drag strip on the paved asphalt in front of the standing homes. And if there was a waste dumping site, with todays laws it would need to be posted and fenced off. so find it hard to believe. but hey I have been known to be wrong. looks like it could be a great community today for retired people. just needs someone to invest some money to get it moving again.


  6. My father in law bought property in Paradise Acres just south of this location. I now own both of them. It is just north of old Route 66 near Sacramento. One can see this property’s designatrd roads and golf course on google maps. I hope my grandchildren can use the land someday.

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