Yuma Sun - Visiting In Yuma



In 1958,Henry H.“Hank”Schechert earned his real estate broker’s license and forever changed the desert landscape east of Yuma.

He bought 160 acres,drilled a well and began selling raw land along 40th Street.

So began what grew to become the Foothills, the sprawling residentia­l and commercial area that straddles Interstate 8 on the west side of the Gila Mountains. At one time, many or most of the Foothills residents were winter visitors,but recent decades have seen a surge in the number of year-round residents. With a year-round population estimated at more than 20,000 today, the Foothills remains an unincorpor­ated community that receives its services from Yuma County government.

To keep up with the demands of growth, the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office opened a new substation on South Frontage Road just east of Foothills Boulevard. And next to the substation is a new Foothills branch of the county’s library system.Apart from the public services provided by the county, Far West Water & Sewer provides water and sewer service to residents, while Rural/Metro provides fire protection.

The population growth over the decades led to developmen­t not only recreation­al vehicle parks to serve winter visitors,but residentia­l subdivisio­ns,shopping centers occupied by both locally owned and chain stores and restaurant­s, churches,and two golf courses.

Commercial developmen­ts include the Pioneer Shopping Center, situated on the southwest corner of Fortuna Road and the South Frontage Road; the Fortuna Commons Shopping Center, located on the southeast corner of the same intersecti­on; the Yuma East Shopping Center on Fortuna Road,and the shopping center at Foothills and South Frontage Roads.

Popular events in the Foothills include the Hank Days Parade every February.The event pays tribute to Schechert – who died in 1998 – as the area’s founder.

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