It turned out to be a prudent decision. 

/// 

These days David’s son Carson has 

joined his father and the two have worked to honor George’s legacy by building upon the work the brothers started. 

/// 

“It seemed that the work [my father] did was really creative and made a big impact on the community. He developed 
some really beautiful projects, so when I finished school, he and I talked about the possibility of me joining him in 
business,” Carson says. 

///

 Carson always knew there was an opportunity to work with his father but took a few years 

to work elsewhere before jumping into the family business. After graduating from Pepperdine, he worked for five years 
with San Diego developer, Kevin Kiernan, who also had Tucson ties. Then, during the Recession, he elected to leave 
California and come to work alongside his father. 

/// 

Whether it 

is George and David or David and Carson, family is at the center 
of everything at Cottonwood Properties. In fact, the name of the 
company’s preeminent developments – Dove Mountain and La 
Paloma – have familial roots. George favored the name La Paloma, 
which means “dove” in Spanish, as an homage to his Christian 
faith and he and David also chose the name because their father’s 
name Jonah means dove in Hebrew. 

///

 Carson’s actual first name 

is also Jonah, with Carson being his middle name. He has named 
his son Jonah as well.

Shining in Tucson

Initially, Cottonwood Properties found success in the Tucson 
market mostly in the commercial and multifamily sectors. The 
company bought and remodeled commercial properties in 
Tucson and also built and invested in apartment buildings. 

///

 The 

company’s first major project – and a sign of things to come – was 
the La Paloma resort community in the central foothills of Tucson 
in the early 1980s. The project included 800 acres of residential 
and commercial developments as well as the 500-room Westin La 
Paloma Resort and country club with 27 holes of golf designed by Jack Nicklaus. 

Father / Son 

PROFILE

22

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Cottonwood 
Properties is now 
working on the 

Dove Mountain master-planned community, a 6,200-
acre project that has been in the works for decades. 

/// 

The brothers first purchased the Dove Mountain land in 
1985 then sold the property a partner before purchasing 
it back in the mid-1990s. The company then had plans to 
build a Hyatt resort on the land. It got as far as drafting 
construction documents and talking with lenders, but 
then the tragedy of 9/11 hit and the project was put on 
hold. 

///

 It was not until the mid-2000s that a new future 

for the spot emerged. Cottonwood Properties began 
looking into the possibility of developing a new golf 
club to entice Accenture Match Play and the PGA Tour 
to leave San Diego for Tucson. The idea struck a chord 
with Ritz Carlton and eventually resulted in the creation 
of The Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain, which Cottonwood 
developed and now owns in partnership with HSL 
Properties. 

/// 

Since then, Cottonwood Properties has also 

developed The Ritz-Carlton Residences, luxury homes 
adjacent to the resort. The luxury residential market is 
challenging in Tucson, but Cottonwood’s product speaks 
for itself. 

/// 

“The market is certainly challenging, but 

we’ve found that if you build something great, people 
will always want it,” Carson says. While Dove Mountain 
includes a range of residences from luxury homes to 
starters, Cottonwood Properties residential development 
wing has focused on developing luxury residential 
properties. In addition to the Ritz-Carlton Residences, 
other residential developments created by Cottonwood 

in the Dove Mountain area include Tortolita Vistas and 
Canyon Pass. 

///

 Canyon Pass features custom homes 

located on estate lots in the 2,000-acre private canyon 
within Dove Mountain. Cottonwood Properties recently 
completed and sold a 5,000-square-foot spec home in 
the development for $1.8 million. 

///

 While the Dove 

Mountain master-planned community might seem like 
it would take up most of Cottonwood’s resources, the 
company has plenty of other projects in the works in 
the area as well, though it has no plans to develop any 
more golf courses in the area as Dove Mountain already 
features 81 holes. 

///

 The company has developed a 

series of industrial and commercial holdings in the Dove 
Mountain area, including the Tangerine Commerce Park 
that is located on 100 acres on Tangerine Farms Road. 
The park has already locked down one major tenant - 
Ventana Medical Systems. The company, which is owned 
by Roche, has a 60,000-SF building that will be used 
for light manufacturing and logistics. 

/// 

In the future, 

Cottonwood will look to further develop Tangerine 
Commerce Park and other land it owns in the area 
zoned for commercial and industrial uses. It also owns 
roughly 1,000 undeveloped acres in Dove Mountain that 
it plans to use for new residential offerings. 

/// 

“Tucson’s 

future is bright,” Carson says. “We have some great land 
holdings that we will continue to develop and, as always, 
we keep our eyes open for great new opportunities in 
our community.”