There has been a lot of building, restoration, and renovation of the downtown area. Examples of the vast amount of development that have been going on are the US Airways Center (formerly America West Arena) and Chase Field (formerly Bank One Ballpark) and the very many coffeehouses, restaurants, nightclubs and shopping areas appearing with increasing frequency. The popular Arizona Center continues to attract people to the downtown area for shopping during the day as well as for the vibrant nightlife. Many new restaurants have done well by offering first-rate food, fun, and service, some using the themes of Phoenix’s early history to add extra charm and uniqueness to the dining experience. Downtown attractions include a variety of events and activities supported by public and private sponsors. There are also many parks and squares to walk, the Arizona Science Center, art and history museums and the public library to visit.
Phoenix adopted a commission form of government in 1913. This is long before any other city had thought about using this type of method of city government, as most had never imagined any system other than the long-established major leadership system. The city of Phoenix is managed by a city council consisting of a mayor and eight city council members. The mayor is elected in an “at large (or election open to the public) election.
The winning candidate is elected to serve a four-year term. City council members are elected to four-year terms by voters as well, but each councilperson is voted for by, and to represent, each of the eight separate city districts. The mayor and city council members have equal voting power to make laws and set the policies that govern the city.
In addition to eight voting districts, the city is also divided into 15 “urban villages.” The reason for this is to help in making local laws and regulations that are in tune with the needs of the local residents. Having smaller areas that can express their needs and wants is intended to let people have their say at a level closer to the neighborhood residents
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These urban villages(Five of the villages: North Mountain Village, Alhambra Village, Encanto Village, Camelback East Village, and Central City Village, are included in Central Phoenix.) are: Ahwatukee Foothills, Alhambra, Camelback East, Central City, Deer Valley, Desert Ridge, Desert View, Encanto, Estrella, Laveen, Maryvale, North Gateway, North Mountain, Paradise Valley (not to be confused with the town of Paradise Valley), South Mountain, as well as a fifteenth which is as of yet unnamed (created in 2004 and currently called, “New Village.”). The fifteenth is sparsely populated and new development is not expected anytime in the near future.
All of these villages are unique and have special characteristics. Visit any of these five villages and the differences in history and personality will become immediately apparent to even the most casual observer. Phoenix is in the center of Arizona and it has a little of everything. Discover Phoenix, discover a unique part of America’s heritage.
West Phoenix (Growth and Opportunity)
The inner neighborhoods include many reasonably priced homes. Much of the residential building here is recent and took place no later than the 1970s. Shoppers in the west are catered to by a variety of large malls and pavilions that promise not only great selection and price but also provide free open-air entertainment like concerts and other attractions.
The west side continues to grow outward at an amazing rate. Visit charming Historic Downtown Glendale and see how life was in the area in days gone by. Antique vendors tempt visitors with their hidden treasures and the area affords a variety of shopping and diverse dining choices.
Cardinals Stadium is currently under construction in Glendale. The Fiesta Bowl is moving to the stadium in 2007 and the 2008 Superbowl (XLII) is slated to be held at Cardinal Stadium.
South Phoenix (Economy and Scenery)
This area features a lot of inexpensive housing. There is also a lot of commercial activity going on here. But for older adults and urban professionals, there is the gated community of Ahwatukee that provides upscale apartments.
Visitors are advised to take the South Mountain Park Scenic Drive while in this area. The beautiful sunsets that are the pride of Arizona and best enjoyed from a desert wilderness vantage point are seen so clearly from these mountains. An impressive shopping mall is located just across the freeway so that area residents can choose from an assortment of goods located very near to where they live.
Northwest (History and Recreation)
Out beyond Peoria and Glendale are the communities of Sun City, Sun City West, Youngtown, and Surprise. The Sun Cities and Youngtown are largely retirement communities and provide full-service to take care of the needs of resident retirees.
But while development is springing up all over the area is also remarkable for its natural beauty. Hikers will enjoy the White Tank Mountain Regional Park. These areas provide some of the best hiking and sight-seeing to be found anywhere.
East Side (Expansion and Diversity)
Nestled again Phoenix on the east is the town of Paradise Valley. Found to the Northeast of Phoenix, this area is popular with middle-class and wealthy residents. South of Paradise Valley is the neighborhood of Arcadia. Unlike most of Phoenix, Arcadia is filled with more mature landscape and citrus trees.
Just to the east of Paradise Valley is the well-known City of Scottsdale. The people who live there like to call it “The West’s Most Western Town.” Scottsdale housing and living is expensive as the area is made to serve those who are the wealthiest Phoenix residents.
Tempe, located south of Scottsdale, is primarily a college town. It is the home of Arizona State University and the Sun Devils. Local festivals, gatherings and a long list of other special events are extremely popular in this area. Arizona State University is the hub of this area.
Continuing further to the east is Mesa, Chandler, and Gilbert. The City of Chandler remained largely an agricultural community until the 1970’s when there was a big increase in settlement. Much of this area houses young families and middle-class professionals in traditionally styled housing developments.
Carl Chapman’s Phoenix Arizona Home Central™ is the main section to locate your property selection in Phoenix. You are surrounded by mountains that skirt the edges of Central Phoenix. Camelback Mountain sits in the east, Piestewa Peak (Squaw Peak) in the northeast, South Mountain in the south, and in the far distant west is the White Tank Mountains, and all of these amazing mountain ranges make the Central Phoenix’s desert oasis. Look around you. If you appear to be surrounded by this ring of mountains then you are considered to be in the heart of the Valley of the Sun. Situated in the middle of this remarkable range is Central Phoenix.
In every direction, there are wonderful cities and lovely towns full of happy people. Phoenix has it. They found it. Do you want it? They got it!
Central Phoenix Villages Phoenix has been recognized as “One of the Best Managed Cities” in the United States. The city has been broken down into 15 neighborhoods or villages. There are five villages (urban areas) that are included in the Central Phoenix area. These villages are: North Mountain Village, Alhambra Village, Encanto Village, Camelback East Village, and Central City Village. All of these villages are unique and have special characteristics. Phoenix is in Central Arizona.
The City of Scottsdale is to the east of downtown, the towns of Cave Creek and Carefree are north, and the City of Glendale, the gem of the valley, faces California with its back to the east. And you have to check out Arizona’s “Golden Corridor” encompassing several cities and towns. Golden sunlight, golden sand. Central Phoenix is in a unique spot. People who live here are a highly distinguishable lot. Residents are within minutes of most cities and towns in the Valley of Sun. It is easy to get around town when you live in Central Phoenix. And since Phoenix has it all, this means that you can get it all. Easily. So what are you waiting for?
There are numerous freeway choices. Both Interstate 17 and State Highway 51 (Piestewa Peak Freeway) run the entire length of the area, north and south. Interstate 10 also cuts through east and west. Central Phoenix residents don’t have to travel far because they’re so lucky- they’re right in the middle of everything! They did it so you can have it – you’re in Phoenix.
Central Phoenix Entertainment is great! The area is host to many restaurants, lots of shopping, theaters, museums, professional sporting events, and much more.
Phoenix is simply BOOMING! It is a city of well over 1, 2 00,000 people.
The Central Phoenix area is, by all empirical indicia, a true metropolitan city. The biggest draw to living in the Central Phoenix area is its proximity to many world-class restaurants and major sport venues. Just go to BOB (Bank One Ballpark) for Arizona Diamondback professional baseball games. The more intimate but no less accommodating America West Arena takes you in to see the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Rattlers, and Phoenix Mercury games.
So, do you prefer Mozart or Beethoven?
Herberger Theater provides dramatic presentations while that Phoenix Symphony Hall, Dodge Theater and Orpheum Theater provide symphonic performances of masterworks which are, in most cases, far more accessible than contemporary theater even attempts to be.
And then there are the Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix Science Center, Phoenix Civic Center, the Convention Center and much, much more. Phoenix is a big place; there is a little of everything here- you just may have to search a little bit.
The climate is typical of the southwest. There is a mild winter that is balanced by a long hot, dry summer. Many have claimed that the dry, hot summer conditions have helped to relive many of their allergy symptoms.
Summer days are clear and spectacular and the temperatures are truly remarkable. Spring and autumn are mild transitions into the other seasons. There is a brief monsoon season that is truly extraordinary.
Central Phoenix Properties
Phoenix is sixth largest city in the United States and Central Phoenix area is at the very core. It takes very little time to realize that no matter what your housing needs that the Phoenix home market is completely capable of meeting that need.
Properties in this area are diverse. Newly constructed lofts and condominiums are downtown and more and more units are becoming available every day to meet this growing demand.
There are also large acre sized properties with horse privileges and estates. Many of these are along the main street in Phoenix, called Central Avenue. Tall palm trees and old trees line the wide streets in several historic areas, such as Palmcroft and Willo.
There are also new home developments scattered throughout the city. There is something for everyone. To look at homes in the Central Phoenix area, click here.
So whether you needs are grand or modest, sophisticated or simple you can tie your horse to the hitching post and stop on in for a look what Phoenix living is like.
The spectacular amount of market activity in Arizona over the past decade has been well documented. People of all walks of life have been moving to Arizona, and particularly Phoenix, in numbers unmatched in recent memory.
Figures from 2000-2005 show nothing but increased construction, development, unit sales and unit sales prices in virtually every category of structure offered on the market.
The greatest degree of growth occurred during fiscal 2005, where previous growth statistics, impressive in their own rights, spiked sharply to even higher levels.
Of particular note to the residential home seller/buyer was the record appreciation in new and resale home values. These rates were up for new homes and resale units, rentals and condominium units, the only difference being one of degree.
While it is true that not all Phoenix area real estate markets showed the same amount of increase it is true that the degree of growth for each area was roughly proportional.
Then along came 2006 and equally well documented has been the decline in the rate of growth of some key market indicators. The greater Phoenix resale home market is showing marked decreases in sales figures for comparable periods last year across the valley and across most unit categories.
One interesting exception is median price for resale units has increased slightly. This rising price accompanied by a decrease in sales seems to be more in keeping with normal market tendencies. One would expect spectacular growth to lead eventually to a degree of scarcity that would be reflected in higher prices. Could this indicate that the market has reached its peak?
Let’s look at another indicator to see what it may tell us.
Since 1985, the Arizona Real Estate Center has computed what it calls “affordability indexes” for the Greater Phoenix area and several nearby cities.
The index was invented as a guide to predict market activity. When the index value is 100, the typical home buyer (based on the current median resale price and household income) would be able to afford a median-priced home at the stated effective interest rate. A lower index value indicates less availability of affordable single-family homes.
The affordability index for the areas selected for study shows significant reduction in the availability of that this type of housing within the means of the ordinary consumer.
Whether this data can be used as a reliable indicator for other groups and other types of housing is debatable, but it does beg the question “how much longer will the market be able to sustain a situation where both sellers and buyers can apparently benefit by getting involved in the market?
The short answer is that these conditions can remain so long as they are supported by the market.
So when we take a long look at the larger picture we must ask ourselves whether we can realistically expect to realize more potential gain or value now or at some time in the future and it is very reasonable to conclude that the best possible time to buy or sell Arizona really is now.
Central Phoenix History
The Hohokam Indians are thought to have settled this area over 2,000 years ago. They used the water from the Salt River to build irrigation ditches to support agriculture. Their community flourished for nearly 1,500 years, until they suddenly vanished. Nobody knows the reason for certain but not a lot is left to show they were still living here after that time. Even the name “Hohokams” is really and Indian phrase of the Pima Tribe that means “the people who have gone”. Even though they are gone we know that they were here because they left their network of ditches behind.
John Y.T. Smith was the first white settler in the area. He chose the site to start cutting hay because of the remains of the canal ditches left behind by the Hohokam Indians gave him the necessary supply of water he needed for framing. Smith knew a good thing when he saw it and quickly invited his friend Jack Swilling from Wickenburg to come out to his place. Jack also thought it very promising, liked the potential and formed a canal company here in 1867.
It is believed that Darrell Duppa, an educated Englishman came up with the name Phoenix.
The myth says that just as the Egyptian Phoenix rose from its ashes and flew, so might the Hohokams be reborn again. It is unclear what Duppa believed the resurrected braves would do once they discovered settlers on their land; but it makes for a great story anyway.
The growth of the town was slow and steady. Phoenix was filed as a town site in 1872. It was during this time that cotton became a main crop in the valley. In 1887, the railroad arrived in town. Then two years later Phoenix became the territorial capital. When the construction of the Roosevelt Dam was completed the town’s growth increased. The dam ensured that there was dependable source of irrigation water.
Arizona became a state in 1912, and Phoenix became the capitol. During the 1950’s Phoenix spread out 17 square miles. It was a small western town that was best known for its ideal climate for those suffering from asthma.
Up through the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s Phoenix was most famous for its climate, citrus fruits, copper, cotton and cattle ranching. But it wasn’t until the encroachment of World Phoenix really began to grow with War II. Arizona climate was great for flying and the air force and the defense industry headed to Phoenix to set up shop. Phoenix had the work force and the land needed to set up plants for creating a military buildup. After the war, families headed west to start a new beginning. Then air-conditioning became standard, which made the desert summers bearable. Today tourism has become a leading industry.
The Phoenix area or “Valley of the Sun” is a haven for winter visitors. Tourism also makes Phoenix a great place to live. There are numerous restaurants, shopping areas and recreational spots for all to enjoy.
The relaxed and casual living makes Phoenix a desirable place to live and visit. Phoenix has grown to over 430 square miles and continues to be a town of new opportunities and growth.
The list of places to go and things do is literally inexhaustible. The few items that follow are only for illustration and this is not a complete list. For more information got to a publication like the Arizona New Times.
Or, better yet, visit the official city website at http://www.phoenix.gov
For shoppers The Arizona Center is an outdoor mall with great restaurants and nightlife.
The Heard Museum is known around the world for its mission of preserving the Native American past. The museum does a tremendous job with its displays and outstanding artwork collections. Visitors will want to make it one of their stops to learn more about the history of the Southwest.
The Arizona Science Museum is the place to go if you have young ones. This hands-on museum allows children to experience scientific theories and be a part of the learning.
If shopping is your thing, then the Arizona Biltmore is the place for you. The Biltmore has upscale shops and wonderful restaurants.
Most will agree that Phoenix is the ideal place to start your excursions to other the parts of the state, although there is so much to see and do in town too. There are so many attractions in the Phoenix area; it is difficult to decide where to begin.
The Phoenix Zoo is a perfect place to go to see some interesting animals. There are camels, snakes, giraffes and the speckled bear. You will want to make a day of it.
Squaw Peak Park and North Mountain Park are both very popular hiking areas. Many people use these trails on a daily basis.
Papago Park is a wonderful place to see spectacular red rock formations. The views from the park of the city are terrific.
Encanto Park is a lush green park with meandering water ways located in the center of Phoenix. The children’s amusement park located at Encanto is a great place to take little ones.
Mc Dowell Mountain is a mountain preserve at the north of the valley and the Superstition Mountains in the east.
All of these mountains provide a spectacular scenic backdrop for the valley.
The Desert Sky Pavilion has many bands perform in its outdoor amphitheater.
There is seating for 18,000 and at least 50 major shows make there stop at the pavilion each year.
The Valley of the Sun, which is what the people call Phoenix these days, was not always the large, modern metropolitan area we see today. Today cars line the streets and people dash about for business and recreation as Sky Harbor sees a steady stream of passengers coming to, or going through, Phoenix from all over the world! Yes, the Phoenix of today is an emerging city, growing into the promise of a bright future for those who live, work, and play here.
The natural landscape provides nature-lover with rare chances to enjoy the countryside like no other they will ever find anywhere else in the world! Camelback Mountain and Squaw Peak are both not only landmarks, they are famous hiking spots as well And if you ever have the chance to hike these popular mountains’ ways you will likely meet other friendly hikers, like yourself, who could not resist the natural wonder of the area.
Less hiked, but no less beautiful are Estrella Mountain and South Mountain, which is a 12-mile wide chain of mountains that divides the valley from the Sonora desert to the south. Mc Dowell Mountain is a mountain preserve at the north of the valley and the Superstition Mountains in the east. All of these mountains provide a spectacular scenic beauty for the valley.
Located in Maricopa County and the capital of Arizona, Phoenix is the center of almost everything in Arizona- population, government, industry, finance, business, agriculture, fine arts, sports and much, much more.
Now this sparkling image of modern city life is not how things always were and there is a long and exciting history steeped in the lore of the legends of the legendary Old West. What you think of when you think of the western way of life with its rough-and-tumble way of life and hardy individualism is how western life was when Phoenix was young.
Phoenix, during the early days, as a small farming town. In fact, the images that come to mind from those oh-so-long-ago days are probably images of places, real or not, patterned after real-live cities and towns in the vast Arizona desert.
Phoenix is the state capital of Arizona and was incorporated as a city in, 1881. Phoenix is located in central Arizona in the southwestern United States, 118 miles northwest of Tucson. It is Arizona’s largest city and largest metropolitan area by population. It is also the county seat of Maricopa County and the principal city of the Phoenix metropolitan area. Phoenix is appropriately called Hoozdo, or “the place is hot”, in the Navajo language.
The City of Phoenix’s population is over 1.3 million and this makes Phoenix the largest capital city by population in the United States. Phoenix is the sixth-largest city in the United States and it is also the third-largest capital city by area in the U.S.
The 2000 U.S. Census reported the Phoenix Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) as the fourteenth largest in the U.S., with a population of 3,251,876. The city’s MSA grew in population to an estimated 3,790,000 in 2004. From 1990 and 2000, the city area grew by 34 percent. This makes it the eighth fastest-growing metropolitan area in the U.S.
Just as the mountains surround the valley, so there are a number of cities that surround Central Phoenix. In every direction, there are a variety of cities and towns, and each has its own unique history and character. The City of Scottsdale is to the east, the towns of Cave Creek and Carefree to the north, the City of Glendale to the west. Then there is “Arizona’s Golden Corridor”. This is an area that is made up of several cities and towns that winds gradually southward down toward the direction of Tucson.
The closeness to so many other interesting of interest give Phoenix residents a special advantage Central Phoenix dwellers are literally within minutes of most cities and towns located in the Valley of Sun.
So how did this glittering city by the lake get started? And what could life have been like in those early days?
Forward toward the future
The arrival of the railroad in 1887 was the first of several important events that revolutionized the economy of Phoenix. The coming of the railroad in the 1880s caused more growth as travel to, and through, Phoenix was made easier. Merchandise now flowed into the city by rail instead of a wagon.
Phoenix became a trade center with its products reaching eastern and western markets Commercial traffic from east to west also saw the growth of the hospitality industry and of other businesses that catered to the needs caused by increased traffic. In recognition of the increased tempo of economic life, the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce was organized.
Two years later Phoenix became the territorial capital. When the construction of the Roosevelt Dam was completed the town’s growth increased. This is because the dam guaranteed a reliable supply of freshwater to support the additional demand caused by the increase in population and farm irrigation.
In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the National Reclamation Act making it possible to build dams on western streams for reclamation purposes. Valley of the Sun residents were quick to supplement this federal action by organizing the Salt River Valley Waters Users’ Association to assure proper management of the precious water supply and to this day it serves as the major agency for controlling the use of irrigation water in the Valley.
In 1911, the Theodore Roosevelt Dam was built to create the Roosevelt Lake. At the time this dam was the largest masonry dam project in the world and it created expanded irrigation of land in the Valley for farming and increased the water supply for the steadily growing population.