Scottsdale is a city in Maricopa County that is part of the Phoenix metropolitan area. It was formally incorporated in 1951 and experienced immediate population growth. Today, the city has more than 258,000 residents, having grown by more than 40,000 residents in the last decade alone.
Scottsdale, long known as the “West’s Most Western Town,” has matured into one of the premier examples of the new west–urbane, sophisticated, and cultured. Scottsdale’s quality lifestyle includes well-planned living, working, and shopping areas. The city’s emphasis on mountain preservation and protection of its rich desert areas is recognized nationally. Scottsdale is also known for its architectural and landscape design excellence and rich cultural, business, and recreational environments.
As Arizona’s sixth-largest city, it has a reputation for being a modern, fast-paced hub of commerce and entertainment. It has been called the Miami South Beach of the desert thanks to its many thriving nightclubs, bars, and restaurants. It is also home to numerous art galleries and museums that draw tourists to Scottsdale.
Scottsdale is characterized by a hospitality industry serving both business and leisure visitors. The Scottsdale economy today contains, in addition to its resorts, a diverse mix of financial services from banking to insurance and investment; business services from advertising and public relations to software development; computer services to market research and consulting; professional services from major health care providers anchored by Scottsdale Memorial Health Systems and the world-renowned Mayo Clinic to attorneys, accountants, architects and engineers; a network of galleries that puts Scottsdale among the top art markets in the nation; administrative offices from corporate headquarters of companies and associations to regional offices and marketing offices of larger organizations; a vibrant retail sector whose market extends well beyond the borders of Scottsdale; and a manufacturing sector anchored by Motorola in the southern part of the city and by hundreds of small to medium-sized companies in the Scottsdale Airpark.
Few places can provide as many cultural opportunities as are available in Scottsdale. Within an easy driving distance are numerous high-level dramatic, dance and musical productions, art exhibits, and performances by the Scottsdale Symphony Orchestra. Scottsdale is noted throughout the country for its creative approach to city planning. Running the length of the city is the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt, a 7.5-mile-long flood control project that uses a system of parks, lakes, and golf courses as an alternative to a conventional concrete channel. This greenbelt offers end-less recreational opportunities including fishing, sailing and other sports. In addition, the city is the winter home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team.
Scottsdale spans an area of 184.4 square miles. It shares its borders with other cities and municipalities in the Greater Phoenix area.
For example, it shares its western border with the cities of Phoenix and Paradise Valley, as well as unincorporated areas of Maricopa County. Its western border is shared by the city of Carefree.
The northern border of Scottsdale extends to the Tonto National Forest while the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community occupies its southern border. It is served by the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Its downtown is located 21 miles southwest of Phoenix.
The real estate market in Scottsdale offers a combination of single-family homes, condominiums, townhouses and undeveloped lots of land. The average home price is $532,000, which breaks down to a price of $272 per square foot. Because the real estate market is so in demand here, the average home price is significantly higher than the Phoenix average home price of $269,000 or $169 per square foot.
Single-family homes in Scottsdale range in size from two to three bedrooms and higher. Modest homes span around 1500 square feet while larger, more upscale homes can be as large as 4000 square feet, if not more.
Scottsdale is home to dozens of public parks, including Camelback Park, which has open spaces and walking and biking trails. There is also Thunderbird Park, which has playgrounds, picnic areas, and trails for walking and bicycling.
Scottsdale is served primarily by the Scottsdale Unified School District. It has 33 public schools, including five high schools, for area students. There are also five colleges in Scottsdale, including Scottsdale Community College, which is located on the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Reservation in 1970.
Scottsdale has one public library system. There are four branches located throughout the city.
A portion of Highway 101 runs north and south through Scottsdale. It connects to Highway 202 south of the city. It also transects Highway 51and Interstate 10 west of Scottsdale.
Within Scottsdale itself, several city routes connect to Highway 101. For example, drivers can take East Shea Boulevard east or west to intersect the highway close to the Scottsdale Fiesta Shopping Center and HonorHealth Scottsdale Shea Medical Center.
In North Scottsdale, they can intersect Highway 101 by taking Hayden Boulevard and East Bell Road. The intersection for the highway is located close to the Hilton Garden Inn.
In 1888 an army chaplain named Winfield Scott came to an area that is now Scottsdale to look at real estate. He decided to buy a piece of land. The land he purchased stretched from, what is today Haden Road to Scottsdale Road and then Chaparral to Indian School. The land purchase was made through the Desert Land Act, which required the owner to irrigate the land within three years of holding the land. So Scott planted Olive Trees. Many can still be seen today in downtown Scottsdale in the center of Second Street and down Civic Center Boulevard south down to Osborn. He planted these trees to indicate the border of his original 40-acre orange grove.
Then in 1893, Winfield convinced his brothers Winfield and George Scott to come out and help him with the task of irrigating. The next year, eastern banker Albert Utley bought land south of Winfield and asked him to take care of the land he had subdivided that the name of the town became Scottsdale.
After World War II, the area grew into a small artist’s enclave. You can still see remnants of the days when the area was alive with creativity in the dusty relics lining roads and populating pawn shop shelf space.
The first school in Scottsdale opened in 1910 with 16 students. Scottsdale received its first post office in 1910. The individuals that first moved to town did not want trouble and soon voted for prohibition. Scottsdale also had farmed. Residents grew citrus, peanuts, and cotton.
The town became an artist haven after World War II. Artists came to the area because they fit in with the other townspeople. It wasn’t until 1920 when electricity first arrived that the town began to bloom. Scottsdale has continued to grow because of its hospitality and its Southwest flavor.