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Old 11-03-2009, 01:56 AM
 
9,027 posts, read 9,595,572 times
Reputation: 6419
Quote:
Originally Posted by yukon View Post
Hopefully, Phoenix will take after Dallas rather than Detroit in future growth. This is not a dig against Detroit, but a comment based on business growth and diversification over several decades.

I lived in AL in the late 70's, lots of people were moving to AL from Detroit. Why? No jobs - auto industry in a slump. Fast forward to the 80's. Again, lots of people moving from Detroit to AL and other states. Why? No jobs - auto industry having problems. Lather, rinse and repeat for the 90's and mid-2000's.

I moved to Dallas in the 80's. I believe the insurance industry crashed first in Dallas, mid 80's?. Ouch, lots of jobs went away as insurance was a huge industry in Dallas. Fast forward to late 80's, savings & loan debacle. Yep, lots of jobs lost and a good bit of unemployment. Then we have the 90's, I believe that time it was real estate development and related industry that died. Followed by the dot.com bust in the late 90s, and telecom in early 2000 or so (I may be off a few years here and there). Point is, though, by the time the dot.com bust hit, followed by the telecom bust, the overall economy of Dallas was not as severely affected as it had been by the busts in the 80s and 90s. The difference? Dallas got smart and started courting other industries and helping small business develop. They reduced their dependency on one major industry.

And yes, Dallas did have a housing bust, so did Houston, mid 80s maybe? Neither city really bubbled like Phoenix, but they overbuilt and had the apartment/condo conversion craze. Properties purchased for investment in once nice areas lost significant value as the areas were abandoned and values plummeted. I prepared many a tax return for clients who took a beating when they sold their investment properties.

I'm looking from afar, and it appears to me the housing and finance bust is causing business developers in Phoenix to wake up and start thinking diversify. Your state, county and city leaders are starting to do what they can to offer incentives for business to relocate or start up in AZ, and I think in time it will pay off.

Detroit, it seems, never learned the meaning of diversify.
This is a good post. I'm critical of Dallas in nearly every regard with the exception of their economy and schools. I lived there for 3 years and Dallas' success has a lot to do with simple things like proper planning and attitudes. Dallas and Oklahoma City were similar in that they relied on the oil industry. What separates those two is Dallas thought long-term and diversified its economy while OKC didn't. Even in the 80's, Dallas' economy was strong because it invested in trucking and the airline industry. DFW airport wasn't built to accomodate a perceived large international crowd in Dallas. DFW airport was created with the idea of competing with Chicago's Ohare and Denver's Stapleton airport to be another major hub in the central part of the country. They didn't adopt the typical reactionary Phoenix attitude of "Well we don't have the demand so we can't build a large airport right now" They were progressive and thought ahead and built it's airport knowing it would lead to development and it surely did. It lured international flights and carriers. American Airlines moved it's headquarters there. In the 90's, the city got involved with telecom and consulting. It's this aggressive and ambitious goal to compete and not settle on one industry that has allowed the city to prosper.
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Old 11-03-2009, 08:17 AM
 
2,268 posts, read 3,540,334 times
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It all depends on who is elected mayor and city council, plus do the voters support their police.
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
16,885 posts, read 19,959,238 times
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I'm looking from afar, and it appears to me the housing and finance bust is causing business developers in Phoenix to wake up and start thinking diversify. Your state, county and city leaders are starting to do what they can to offer incentives for business to relocate or start up in AZ, and I think in time it will pay off.

Nothing new there. They always THINK diversification during bad times. They talk the talk, that's for sure. But when things pick up again, it all seems forgotten. We've been down this road time and again and I suspect it is not the last time. Our "leaders" (what an insult!) are the developers. They have always had a penchant for picking the low-hanging fruit from the economic tree. In reality, little has changed.

Last edited by Ponderosa; 11-03-2009 at 09:15 AM..
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Avondale and Tempe, Arizona
1,618 posts, read 1,488,823 times
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I lived in Michigan, and I know firsthand that Detroit is worse, much much worse than even the poorest side of Phoenix.

Detroit used to have close to 2 million people during the height of the auto manufacturing days. It now has under 800,000 population and still shrinking. Nobody wants to live there anymore. The folks who still live there are pretty much stuck there.

At least Phoenix is growing, maybe not as fast as it once did, but it's still a far cry from Detroit.
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
16,885 posts, read 19,959,238 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Java Jolt View Post
I lived in Michigan, and I know firsthand that Detroit is worse, much much worse than even the poorest side of Phoenix.

Detroit used to have close to 2 million people during the height of the auto manufacturing days. It now has under 800,000 population and still shrinking. Nobody wants to live there anymore. The folks who still live there are pretty much stuck there.

At least Phoenix is growing, maybe not as fast as it once did, but it's still a far cry from Detroit.
I remember reading somewhere that Detroit was the the "Phoenix" of the 1950s and 60s. At its zenith, it grew even faster than Phoenix generating thousands upon thousands of new jobs like Phoenix area did until the recession hit. It was the envy of the country. It should serve as a lession to us.
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Inside the 101
1,526 posts, read 4,052,472 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azriverfan. View Post
Before anyone jumps to conclusions, this isn't meant to be an anti-Phoenix thread. Anyone who is familiar with me understands that I'm overly biased toward Phoenix and could be considered a "homer" if you will. I'm writing this just to start a thought provoking discussion that all of us (both Phoenix homers and haters) can engage in.

I've had these thoughts about Phoenix the last 2 years. My concern started in 2001. I had a very good friend who was an executive at a company here. He loved Phoenix but was forced to move because of his jobs. He told me in his own words "I love Phoenix but where are the jobs?" Like many people, he moved to Phoenix in the late 90's and worked for a start-up technology company. At that time, Phoenix had a lot of promise and people in Silicon Valley and other areas were moving to Phoenix to start up these companies. Fast forward to 2005. I was telling this same person about the risining housing prices and the increased growth in the valley. He responded in a similar way: "I love Phoenix and I would live there but where are the jobs? How are so many people moving there if there are no jobs there?" I thought he was being a little negative and could have just been responding out of bitterness because he was unable to find a job in Phoenix. Now it's 2009 and the job situation is even more grim. I had another conversation with him and he responded with this: "When the smoke and mirrors cleared with the construction boom, Phoenix was revealed for what it was, a city that was overpopulated and lacked the jobs to sustain that growth. I'm not suprised"

So my concern is what happens to all these people who lack jobs. In Detroit, you had White Flight in which the affluent Caucasian population including their jobs left for the suburbs. Are we going to see a similar Phoenix Flight in which a large portion of the population leaves the valley/Arizona. While that might seem like a good thing with regard to congestion, what happens to all these homes that were built? Do they become abandoned and then turn into drop houses and drug dealing breeding grounds? What happens to abandoned strip malls? I'm already seeing this trend as once affluent areas are starting to look run down. The Dobson Ranch/Fiesta Mall area reminds me of that. Near my home on Elliot and I-10, the north side of Elliot is essentially becoming abandoned.

I want to hear both sides of this discussion. I want to hear from those that refute this theory and support it. Again, I'm not here to start controversy or paint one side. So no personal attacks, just take this as a thought-provoking project. I'm sure even those who support this theory love Phoenix and want to see it do well so keep that in mind.
I think there's an apples-and-oranges comparison here. When it comes to Detroit, you're talking about white flight from the city to the suburbs. When it comes to Phoenix, you're stalking about vacancies all over the metro area. I'm not saying either problem is intrinsically worse that the other, but they're different.
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:04 AM
 
1,013 posts, read 1,533,570 times
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I lived in MI from 1997-2005. As much as I dislike Phoenix, it is no way turning into Detroit.
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
16,885 posts, read 19,959,238 times
Reputation: 8829
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverbear View Post
I think there's an apples-and-oranges comparison here. When it comes to Detroit, you're talking about white flight from the city to the suburbs. When it comes to Phoenix, you're stalking about vacancies all over the metro area. I'm not saying either problem is intrinsically worse that the other, but they're different.
We did have black flight here where the blacks moved out of south Phoenix as the hispanics moved in. There has been a huge transformation in the demographics in that part of town over the last couple decades.
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Old 11-03-2009, 11:27 AM
YAZ
 
Location: Phoenix,AZ
6,131 posts, read 6,480,313 times
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Phoenix will never turn into Detroit....the Cardinals have been to a Super Bowl.

While folks here are correct with their reasons of Motown's decline, I have to add another.

The corruption of Detroit's government. This has been going on for 40 years, and it's evident just driving through.
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Willo Historic District, Phoenix, AZ
1,640 posts, read 1,797,601 times
Reputation: 1544
I think that the discussion has moved away from the original thought. No one would suggest that the cities of Phoenix and Detroit are all that similar. We can (and people have) list those differences fairly simply. The similarities between the two metropolitan areas (not the cities) are more interesting. They are both essentially one-industry regions (cars there, growth here). They both seem to suffer during economic hardship, at which time there is a lot of talk about diversification. They both seem to go back to their primary pursuits once the economy improves. The notion that an economy based solely on auto manufacturing is sustainable has been more or less discredited. The question has to be asked as to whether or not Phoenix's growth-based economy is sustainable. Just how far out into the desert can we build before the whole thing collapses due to energy costs, dwindling water supplies, etc.? If you accept that this cannot go on forever then you begin to wonder if we ARE going to go the way of Detroit.
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