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Old 04-04-2007, 09:38 PM
jco jco started this thread
Location: Austin
2,121 posts, read 6,235,833 times
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Let's each take a city in AZ that we're very familiar with and list specifics about them for the newbies. I guess there are a lot of questions about schools, crime, housing prices, economy, culture, air quality, good food, shopping, commute time, and good neighborhoods. I guess the success relies on objective posts!

I'll take Surprise, since I live here!

Weather: We're often a few degrees warmer than Phoenix.
Schools: Struggling because of the rapid growth, but I'm confident that this will even out. There is a school (I'm not sure if it's charter or private, but there's no tuition) that has a good reputation for their K-8 program. It's call Paradise Education Center (I've heard it referred to as PH school, too). The other charter schools out here seem to attract otherwise would-be drop-outs. Valley Vista HS and Willow Canyon HS are the better high schools. Willow Canyon has an IB program, but Valley Vista has the better overall reputation.
Commute: The worst thing about Surprise IMHO. If you work in the area, it's not bad, but when you're commuting out of Surprise during rush-hour it can be a nightmare! It generally takes 45 to 75 minutes, depending on how bad traffic is. I find that taking Olive is the fastest way out of here. Bell Road has greatly improved in the last few months, but during snow-bird season, it backs up a bit.
Food: I do like My Daddy's Bakery on Bell. Not technically in Surprise, but close. It's an Italian deli and bakery. My other choice is Babbo's... SO good and affordable Italian food. My fav chain restaurant here is El Paso BBQ. For a good, local coffee shop, check out Over Coffee on Greenway and the 303.
Shopping: All the typical suburb shopping (Target, Pier 1, Michaels, Best Buy, Barnes N Nobles, Starbucks, etc.) We do have a mall (by Cotton Ln.) and Desert Ridge-like shopping center coming (construction begins this year). There's also a bowling alley, movie theater, and restaurants going up right now on Litchfield and Waddell.
Air quality: terrible, just like Phoenix.
Economy: Growing and strong! Lots of healthcare and retail jobs right now.
Crime: Very low crime, although El Mirage, very near, has a lot of crime associated with Hispanic communities. I haven't heard of any issues in Surprise, though. I guess this is one advantage of being difficult to get to... some of the problems you want to stay away from don't come out here!
Housing prices: Comparing to Phoenix, they're very low right now because so many investors are trying to get rid of the houses they built. Resale houses are going for really cheap because the market is saturated. You'll pay 225-245k for an 1,800 square foot home in my area.
Good neighborhoods: Marley Park is a nice gated community. I like Sierra Verde, Royal Ranch, and Surprise Farms. The further west you go, the longer the commute is into Phoenix. I would try to stay west of Litchfield, because east of that is where the first Surprise boom took place (originally selling for under 100k). Also, it's very close to El Mirage. I'm sure there are some nice pockets, but I wouldn't choose to live there when I can go west for the same price! But again, too far west just packs on the commute! Also, I'd stay south of Bell to stay away from Sun City (I hear the elderly can be crabby when you're that close to em!). I've heard that communities like Rancho Gabriela, West Point, and Sierra Montana have a lot of renters.
Culture: Heh. We're a city of transplants, and we don't have one set culture. We're not really close to much, so several Californians have moved here, realized that night life isn't a hop, skip, and a jump away, and moved right on back to CA. But, it is closer to the I-10 and further west, so I guess this is an attraction to those that still have family in CA.
Stuff to Do
We have the Heard museum out here now. Surprise center on Bullard has a pool/waterslide, library, fishing pond, huge playground. There's also a Spring Training center where the Royals and Rangers play. Lots of shopping and parks around. Other than this, we drive into other cities, but like I said, that'll change very soon.

Last edited by jco; 10-25-2007 at 11:31 PM.. Reason: Prices have dropped. :)
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Old 04-05-2007, 10:32 AM
Location: Montana
2,203 posts, read 8,934,857 times
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Default Low-down on Prescott

Originally Posted by jco View Post
Let's each take a city in AZ that we're very familiar with and list specifics about them for the newbies. I guess there are a lot of questions about schools, crime, housing prices, economy, culture, air quality, good food, shopping, commute time, and good neighborhoods. I guess the success relies on objective posts!
What a nice idea! Especially if the input comes from those actually living in the city they're offering feedback on. It will be nice to have some objective info, and some positive input (like what's nice about an area - not just a gripe session about everything we hate about an area )

Weather: Four seasons. Fairly mild. Summer temps seldom reach 100 and cool at night into low 60's. Winter temps - highs around 45-55, lows usually in the 20's-30's. Occasional snow that melts within the day. Worst months - May/June when it's extremely dry and windy = Fire season.
Schools: I'm not an expert on this one, but supposedly Prescott has some of the best public schools in AZ and one or two good private schools, too.
Commute: Avoid Hwy 69 between Prescott/PV during rush hour. However, unless there's a wreck, it still only takes 1/2 hr to get from downtown Prescott to Dewey (5 mi SE of Prescott Valley). Total drive is about 15mi, so I don't think it's too bad. However with all the new construction it's bound to get worse.
Food: We have the usual chains (Outback, Chilis, Olive Garden, etc. But I really like some of the unique eateries we have.
Shopping: All the typical suberb shopping (Target, Pier 1, Michaels, Best Buy, Barnes N Nobles, Starbucks, etc.) We do have a mall. Ditto in Prescott. More shopping on the way. Good thing or bad thing depending on your point of view. Will definitely add to traffic and growth.
Air quality: Except for when the Forest Service does controlled burns, it's very good. I love the smell of the pines after a summer rain storm.
Economy: The area needs more good paying jobs. Medical and service jobs are the majority of jobs here, although others are available - just not plentiful. Other than the job situation, the economy is very strong!
Crime: Generally low. You will find a few areas that have a reputation for being less safe than normal. An occasional meth-lab or drug bust or domestic dispute. As Prescott/Prescott Valley grow, I'm sure crime will too. Right now, though, I feel very safe in the area.
Housing prices: Generally high compared with wages. However not as high as many people imagine. New 3/2/3, 1600-2000 in PV will be around $250-$300k. In Prescott, you'll probably spend $375-$450 for a comparable home.
Good neighborhoods: Doesn't really apply up here. It's more like views/boulders/pines in Prescott vs more affordable housing in Prescott Valley vs horse property in Chino Valley and Dewey.
Culture: Depends on your perspective. We have some nice museums and art galleries, some musicals and plays, and some concerts and restaurants with live music. Prescott is a town of about 40,000, so you're not going to have an abundance of cultural experiences here
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Old 04-05-2007, 07:14 PM
Location: Inside the 101
2,649 posts, read 6,863,242 times
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I live within Phoenix city limits, and Phoenix is much too big to be condensed into a single entry. Instead, I've completed the template for my neighborhood, North Central Phoenix

Weather: Like all of Phoenix, a two-season climate with a mild winter and a hot summer.

Schools: For K-8, the Madison School District offers some of the strongest public schools in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. High school varies. Depending on the exact location, the local school may be Camelback High School, North High School, or Central High School. Each has its magnet programs and areas of strength. Some neighborhood residents send their children to private, parochial, or charter schools once they reach high school age.

Commute: The central location provides relatively good commutes to most of the metropolitan area. The 51 Freeway is the major north-south route. Glendale Avenue and Northern Avenue and the major east-west routes. Several bus routes travel through the neighborhood, and there is a long-term plan to build a light rail line along the general route of the 51 Freeway up to the Paradise Valley Mall area.

Shopping: Biltmore Fashion Park is the nearest mall. It is relatively small but has an upscale garden feel. For a wider variety of affordable choices, many residents drive to Paradise Valley Mall or Scottsdale Fashion Square. Neighborhood shopping centers vary in quality, but there are some interesting stores and independent restaurants scattered in the various strip malls.

Air quality: Typical of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area.

Economy: Typical of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, but with less dependence on real estate since the neighborhood is already built-out.

Crime: Generally low. There are a few apartment complexes and pockets that have some trouble, but most areas are safe. Still, property crime is everywhere, so locked doors and alarm systems are always prudent.

Housing prices:Higher than average, largely because of the location. Still, the neighborhood is generally more affordable than the adjacent Biltmore area.

Culture: Good access to Central Phoenix cultural facilties, including the major museums, the Herberger Theater, and Symphony Hall. The neighborhood is the traditional center of the Jewish community in Phoenix and is also home to Greek and Polish churches.

Recreation Excellent access to the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, with dozens of miles of hiking trails. Good neighborhood parks and playgrounds. The Murphy Bridle Path along Central Avenue is an interesting bit of Phoenix history and a popular place for joggers.
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Old 04-06-2007, 01:19 PM
Location: Sonoran Desert
36,643 posts, read 46,886,783 times
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I think this thread is a cool idea. I could make it into a sticky with the idea that you can only post in the format and have to provide objective info and not ranting. Thoughts anyone?
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Old 04-06-2007, 04:20 PM
Location: Sonoran Desert
36,643 posts, read 46,886,783 times
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Originally Posted by Wildergal View Post
Yessss---put it on a sticky. Somebody please do Scottsdale, esp. the cheaper condo communities.
OK, let's try it and see how it works out. But please stick to the format from here on and don't post other comments. Also, objectivity is the word - no impassioned ranting or promoting.
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Old 04-06-2007, 05:08 PM
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Great idea!
I'll say a few things about Gilbert...

Great schools. Some are under the Chandler Unified School District, others within Gilbert. While I don't have personal experience with the schools yet, I know MANY who have kids in school and also who work as teachers and principals, and they all say wonderful things about the schools. Ratings can be seen at greatschools.net. While I don't know this from personal experience, I have heard from many people that Higley School District, which is a pocket inside Gilbert, should be avoided b/c scores aren't great.

Commute: to Phoenix isn't too bad (our comparison is DC and Boston, so it's not bad at all). Between the I10, the 202, the 101, and the 60, plus surface streets, there are many different options to get into the city. Surface street construction is a bit of a pain though - the population is growing so quickly that the city is having a hard time keeping up, and they're slowly widening all the roads. With the construction, it can take some time getting to the highway. But once the roads are finished, it'll be great.

Shopping: a subject near and dear to my heart Gilbert has a bunch of Super Targets, Super Walmarts, strip malls, Costco, car dealerships, grocery stores...there's really no need to leave the area at all. There isn't a mall here yet, but they're building two new high end malls, due to open at the end of 2007. Santanvillage.com is the site for one, not sure of the other. They're both rather close to each other (Greenfield and the 202) and, along with all the other shopping there already (Costco, many other shopping centers) it'll be a fabulous shopping destination when finished.

: Riparian Preserve; close to Schnepff Farms which is in Queen Creek; bike trail (can't remember the name, but it's really long); Old Town Gilbert is really cute and has a Farmer's Market; Agritopia has a Farmer's Market; a huge park is being built on Chandler Heights and Gilbert/Lindsay that will have large fishing lakes, a skateboard park, horse trails, etc.; Bounce U and Rolli Polli's for kids; movie theaters; Freestone Park has a small amusement park for young kids, a train, big lake and playgrounds; many great restaurants. Gilbert is a very family friendly city.

Crime: VERY low! (knock on wood ) Gilbert is a very safe city, people are very friendly and neighbors help each other out if needed. We feel very safe here.

Housing prices: they were drastically on the rise during the time when the market went nuts-o. Right now, I think they're still over priced, but in the process of correcting - pretty similar to the rest of the valley. There is a TON of new construction here, as opposed to Chandler, Tempe and other areas which are close to being built out. So Gilbert offers a large selection of new builds as well as resales.

Good neighborhoods: I can't really think of a bad one, off hand. TW Lewis has beautiful communities at Valencia (Chandler Heights and Gilbert) and in Power Ranch. Power Ranch is a great, family friendly community with an elementary school, two pools, and many playgrounds. Seville Golf and Country Club is an incredibly beautiful community with a great golf course, country club with 3 pools and water slide, gym with child care, and upscale restaurant. Spectrum at Val Vista is a very family friendly subdiv with a great location - right off the 202 and close to all the shopping. Morrison Ranch at Elliott and Greenfield is beautiful - lots of green grass, beautiful houses, close to the 60. Really, you can't go wrong in most of the subdivisions, and there are houses for all price ranges.

Economy: depends on your profession. Gilbert is pretty much a bedroom community, but there are many healthcare jobs at the hospitals, retail, and certainly other options. There's a very high number of people who telecommute here.

Culture: hmmmmm....that's a tough one. I don't think there's much culture here. The vibe in Gilbert is really "family." It's very much about family and raising kids here, with some shopping and restaurants thrown in to "spice things up a little"

80's in the summer, balmy nights, 60's and 70's in the winter - perfection!!! Just kidding. It's just like the rest of Phoenix - obnoxiously hot in the summer, pretty darn fabulous in the winter. Just make sure you have a pool in your backyard for the summer, and a spa for the winter, and an umbrella drink year round, and you'll be fine

Also, one thing to check into before you buy a house is whether or not it's on county land. There are some small county islands within the city which haven't been annexed yet and county islands don't benefit from city services, including fire and rescue. Gilbert Fire and Rescue will get there eventually to help out, but they're not considered first responders so it's definitely something to consider. Personally, I wouldn't buy a house on county land or send my kids to a school on county land b/c of the fire and rescue services. JMO though. Many people do and have no problems. Just a matter of whether you want to take that chance.

Gilbert really is an excellent place to live...not somewhere I'd necessarily enjoy if I were single and wanting an exciting night life. But for families, it really can't be beat.
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Old 04-09-2007, 04:36 PM
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Maricopa (City, not County)

Schools: Good schools, but VERY OVERCROWDED due to the recent growth spurt. The city has gone from a population of a few thousand to over twenty thousand in just 5 years! Originally, there was just one school that handled all levels (K-12). They have recently added 5-6 new schools during the past couple of years, but still have to bus many students to the next district (Kyrene), which is about 20 miles away.

Commute: To Phoenix is pretty bad. Maricopa is surrounded by reservations, and there is really only one main HWY (347, roughly 16 miles) in and out of Maricopa. This connects to the 10 FWY, just south of Chandler. Without any accidents, the drive is about 20-30 minutes just to the 10 FWY, due to the stop lights. With a serious accident, anyone knows -- it could be (and has been) completely closed down for hours.

Shopping: A few local mom-n-pop stores, two grocery stores, some chain stores/strip malls (including fast food franchises, etc.), but no big box stores/movie theaters/malls (yet). About 50% of your shopping will be in Chandler or Casa Grande, which is about 20 miles out of town.

Air Quality: Should be the same to a little better than Phoenix, since the city is somewhat segregated by reservation land. However, there is still one of the state's largest dairies (very) close by!

Recreation: Most of Maricopa consists of newly built master planned communities, which provides the majority of the recreation. This includes golf courses, pools/splash pads, community centers (gyms, racket ball, etc.) bike/walking trails, parks -- some of which may require you to be a resident of the community in order to use. We also have the Harrah's Ak-Chin and Gila River casinos within a 15 min. drive.

Crime: Very low! (knock on wood). There are still a lot of people who live in the general PHX area who don't even know about Maricopa! We feel very safe here, and still have that "small town" feel.

Housing prices: They were also drastically on the rise during the bubble and are still a little over priced. However, the prices in general are less than the rest of the PHX area. New construction is still in progress. 2-4 year old houses, around 1,000 sqft are going for the upper $100K's. Brand new construction, around 1500 sqft generally starts at $200K. There are many houses over 2,000 sqft that go for the low to mid $300K's. Property taxes are (very roughly) around $1/sqft per year.

Good neighborhoods: Again, most of Maricopa consists of newly built master planned communities and overall seems to offer good neighborhoods.

Economy: Aside from the local service industry or housing/construction related services, most people commute out of Maricopa (usually to PHX.). Maricopa is a bedroom community with very little commercial development.

Culture: IMHO? There is very little culture in Maricopa. Most people commute to and from work, drive into their garages, and you never see them. However, for those that eventually leave their houses, there is still a little "small town" atmosphere.

Weather: Same as PHX overall, but does get somewhat colder in the winter -- we even have some ground freezing alerts!

Maricopa is an up and coming city (incorporated in 2003, but has been around for more than 100 years), with substantial continued growth predicted. It is a very nice bedroom community with a small town feel, and roughly 40 miles south of PHX. We recently voted for our own city police department (currently utilize county services), and are in the process of building a large downtown government center (currently working out of trailers!). Some big-box stores and large development companies (ie: WalMart, Movie Theaters) are negotiating for access to build on reservation land, so more commercial services may be on the way. Now, if they could only figure out the infrastructure & traffic issues...

Last edited by Master Shake; 04-09-2007 at 04:53 PM..
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Old 04-09-2007, 06:02 PM
Location: Austin TX
1,207 posts, read 6,018,972 times
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Default Far North Scottsdale (north of Loop 101)

Because Scottsdale is so huge...I chose to cover the area of far North Scottsdale, which I am defining as all of Scottsdale north of Loop 101.

Weather: Usually 5-10 degrees cooler than metro Phoenix due to higher elevation. The farthest reaches of north Scottsdale also benefit from a bit more rain that comes in over the Carefee/Cave Creek area.

Schools: Zip code 85262 in north Scottsdale feeds into Cave Creek Unified School District. 85255 feeds into Scottsdale School District. CCUSD covers 144 square miles - it is huge and has only one high school that is old and has had problems here and there. Most of the elementaries are very well regarded. Scottsdale School District is also very well regarded.

Commute: From Scottsdale or Pima Roads and Loop 101, you've got about a 25 to 35 minute commute to the airport in no traffic. Add 5 minutes or more for every 5 miles further north you go. Very reliant on Loop 101; not many other highway options unless you travel over to the 51, which can get bogged down as well. All other options are surface streets with tons of stoplights.

Food: Several excellent restaurants in the DC Ranch Marketplace. AJ's Fine Foods at Pinnacle Peak and Pima (great for quick pick up dinner) as well as Michael's at the Citadel (good for high end dining) and Mastro's (waste of $ IMO). Very little fast food available. Occasional Quizno's and Rubio's scattered about. Can go north into Cave Creek (check out Binkley's for awesome prix fixe meals and the Satisfied Frog (quintessential touristy experience with popcorn on the floor) or Carefree for additional options. Desert Ridge marketplace is 10-20 minutes away depending on your location.

Shopping: Fashion Square Mall near downtown Scottsdale is 20-35minutes away with no traffic. Paradise Valley Mall roughly the same depending upon your location. Desert Ridge Marketplace is easily accessible. Large Target at Scottsdale Road and Ashler Hills (very far north). Grocery stores include 3 different Safeways and an AJ's Fine Foods. Lots of high end boutique shops scattered throughout the shopping zones.

Air quality: better than Phoenix due to elevation
Economy: Can't comment in detail.

Crime: Check out the local PD reports. Generally speaking a very safe area of town.

Housing Prices: Very high compared to Phoenix. Budget at least $200-$225 per square foot for housing.

Good Neighborhoods: nearly all of the neighborhoods north of Loop 101 are good, safe, well maintained neighborhoods. Many are centered around golf courses or, alternatively, larger lot sizes. Worth mentioning for their size and therefore more available home choices are Troon, Grayhawk, DC Ranch, Ironwood Village, Bellasera, Terravita, Legend Trail. Smaller communities include Sierra Norte, Cresta Norte, Scottsdale Vista Estates, Monterra, Los Alisos, Carriage Trails, La Buena Vida Estates,Bent Tree Estates, Saguaro Estates. Head east out of Scottsdale into Rio Verde for more remote horse properties

Culture: combination of yuppies and their families, older wealthy retirees/snowbirds, and some horse lovers. Some areas have a little bit of a trendy, L.A. sort of feel with attention paid to cars, clothes, etc. I guess I"m answering more of the demographic question than cultural.
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:39 PM
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
3 posts, read 83,285 times
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Scottsdale, Arizona (I live in zip code 85259):

Weather: We're often a few degrees cooler than Phoenix, due to slightly higher elevation. We also get a little more rain - around 9 to 11 inches per year on average. My house is located at about 1,900 feet, almost 1,000 feet higher than downtown Phoenix.

Schools: Some of the top schools in the state, including Desert Mountain High School, Mountainside Middle School and Anasazi Elementary. Always score at the top of the AIMS tests.

Commute: Much better than most of the Phoenix metro area. I live near 136th Street and Shea, and downtown Phoenix is about 30 miles away. Most days, I can make the trip in about 40 minutes. If I really get lucky and haul butt in light traffic, I can make it in 30 minutes, and rush hour will require 50 minutes to just over one hour to make the journey. The traffic is worse for people living on the west side and in the southeast valley, as Loop 101 is jammed with commuters heading out of the Scottsdale Airpark in the afternoon. I've driven 30,000 miles per year for the last 13 years I've lived in the Phoenix metro area, or roughly 400,000 miles on Arizona's roads since I moved here in 1993. Trust me, I know traffic in the metro area better than anyone, because I used to spend my days driving around the entire city to meet clients at their homes, offices, apartments and so on. Scottsdale's traffic woes pale in comparison to the west side (Surprise is beyond hideous) or the southeast valley (Gilbert isn't much better than Surprise).

Food: Outstanding selection of restaurants, including Casa Mia, George & Sons, Busters, The Muze and many more...

Shopping: All the typical suburb shopping (Target, Pier 1, Michaels, Best Buy, Barnes N Nobles, Starbucks, etc.) We do have several major strip centers near Shea and Loop 101 and also near Frank Loyd Wright and Loop 101 with a lot of shopping opportunities. The biggest mall in the state is in downtown Scottsdale - Scottsdale Fashion Square, with almost 2 million square feet of shopping nirvana for the discriminating shopper.

Air quality: Slightly better than Phoenix but that's not saying much.

Economy: Growing and strong! Lots of healthcare and retail jobs right now. Some tech jobs are out there as well.

Crime: Low crime.

Housing prices: Compared to Phoenix, they're very high right now because this area is so popular. Median price in south Scottsdale (south of Shea) is about $350,000 and in north Scottsdale (north of Shea) it is well over $600,000. California prices for Arizona real estate, I like to say, although you get much more bang for your buck here. To give you an example, we paid $721,000 about two years ago for a brand new home in Hidden Hills, Phase II, built by Golden Heritage. 3,700 square feet, nicely upgraded, fabulous views of the desert mountains behind us, 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, three-car garage.

Good neighborhoods: Just about every neighborhood is pretty nice. The cheapest homes in Scottsdale are 1950s ranches near downtown that go for $300,000 to $400,000, so to some degree, it is a matter of you get what you pay for. I'm particularly fond of DC Ranch, Gainey Ranch, Scottsdale Ranch, McCormick Ranch, Stonegate, Hidden Hills, and Ancala, just to name a few. Scottsdale HOAs tend to be strong and the city has powerful zoning and planning departments.

Culture: Scottsdale likes to think of itself as a suburb without a central city (Phoenix). It has a symphony, a nice performing arts center, a great downtown with lots of party spots, nightclubs and bars, small to medium (5 to 15-story) mid and high-rises under construction everywhere, museums, parks, etc. Right now, more than 20 residential mid-rise and high-rise construction projects are underway, adding more than 2,000 residential loft/condo units representing some $3 billion in private investment, just in downtown Scottsdale alone.

City population (2006 estimate): 240,000
City land area: 180+ square miles

Last edited by don85259; 04-10-2007 at 09:49 PM..
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Old 04-14-2007, 08:05 AM
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
1,112 posts, read 3,777,111 times
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Welcome to the forum Don, Nice to see ya!

(EVERYBODY needs to go check out his photography. Probably some of the best urban shots in the valley.)

Glendale, Arizona:

Weather: We're right on par with Phoenix temp wise. It gets a bit cooler in the northern reaches of the city, though. It also seems as if we get less rain than anywhere else in the valley. Bummer, eh?

Schools: Glendale is covered by a few different school districts; The Glendale Elementary School District, Glendale Union High School District, and the Peoria Unified School District. The schools in GESD40 cover southern Glendale, and are sub par, to say the least. Understaffed, and underfunded. I spent a vast majority of my school life in this district, and while I must say, while I didn't exactly ENJOY my time there, it could've been much worse.

The Glendale Union High School District covers the southern and mid-sections of the city. The schools are really very different. Glendale High and Independence are alright, the area is home to a large population of minorities though.

The Peoria district is probably the best in the entire west valley. It covers the northern portion of the city. It seems as if most schools in the district are excelling, and Peoria High School gets a lot of praise. There seem to be alot of administration issues here, though.

I think the Deer Valley district is up there at some point, as well. Dunno where though.

Commute: You probably couldn't find an easy commute from the West Valley. Glendale shares a large border with Phoenix, which makes commuting rather easy.. Except if you're in the north part of the city. The city is serviced largely by Loop 101. It runs along the western edge of the city, until it turns eastward at Union Hills Dr in the north part of the city. Traffic snarls are common, but its not really that bad, compared to what east valley people have to go through. Grand Ave (US60) runs diagonally through the city. It's technically a 6 lane divided parkway.. And it does carry a lot of traffic. Notorious for its 6 way intersections. There have been recent 'improvements' made to most of the intersections, though, I just think they make things more complicated and frustrating. You really don't wanna be stuck on Grand in late afternoon traffic.

Food: Pretty good! (if you like chains) at Loop 101 and Bell Road theres the Arrowhead Mall, and it has spawned pretty much every restaurant imaginable.

Shopping: Typical. You've got all your big box stores. We're lacking upscale stores though. Almost completely without them! Enjoy your Kohl's!

Air quality: Ick. It could be worse. But its the same as Phoenix.

Economy: Thriving. With new stadiums and the shopping being thrown up around it, the economy is better than what it used to be. (Glendale was pretty much a sleepy farming city with a few large neighborhoods.. up until the 90's or so.)

Crime: The area south of Northern Ave in the middle of the city has some pretty bad crime issues. Once you go even FURTHER south (Below Bethany Home Rd) You're in one of the worst neighborhoods in the valley. Maryvale. (Maryvale Terrace, actually. But its all the same.) North of Northern, there are some really safe and nice neighborhoods. Arrowhead Ranch being one that you'll hear about pretty frequently.

Housing prices: Soaring. Over priced. Hopefully that'll change. It seems like the average house here will cost you about $275,000 or so. Compared to the high $100's only a few years ago.

Good neighborhoods: As mentioned above, in the northern reaches of the city, you can find some very good neighborhoods. Arrowhead Ranch, and Stetson Valley/Stetson Hills among them. Not sure you can really go wrong up there. Stay away from Maryvale.

Culture: What culture? Unless you're a sports fan, there isn't any.

Welcome The Westgate Project:

Glendale's managed to capture 3 of Arizona's professional sports teams, and locate them in a place called "Westgate" Two venues. The University of Phoenix Stadium (home to Superbowl XLII) and Jobing.Com arena. These are your options. Along with a few chain movie theaters.

Oh. and you always have Old Town Glendale. Antique your heart out.
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