2014 was an exceptionally good year for Southern Scottsdale and the revitalization of the McDowell Road Corridor.
The year started with the city picking up where SGA left off with our McDowell Road Clean-Up Project at the end of last year. New trees and flora were planted and existing landscaping was spruced up along McDowell Road and south on Scottsdale Road.
In the spring, SGA sponsored the “McDowell Road Revitalization Progress Report” presented by City Manager Fritz Behring. The event gave business owners and neighborhood residents the opportunity to learn more about what the city is doing and the role it intends to play in the future of the McDowell Road Corridor. The city then launched a “McDowell Corridor Revitalization” website to help keep businesses and residents updated on progress.
Ambitious bridge projects are now underway on Thomas Road and McDowell Road.
Improvements are currently being made to the Thomas Road Bridge section of a nearly one-mile stretch between 73rd St. and Indian Bend Wash. It includes creating safety features for medians and turn lanes. Bicycle lanes are also being added and sidewalks are being improved. A colorful art sculpture called “Swale” already lines both sides of the bridge.
The McDowell Road Bridge is being widened to accommodate the addition of bike lanes and a protected pedestrian path that will allow direct access to the parks and all amenities in the green belt below.
Several weeks ago, SkySong opened its third building located on the west side of the property. In addition, the newly opened SkySong Apartments, with 325 units, is 80% occupied. Mark Taylor Apartments on McDowell Road also recently opened what will be a 572-unit complex.
So more people, who will be shopping at our stores and eating at our restaurants, are moving into the area.
This fall SGA produced the “Inspiration Home Tour 2014, Southern Scottsdale’s First Annual Home Tour.” The Inspiration Home Tour included some of our area’s most inspiring original mid-century homes. Most importantly, it showcased Southern Scottsdale and provided a vehicle for educating the 300 people who participated in the home tour about evolving demographic trends sweeping the area. Both single and married young professionals, retirees who are downsizing and people who want to live near urban and outdoor amenities are investing in Southern Scottsdale. And that’s not just a good thing…it’s a great thing.
Just two weeks ago, SGA was pleased to announce that Steve McFate will be opening a 10,000 square-foot brew pub on Scottsdale Road behind Papago Plaza in April. Steve, a Southern Scottsdale native and member of our organization, will continue operating Fate Brewery at his successful Shea Boulevard location.
SGA is planning to use our increasing momentum to make 2015 even more exciting than 2014. We will continue working with businesses, neighborhoods and the city to create an economic environment that attracts entrepreneurs and increases investment in Southern Scottsdale.
Our organization hopes to be collaborating with SkySong businesses and Southern Scottsdale schools to help inspire young students to perform at the highest academic level. SGA will also be sponsoring more neighborhood and business outreach events, revitalization progress reports – and, of course, our “Second Annual Home Tour.”
As the year winds down, Scottsdale Gateway Alliance thanks all of you who have helped make 2014 so successful in our community’s commitment to revitalize the McDowell Road Corridor. But it’s only the beginning. There is still plenty of work ahead to restore Southern Scottsdale to its place of prominence in our city.
SGA wishes you, your family and our Southern Scottsdale businesses a happy and prosperous new year.