By Taylor Holmes
Special to the Independent
Scottsdale City Council discussed possible courses of action for the revitalization of the McDowell Road Corridor Tuesday, Oct. 8.
Randy Grant, a planning, neighborhood and transportation administrator for the city of Scottsdale, presented feasible plans of action to the council that could “get McDowell back on track.”
The corridor, sometimes referred to as “The Motor Mile,” lies on a stretch of McDowell Road between the Loop 101 freeway and 64th Street. This stretch of road was home to large car dealerships and to Los Arcos Mall, which closed in the early 2000s, according to the Oct. 8 work session discussion.
Over the last 20 to 30 years, the car dealerships have gone out of business and the corridor needs to transition into a more residential area, according to Mr. Grant.
“We’re not looking for Los Arcos to return,” Mayor Jim Lane said during the work session discussion. “These are not going to be the glory days of The Motor Mile.”
One of the key approaches to revitalization, according to Grant, is to create a new image for the corridor.
“Having an identity for the area is essential for people to have that level of interest,” Mr. Grant said.
By rebranding the area, Mayor Lane says he hopes to entice people to go there.
According to Mr. Grant, State Farm Insurance will be hiring in up to 8,000 new employees and that new housing in the McDowell corridor would be an option that places these employees close to State Farm’s Tempe offices.
Attracting desirable businesses and expanding bus routes and other transportation options are also important factors in improving the area, Mr. Grant said.
By providing residents with these resources, they will be more connected with the amenities that the corridor offers, like Papago Park and the Indian Bend Wash, Mr. Grant said.
“We need to create the center of commerce that the corridor once was,” Vice Mayor Virginia Korte said.
In addition to engaging citizens in focus groups, Mr. Grant suggested working with the city of Tempe in efforts to improve Papago Park, which lies at the end of the corridor.
So far, Mayor Lane is happy with the steps that have been taken to improve the corridor.
“There are an awful lot of good things to be said about what’s been accomplished. I would like to see this continue,” Mayor Lane said.
Editor’s note: Ms. Holmes is a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism