Filed under: Arizona, City of Scottsdale, Development, Mary Manross, Mayor, Neighborhood, Neighborhoods | Tags: Arizona, AZ, Downtown, Mary Manross, Mayor, Scottsdale, Scottsdale AZ, Southern
Reinvestment in southern Scottsdale and Downtown has reached a record $3.3 billion bringing new vitality and revitalization to these critical areas. Scottsdale’s future has never been brighter.
It wasn’t always this way. When I took office in 2000 our downtown and southern Scottsdale were beginning to show signs of decline. As your newly elected Mayor, I was joined by Council members and community leaders and together we committed to taking the necessary steps to spark a much needed revitalization. We streamlined the permit process, waived some development fees, added new parking structures, straightened Scottsdale Rd., created a building facade program, enhanced the trolley service, improved the alleys, approved beautification along the canal banks and McDowell Rd., improved the development process, built a pedestrian bridge across the canal, and removed the redevelopment district classification which eliminated the threat of condemnation.
We also took the bold and visionary step of approving the Waterfront retail and residential development, the South Bridge development at the Waterfront , and the ASU/Scottsdale Center for Innovation, SkySong. They have become symbols of revitalization and job creation and have served as a catalysts for additional investments. The Renaissance taking place today, and continuing in spite of a national recession, is the result of the postitive changes we initiated and the faith the business community has in Scottsdale’s leadership.
I am including information from the, just released, City of Scottsdale semi annual assessment of economic activity which details the activity and the positive impact it is having on our community.
The total new reinvestment in Scottsdale south of Chaparral Rd. that has occurred or has been announced in the past five years in now approaching $3.3 billion. Six months ago, this figure was $3.1 billion, in 2006 it was $2.6 billion, and in 2004 it was $1.5 billion.
In addition to the $3.3 billion in current projects, there are a number of other proposed projects, such as the Waterview and the Entertainment District projects, which are not yet listed since they do not yet have entitlements. These projects, if approved, would add at least another $500 million to this figure.
* Projects are still occurring in all real estate sectors – residential, office, retail, hotel and cultural/institutional uses. However, a number of smaller residential projects that were in the planning stages just six months ago are now on hold while the market adjusts, and larger residential projects are considering the addition of other types of uses to make their own projects more feasible.
* This area has seen almost 4,000 new residential units either built, in process, or planned since January 2003. Condo conversions have not been included in this figure.
* According to a recent ASU study the 2007 median resale home price for southern Scottsdale was $308,500. This reflects a 50% increase from the 2000 median resale home price of $205,000.
* Southern Scottsdale is seeing a significant amount of reinvestment in the existing housing stock. In the last five years, there have been 666 permits issued (valued at over $21 million) for major remodeling or additions, and an additional 6,504 permits issued (valued over $92 million) for minor home improvements. This is a significant increase from only a year ago, when the sum of both was just over $75 million.
* The demographics of the area are changing as well, including growth in population and median income levels. An estimated 68,463 people call southern Scottsdale home, representing an increase of 7.2% since 2000 and accounting for over 1/4 of the total Scottsdale population. Median household income has increased 20.1% in that same time frame, from $41,839 to $50,247. This area also has a younger population with a median age of 38.2 compared to a median age of 40.2 for Scottsdale as a whole.
* We are also seeing improvements in other quality of life categories, such as a lower crime rate, and a rise in educational test scores. Over the last year, police District One has seen a reduction in property crime of 28% and violent crime has decreased 1.6%. Since January 2003 public schools have invested almost $85 million in major school improvements. Already considered one of the top school districts in the state, SUSD has more “excelling” schools (based on state standards) than any other district in the state.
Overall, we see these trends as positive indicators of the result of the City’s commitment to the revitalization of this area. While downtown Scottsdale has seen the majority of this investment (60% of the total) the balance of southern Scottsdale is now attracting a significant amount of interest from developers and appears to be where many of the new projects in the coming years will focus.
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