South Scottsdale Now and Then
South Scottsdale’s initial surge exploded in the 1950’s, and another wave of growth — this one skyward — is underway today. With its proximity to ASU, Sky Harbor Airport, and hotspots in both directions, from Tempe to Downtown | Old Town, it’s a perfect place to land.
Add in the many companies starting up, growing and relocating to our desirable digs and you can see why new luxury apartments are sprouting up. They tower over 1950’s ranch house communities, which are enjoying their own renaissance to keep up.
- South Scottsdale Now and Then
- Map of South Scottsdale
- South Scottsdale Homes for Sale: Select Listings
- Today — Tech Firms and Work
- Housing, Then and Now
- Signature Eateries
- Hotels Spell Economy
- The Great Outdoors
- Check Out Your Local Library
- Pre-K through High Schools
- Faith Places
- Wrap Up
This eclectic mix of vintage and new is exciting as South Scottsdale undergoes a rebirth. Revamped existing homes in older neighborhoods, co-mingling with their shiny new high-rise counterparts, are returning this locale to its prime.
Trendy new eateries and drink spots are moving in next to longtime favorites. It’s a spirited mix of choices to live, work, and play.
Map of South Scottsdale
South Scottsdale Homes for Sale: Select Listings
As with many cities, this area had a boom in the 1950’s. The rise of our middle class was possible in part by affordable air conditioning for individual homes.
Source: City of Scottsdale
US spending and civic leaders attracted air and space firms to Phoenix. Boosters like the Thunderbirds also lobbied for Arizona State College in Tempe to become ASU. This big effort hit the mark, securing Scottsdale's growth then and now.
In 1950, Motorola opened 2 plants in Scottsdale: 1 in 1950 at 52nd Street and McDowell Rd. The other was in 1956 near Scottsdale’s western border. This move put us on the map as an advanced technology sector. And, the area’s largest employer.
Motorola's plant opened in 1956 at 8201 E. McDowell Road, now General Dynamics Mission Systems, offering many tech jobs.
Image courtesy Scottsdale Historical Commission / Scottsdale Public Library
Motor Mile — Re-In-Car-Nation
Western McDowell Road was dubbed ‘Motor Mile,’ with 31 dealerships in its prime.
Image of '56 Chevy Bel Air from the Scott Resort.
Western McDowell Road was dubbed ‘Motor Mile,’ with 31 dealerships in its prime. These dealerships crashed in the 2008 downturn. Today, these ghost ‘ships are getting new life as sleek new living, like condo complexes Aire and Skye McDowell.
Source: The Rogue Columnist
Today — Tech Firms and Work
Back to the Future — ASU and Scottsdale's Innovation Center — the birthplace of Arizona’s global business innovation model.
Scottsdale is exploding with work options – here's my jobs post, including tables by sector for tech, healthcare and distinct companies in Scottsdale.
Housing, Then and Now
Growth exploded to 10,000+ residents within 5 square miles from the mid-1950s – 1960 in South Scottsdale.
Local builders perfected mass-produced homes to house new residents and job growth. The Ranch House — desirable, modern, utilitarian — became ubiquitous.
Apartments and condos also sprung up, just as they are today. 7,900 homes, single and multi-family, were built in the 50's and 60's. These homes now are a median age of 60 years, average size of 1,472 square feet. 30% have pools and 28% are rentals.
This most affordable housing in Scottsdale is undergoing a refurbs and razing for the next wave of progress. Here are additional Housing Stats, most recently from 2019. I will provide updated stats as available for this quickly changing cityscape.
Source of Housing Stats: Maricopa Association of Governments
Mobile Home Parks
Who knew there were mobile home parks in Scottsdale? It’s true! I can hook you up with the most affordable homes in Scottsdale.
Riviera Mobile Home Park – A 55+ Community
South Scottsdale restaurants stand out for their relaxed settings and eclectic, global-is-local cuisine. Here's a list of favorites, including The Salt Cellar — Subterranean New England Seafood Shack, since 1971. AZ’s only underground restaurant!
Hotels Spell Economy
Hotel Bixby Scottsdale – 3 Stars!
The Great Outdoors
Golf Courses in South Scottsdale
Coronado Golf Course & Lighted Driving Range — Public, cash only — the oldest, most affordable golf in Scottsdale!
South Scottsdale Parks
Eldorado Park was the first major park in Scottsdale, with 60 acres of active fun for the making with these amenities and many more:
- Aquatic, Community & Fitness Center
- North Lake for fishing — stocked with trout in winter & catfish in summer, and South Lake
- The Wedge Skate Park – video courtesy B C Skate Tours – Watch, even you don't skate!
- El Dorado Soccer Fields — AZ Major Soccer League
- Basketball Court
- Lighted Sand Volleyball Courts
- 3 Lighted Ball Fields
- 2 Playgrounds
- Ramadas & Picnic Areas
- Indian Bend Wash Multi-use path
- Including Community Center, off-leash dog area, Softball Fields and Disc Golfcourse.
- McKellips Lake is in the middle — park and ride at Scottsdale Hayden Bike Park.
Scottsdale has an incredible number of first-rate parks, these 2 being the first and among the best! Here's my blog of Scottsdale Parks|Rec and a table of all parks from N. to S., including S. Scottsdale.
Source: City of Scottsdale
Tennis and Pickleball
Check Out Your Local Library
No community is complete without a library, and South Scottsdale's is the Civic Center Branch. It used to be called the ‘Main' branch and you'll know — it's a big one! Head on over, get your free library card, and prepare for your mind to be blown! Books, events, and resources galore will take you to Scottsdale and far beyond — lucky us!
Pre-K through High Schools
South Scottsdale offers a high caliber of both public, charter and private schools, for K-12 education. Far North Scottsdale high school students might head to the Cave Creek District. Below is my blog about Arizona schools, featuring Scottsdale's schools.
There are also tables from North to South for public, charter and private schools, to help you get a head start. They are segmented by community, with links to each school and other important details:
There are many places to worship in South Scottsdale. Below is a blog of all options for worship in Scottsdale. There are also separate tables for each type of faith.
- All Places of Worship in Scottsdale
- Churches in S. Scottsdale
- Temples, Congregations, Centers and Synagogues in Scottsdale
South Scottsdale is a wonderful place to visit and hang your hat, if you like it so much you decide to stay. The mix of historic and new give it an eclectic vibe. Close to everything, with amazing amenities and a casual feel, it spells a great home life.
Thanks for touring South Scottsdale with me!
Scottsdale Lifestyle Blogger
I'm a 5th generation native Arizona gal who loves showing and telling what makes Scottsdale an amazing place to visit and make home! I hope you enjoy our city through my lens, making your own discoveries and memories here!