things to do
2010 best places to live
Things To Do
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Things To Do
2010 Best Places to Live
Stephanie R. Conner
May, 2010, Page 92
Photography by Michael woodall
Desert Highlands, Scottsdale
Whether you prefer hip urban amenities or a slice of suburbia, the Phoenix-metro area is rife with options that fit all personalities, lifestyles and budgets. Here are 33 Valley neighborhoods we love – and why you will too.
We all have our reasons for being drawn to the Valley. Now here’s one that keeps us here: great neighborhoods.
Some neighborhoods are brand-new; others are iconic reminders of our past. Yet others are emerging communities, engendering optimism about the market’s future.
Homes received more attention than ever this year because they played a central role in the nation’s economic collapse, but they also received a key piece of the President’s stimulus package in return: homebuyer tax credits.
Now that those incentives are gone, good neighborhoods – what lured homebuyers in the old days – will rule once again. Here are 33 neighborhoods that can shelter you through the economic storm.
Courts at Copper Ranch & Muirfield Village.
From affordable builder KB Home comes two new communities, Copper Ranch in Gilbert and Muirfield Village in Mesa, ideal for individuals and young couples starting out. Muirfield’s smallest floor plan is a two-bedroom that starts at 1,227 square feet and in the low $100s. Located at Southern Avenue and Ellsworth Road, it’s also a short trip to Superstition Springs Center for shopping and dining. Meanwhile, Copper Ranch features two- and three-bedroom floor plans and starting prices in the $140s. The pool, soccer field, basketball court, walking trails and ramadas with picnic tables and grills are fun features for young couples and families.
Once an area of solitude for Southwest Valley farmers and dairymen, this area between South Mountain and the lower Salt River has grown into a neighborhood perfect for families looking for affordable new homes. While farming remains a mainstay of Laveen, the area is expected to grow to more than 66,000 people by 2020 – compared with about 9,000 just 10 years ago. Hiking, biking and horse trails at South Mountain Park Preserve count among the neighborhood’s active assets. And if you’re looking for a sense of community, the Laveen Community Council boasts more than 300 volunteers who help put on events like the Laveen BBQ Pit Festival, Egg Hunt, Turkey Trot and Harvest Daze.
Rovey Farm Estates.
The nearly 800 homes in Glendale’s family-friendly Rovey Farm Estates sit between Northern and Glendale avenues, from 83rd to 89th avenues. Sports fans, take note: Families who live in this four-year-old community can take advantage of their proximity to both University of Phoenix Stadium and Jobing.com Arena. Plus, access to the Westgate Shopping Center, Glendale City Park in the center of the neighborhood and a variety of community-owned smaller play parks, volleyball and basketball courts help make Rovey a logical choice for families with young children.
In addition to overlooking Kierland Golf Course in Scottsdale, condos here afford views of the McDowell Mountains, Pinnacle and Piestewa peaks, and Mummy and Camelback mountains. Residents have easy access to Kierland Commons’ shopping and fine dining just two blocks away. A fitness center, massage room, resort-style concierge, and heated pool and spa also are available to residents. And you’ll love showing guests the climate-controlled wine cellar when selecting a bottle from your condo’s private wine locker. Residences range from 967 square feet to penthouses as large as 4,480 square feet with as many as three spacious balconies. The building is more than 90 percent sold, but remaining homes range from about $1 million to $2.7 million.
Optima Camelview Village.
In the center of downtown Scottsdale, Optima dwellers enjoy condos ranging from 800 to more than 3,000 square feet of living space with up to seven-story vistas. In fact, floor-to-ceiling glass walls offer idyllic views of Camelback and Mummy mountains from many homes. Just a short walk brings you to Scottsdale Fashion Square and all the shopping, dining, entertainment and cultural venues of Old Town. (An added bonus: You can walk to annual events such as the Scottsdale Culinary Festival). The community’s courtyard promenade welcomes guests with dramatic waterfalls, reflective pools and lush landscaping. You’ll also find indoor and outdoor swimming pools, an outdoor putting green, racquetball and basketball courts, and a fitness center with a spa, sauna facilities and locker rooms. Two on-site restaurants – the improvisational Posh and the veggie-friendly Nourish – mean fresh, fun cuisine is always steps away. One- to four-bedroom residences are available from the $350s.
On the south shore of Tempe Town Lake rises Bridgeview Condominiums. The homes in this 12-story building invite residents to combine lakeside and urban living with modern luxury. Chill in the lounge and adjacent patio, check out the theater with stadium seating, or play a game in the billiards room. An on-site gym complements hiking, biking and water-sports amenities at Tempe Town Lake, which is just beyond your front door. And there’s no shortage of dining, shopping and entertainment opportunities along Mill Avenue and at Tempe Marketplace. Prices range from the $350s to $1.8 million – about half the cost of the units when they first came onto the market.
Artisan Lofts on Central
Artisan Lofts on Central
While these spacious lofts are gorgeous both inside and out, the real beauty is the location. Located on Central Avenue and McDowell Road, residents are just a few steps from the light rail for a breezy trip Downtown. Plus, within easy walking distance are the Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix Public Library and Phoenix Theatre. And a local culinary gem – Cheuvront Restaurant and Wine Bar – is just downstairs. (Its wine bar has been called one of the 50 Hottest Restaurants in the country by Bon Appétit magazine.) Floor plans range from about 1,200 square feet to more than 2,900 square feet, and boast open living areas. The community also features a 25-yard lap pool and spa, fitness room, rooftop entertainment deck, a putting green and a dog park.
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