South Scottsdale residents love their neighborhoods. Connected to one another, their community, and their landscape, living in South Scottsdale is decidedly living at its best.














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“Respect the past in the full measure of its deserts, but do not make the mistake of confusing it with the present nor seek it in the ideals of the future" -Jose Ingenieros


Some of oldest homes and businesses in the city are located in South Scottsdale, which has seen great changes since the road through Papago Buttes opened in 1960. McDowell Road was only one of two east-west streets at the time that connected Phoenix to cities and towns to the east. South Scottsdale then evolved from a predominantly agricultural area into a community of residential neighborhoods framed by commercial corridors.

The area's commercial, business and employment activities are located along major corridors. The primary residential character for the majority of South Scottsdale homes from the 1950's through the 1980's is single story detached ranch style in a midcentury modern design. Few communities are gated. The area's commercial, business and employment activities are located along major corridors, primarily on McDowell Road and Scottsdale Road.

Los Arcos, the Valley's first indoor mall, was built at the southeast corner of Scottsdale and McDowell Roads in 1969. Papago Plaza on the southwest corner of the same intersection and El Dorado Park, the City's first major park, were also built in the 1960's. The Mall eventually declined and was demolished in 2000.

For 30 years, McDowell Road was booming, with one of the highest 24-hour traffic counts in the Valley. It became a mecca for automobile dealerships, with a new nickname of Motor Mile.

After the 101 freeway was built along the eastern edge of Scottsdale, traffic counts along McDowell dropped dramatically, and many of these dealerships left to find access to freeways and major thoroughfares. A number of those dealership properties remained vacant for years until new multi-family housing was introduced in the last decade along the McDowell Corridor.

Los Arcos land lay vacant while city government wrestled with how it should be developed until a new era of economic development was ushered in on the site with the addition of a visionary project called SkySong.

McDowell Road, 1969


SkySong opened its doors in 2008.

Also known as Arizona State University’s Innovation Center, SkySong is an incubator for businesses from Scottsdale, the state and all around the world. It gives businesses and entrepreneurs access to new technologies and capital networks, and provides business services and a variety of programs that assist companies to grow.

SkySong is now in the fourth phase of its seven-phase development. Its sprawling office space is currently operating at 98% of its capacity. It has helped create 2,000 jobs and features offices occupied by businesses representing 14 different countries. When SkySong is built out, it is projected to have generated $8 billion in economic benefits to the city. High-quality dining and entertainment venues are open now, and an on-site boutique hotel is soon to follow.

The success of SkySong offers optimism about the kinds of projects that could succeed on McDowell Road. It may be the staging ground for a new center of commerce for the city – for instance, a high-tech center similar to Silicon Valley. It could also be the home of educational institutions’ branch campuses for vocational and specialized professional training.

The economic development possibilities for McDowell Road are infinite and the potential to revitalize it is unlimited.

Skysong, 2016

Skysong, 2016


South Scottsdale's proximity to recreational activities and amenities, HonorHealth, Sky Harbor Airport, the freeway system, to neighboring cities, and to the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community has contributed to its emerging reputation as an attractive and somewhat affordable place to live, work, play and do business.

Residents value living in an area with shorter commutes and they also see their active community parks and passive open spaces as essential to the overall well-being of their community. They remark that South Scottsdale is a smaller, neighborly community in the greater City of Scottsdale.