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housing photo credits here by Patricia Bathurst T he Five Cs — that was the Arizona mantra from early days. Those Cs stood for copper, citrus, cotton, cattle and climate, in some ways the very essence of the state, as well as its economy. Today, it might be said there's another C being added throughout Valley cities. This one will stand for culture. Cities across the Valley of the Sun are taking stock of what they offer residents and even how they offer it. It's about definition, establishing the sense of place that connects people to their own community. Cities are reconsidering the balances among residential and business development, development and infrastructure, people and public services, people and cultural resources. Cities offer ' personality' Every city and town across the Valley has a different feel, a different vibe — a different perspective. And every city and town wants to maintain its unique attitude, and also evolve to meet both the needs and expectations of Arizona's ever- growing population. It used to be said that retail followed rooftops. Today, many Valley cities find that retail — and commercial develop-ment, too — is coming before the roof-tops. Much of the retail is exceptionally high- end, many new businesses are high-tech, and there are growing opportunities in health care. While there's an increasingly diverse business community helping to create a 21st century economy, there are also opportunities in the arts, entertainment and sports that will shape each city's sense of place and community in different ways. Each city is approaching these new opportunities and changes a little differently, giving the Valley of the Sun an increasingly rich fabric of choices and possibilities — for work, play and lifestyle. Even better, home prices throughout the Valley today offer buyers exceptional value. As communities make strides in crafting more singular identities and enhancing amenities, home buyers will see excellent opportunities to find a home in a community offering them a uniquely Arizona version of a 21st century lifestyle. Home Sweet Home Valley's cities continue evolution in services and development to enhance 21st century lifestyles 36 2009 GREATER PHOENIX ULTIMATE GUIDE TO LIVING HERE housing

2009 GREATER PHOENIX ULTIMATE GUIDE TO LIVING HERE 37 Arizona Association of REALTORS ® • 800- 426- 7274 • www. aaronline. com Arizona Department of Real Estate • 602- 771- 7799 • www. azre. gov Home Builders Association of Central Arizona • 602- 274- 6545 • www. hbaca. org National Association of Home Builders • 800- 368- 5242 • www. nahb. org National Association of REALTORS ® • 800- 874- 6500 • www. realtor. org REAL ESTATE AND HOUSING RESOURCE GUIDE photos: Top, Emily Piraino; Right and Above, the arizona republic The Valley's housing scene is as diverse as its population, with unique highrises and urban living opportunities. Scottsdale style extends to south Resort- rich and fashion- conscious, Scottsdale is also rich in economic and social diversity. It may be the " original suburban destination," explained Don Meyers, chief executive officer of The Aspen Group in Phoenix. " Overall, this region continues to have the least amount of risk or volatility for housing at all times. And generally, homes in this community will appreciate at a normal pace," Meyers said. Single- family homes continue to edge ever farther north, with exclusive enclaves adding homes near Cave Creek, Troon North, and the northern edges of DC Ranch, while just a bit to the west there are town homes and condominiums with scenic desert views. Throughout this area, there's definitely an increased emphasis on urban- style housing. Fueled by private development, the city's former canal is now a dynamic and stylish shopping and dining destina-tion with high- rise luxury " waterfront" residences. There's a new, sophisticated urban vibe in this part of the city. There's also a growing emphasis on the city's artistic side. Weekly art walks along gallery- lined streets are complemented by annual art festivals and exhibits at the city's contemporary arts museum. National performers are regularly on stage in the city's performing arts spaces, too. Waterfront condos are only a part of Scottsdale's growing urban emphasis. In downtown Scottsdale alone, there are more than a dozen upscale condominium and town home developments in various stages of completion. Eventually, some-where around 5,000 residents will live within downtown Scottsdale. With near completion of SkySong, the ASU- Scottsdale Innovation Center at the intersection of Scottsdale and McDowell roads, the nearby residential area is drawing young families and professionals. As higher- end employment expands in the area, the neighborhood will likely