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38 2009 GREATER PHOENIX ULTIMATE GUIDE TO LIVING HERE housing TOP: The 34- story 44 Monroe Towers in central Phoenix offers a downtown living experience. ABOVE: Hot air balloons rise above Fountain Hill's famous fountain. photos: The arizona republic add very creative development and residential options. Some larger lots may become Class A office space, with more luxury- style residential. Condominium conversions of several apartment buildings near SkySong are either complete or in process. To encourage homeowner reinvestment and renovation, the city's waived permit fees in what is now dubbed " Original Scottsdale." New homeowners are now investing in this neighborhood, renovating mid- century ranch homes with cool, clever charm, adding still more cachet to Scottsdale's stylish reputation. Southeast Valley The Southeast Valley's continuing growth has a simple explanation, according to Tom Rex, associate director for the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University. " That's where the jobs are," Rex said. Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, and Queen Creek all have strong, ongoing development in both commercial and residential construction. With growth generated through Arizona Sate University and other higher- education developments, development at the former GM site in Mesa, plus expansion of the Phoenix- Mesa Gateway Airport and adjacent businesses, the Southeast Valley could eventually see more than 100,000 new jobs. Each city also has a performing arts venue, and an increasingly dynamic arts community. Concerts across the musi-cal spectrum, stage shows, dance perfor-mances and a diverse presentation of art in many media offer residents choices in entertainment and participation. As Tempe, Mesa and Chandler continue to mature, home buyers have new possibilities. Options are increasing, with historic neighborhoods offering both renovated homes and opportunities to participate in neighborhood regeneration. Downtown Tempe and Chandler offer real opportunities for a downtown lifestyle, with urban- style town houses and condominium developments offering more choices in lifestyle. Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert continue to offer homebuyers opportunities for resort-style living or within master- planned communities with many amenities. Chandler's move from a suburban emphasis gives the city more focus on employment, with mixed- use projects offering commercial, retail and residential space. Strong retail development, from the chic Chandler Fashion Center and SanTan Mall to commerce and retail parks like those at Chandler Blvd. and McClintock Road and Ellsworth and Ocotillo boosts livability for Southeast Valley residents. Both Gilbert and Queen Creek are envisioning livelier, more walkable down-towns. They're creating new shopping and dining options in historic districts, with more residential choices through condos and townhouses. Mesa is continuing its downtown development, but is also developing what city officials see as several work/ live centers near core employment and transportation corridors. New masterplanned communities in each community offer family- friendly parks, walking and riding trails and a huge array of sports activities for children and adults. Additionally, active adult communities and more master- planned developments offer well- priced options edging into Pinal County. The biggest growth, though, is far ahead. The East Valley Partnership is just beginning a two- year planning study of the 275 square miles of the first parcel of the State Land Trust's Superstition Vistas land. Southwest Valley Great potential can mean great appeal with the Southwest Valley's proximity to major highways, regional airports and to Central Phoenix, especially when there's so much land still available for development. Rapidly growing commercial and retail development added to more sports activity powered by spring training, NASCAR and golf, help fuel that appeal. There are large master- planned communities, adaptive zoning, and retail developments that are expanding exponentially. Larger lot sizes and a wide range of homes offer first- time CONTINUED ON PAGE 40

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