Where Is The Hottest Intersection In Metro Phoenix?

Published: Friday, September 15, 2017 - 5:00am
Updated: Friday, September 15, 2017 - 3:23pm
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(Photo by Christina Estes - KJZZ)
Uptown Plaza features restaurants and retail at the intersection of Central Avenue and Camelback Road in Phoenix.

Real estate developers, designers and city executives faced-off in a competition to pick the hottest intersection in the Valley. The Urban Land Institute’s Arizona District Council created the contest.

A committee came up with the top 10 intersections. The group wouldn’t reveal criteria, only saying it was objective and subjective. Half were in Phoenix, including Central Avenue and Camelback Road. That’s where Craig DeMarco and his partners have opened five restaurants.

“It’s the only intersection in the entire Valley where four historic neighborhoods come together,” he said. “Why is that important? There is a tremendous amount of civic pride. These people care about their neighborhoods, there’s great design, great architecture, tons of diversity.”

Diversity is also a draw for the intersection that takes the No. 2 spot: Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe. That’s where you’ll see the Town Lake, light rail and big companies like State Farm and Amazon.

When Matt Mooney with Cousins Properties pitched the area he talked about employers being concerned about finding and keeping talent.

“And so when you think about Tempe not only is it the ability at Mill and Rio Salado to draw from all parts of the Valley, but it’s ASU, it’s the largest university in the country and when you know you’ve got 15,000 graduates coming out of school every years it’s a huge catalyst for these companies,” he said.

The audience chose Scottsdale and Camelback Roads in Scottsdale as the third-hottest intersection. Well-known for Scottsdale Fashion Square, which is undergoing a major renovation, the area also includes the Scottsdale Waterfront and numerous restaurants, offices and high-rise condominiums.

The fourth-hottest intersection was a tie between Arizona Avenue and Chandler Boulevard in downtown Chandler and 24th Street and Camelback Road in Phoenix.

The Phoenix intersection includes Biltmore Fashion Square, and high rises with luxury residential and office space that’s home to expensive law firms. Head southeast to downtown Chandler, and there’s a different feel.

Danny Plapp with LGE Design Build pitched the intersection of Arizona Avenue and Chandler Boulevard by talking about the city’s investment in parking and landscaping and private capital being spent on mixed-use developments and apartments.

“The younger, richer, hipper generation wants to live in these urban cores,” he said. ”They want to get away from all the cookie-cutter homes, the power retail centers and the office campuses that scatter the Chandler submarket.”

It’s been a decade since ULI Arizona released a list of hottest intersection across the Valley. In 2007, the top three locations were: 24th Street and Camelback Road in Phoenix; Scottsdale and Camelback Roads in Scottsdale; and Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe.

The 2017 Hottest Intersections are:
1. Central Avenue and Camelback Road in Phoenix.
2. Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe.
3. Scottsdale and Camelback roads in Scottsdale.
4. (Tie) Arizona Avenue and Chandler Boulevard in Chandler and 24th Street and Camelback Road in Phoenix.
6. Scottsdale Road and Greenway Hayden in Scottsdale.
7. Central and Roosevelt avenues in Phoenix.
8. Central and Washington avenues in Phoenix.
9. Gilbert Road and Vaughn Avenue in Gilbert.
10. 44th Street and Camelback Road in Phoenix.

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