Councilwoman Klapp feels the good vibrations of south Scottsdale

As I consider changes happening in Scottsdale, I am struck by the palpable activity and positive vibes emanating from the southern part of the city.

Suzanne Klapp

Suzanne Klapp

New and renovated housing has come; ASU’s SkySong is adding another office building now and several restaurants soon; new businesses and restaurants have opened; a new multiuse project is planned on the Scottsdale/Phoenix border, and young people with families are moving into the neighborhoods.

Because city council members have designated economic development as our top priority in southern Scottsdale and along McDowell Road in particular, the current buzz about the area is music to our ears.

Thousands of people in southern Scottsdale have participated in an identity building exercise conducted by the Scottsdale Gateway Alliance that started last fall. Called “Re-Imagining Southern Scottsdale,” the project was funded by a grant from the Industrial Development Authority, and private, local sponsors have supported the effort as well.

The exercise begins with local residents participating in an online survey to gather community input from both residents and business owners about revitalization efforts and future needs in the southern part of the city, including along the McDowell Road Corridor.

Prior to the survey, the SGA conducted hundreds of hours of field work in neighborhoods, in public areas, and at public events as a first step to gauge interest. They found a profound desire from participants to voice their passion and pride about their part of the city.

When the survey became available on the organization’s website, hundreds of people quickly visited to provide their specific opinions. About 2,000 local residents have taken the survey, and from this number, 10 focus groups of about 20 participants each were organized to drill down into Scottsdale people’s hopes and dreams for the area. These small group meetings will continue into the summer, with about 200 people in total providing real insight into the area’s needs and how they feel about those needs.

The most surprising initial findings so far is that southern Scottsdale residents are younger and newer than expected. About 42 percent have lived in the area less than five years. Forty-four percent have children, with the majority of their children elementary-school-age or younger. And, they are hopeful and optimistic about the future for their part of the city, expressing great pride in unique, local amenities like the parks and greenbelts, canal paths and hiking trails near Papago Buttes.

I urge all who live or own businesses in the area to go to scottsdalegatewayalliance.com and take the survey. As participation continues, I will update you on additional findings and attitudes and the next phase for the “Re-Imagining” project.

Editor’s note: Ms. Klapp is a member of Scottsdale City Council who is seeking re-election this August

Editor's Note: Ms. Klapp is a member of Scottsdale City Council.

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