Scottsdale is a city in the eastern part of Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, adjacent to Phoenix. As of 2010 the population of the city was 245,500. The New York Times described downtown Scottsdale as "a desert version of Miami's South Beach" and as having "plenty of late night partying and a buzzing hotel scene". Scottsdale's climate is arid, winters are mild and summers are very hot.
From its official incorporation in 1951 with a population of 2000, the town of Scottsdale has grown to a 2007 Census of 240,710. It is now the state's sixth-largest city. Scottsdale is commonly defined by its high quality of life, and in 1993 was named the "Most Livable City", in the United States by the United States Conference of Mayors. This title is notoriously lampooned across the state because of the high cost of living in Scottsdale. It is continually ranked as one of the premier golf and resort destinations in the world.
The city is loosely divided into four areas: South Scottsdale, Old Town (Downtown) Scottsdale, Central Scottsdale (also known as the "Shea Corridor”), and North Scottsdale. The real estate market in Scottsdale is among the most expensive in the United States. In 2005, both Scottsdale and Paradise Valley were among the top ten markets in the nation for luxury home sales, and the only two cities outside of California. Paradise Valley was ranked ninth with $637 million in luxury home sales, while Scottsdale was ranked tenth with $594 million in luxury home sales.
South Scottsdale contains the major nightlife for the area and is a major art center of metro Phoenix. The median resale home price is $291,500, compared to $667,450 in North Scottsdale. South Scottsdale is the home to a new research center for Arizona State University, known as SkySong, a collaboration between the university, local business, and global companies. The development has attracted the research and development arms of a number of international corporations.
Old Town Scottsdale
Old Town Scottsdale is an area with many streets, old fashion stores, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and western art galleries evoking the old cowboy era. Scottsdale's main cultural district is also in this area, which includes the high-end Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall, one of the twenty largest malls in the United States. The district has currently seen a revival, with new condominiums and hotels under construction.
The Shea Corridor
The Shea Corridor is so named because it is in close proximity to the east-west running Shea Boulevard. The homes in this region were generally built during the 1970s. Real estate in the Shea Corridor (Central Scottsdale) has increased during the 1990s, and overall, the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale real estate market saw the largest gain in home prices in the nation during the mid-2000s, with a 38.4% increase in value. There are a number of communities in this central region of Scottsdale that remain among the most highly-desired residential areas in the metropolitan area, including Gainey Ranch and McCormick Ranch.
North Scottsdale is currently the most actively developed area of Scottsdale as it was historically the least built up. This portion of the city also claims many of the most expensive homes in the country, with many exceeding $5 million in value. The city's borders rapidly expand to the east and west in this area, containing the McDowell Mountain range. Much of the residential boom in North Scottsdale is driven by the fast growth of Scottsdale Airpark, the second largest employment center in the Phoenix metropolitan, and estimated to become the largest by 2010.