Phoenix |Arizona |Northeast |Community Profiles
COMMUNITY PROFILES / Phoenix |Arizona |Northeast |Community Profiles
This fashionable and highly livable quadrant of the Valley of the Sun is sprawling and diverse, offering a kaleidoscope of possibilities for housing, recreation, and lifestyles. The Northeast Valley includes the sophisticated City of Scottsdale, the Town of Paradise Valley, the “sister” cities of Carefree and Cave Creek, and the Town of Fountain Hills. It also encompasses the section of northeastern Phoenix called “Paradise Valley” as well many residential villages throughout North Scottsdale. Just beyond Fountain Hills at the eastern edge of the Valley of the Sun are the active adult communities of Tonto Verde and Rio Verde.
Perhaps more than any other area in the Valley, the Northeast reflects the epitome of year-round resort living and the “good life” in distinctive Southwestern style. Many country club and golf course communities showcase million-dollar manors in elegant residential developments that command breathtaking views of mountain, desert, and city lights. At the same time, family-oriented neighborhoods surround libraries, parks, schools, and shopping for a convenient urban lifestyle.
Within the Northeast Valley, the cities of Phoenix and Scottsdale dominate the economy and provide the employment base. Although the other communities enjoy a degree of commercial and retail activity, as well as contribute outstanding restaurants and luxurious resorts, they primarily serve as residential havens. The northeastern corner of Phoenix is well-known for its vast array of retail development, radiating in all directions from the focal point of Paradise Valley Mall. Shopping plazas combine with service-oriented businesses, office parks, and professional buildings.
Neighboring Scottsdale takes the lead in industrial development as well as corporate and regional headquarters and high-tech companies. Accommodating business and recreational aircraft, Scottsdale Airport is the busiest corporate jet airport in Arizona. Scottsdale also excels in revenue generated by tourism, welcoming millions of visitors to award-winning resorts and posh shopping districts. Tourism also plays a leading role in the Cave Creek and Carefree economies, reinforcing the strong ties between these “recreational” sister communities.
Along with the explosion of population in the rapidly expanding Northeast Valley came freeways that provide high-speed connections to other Valley destinations. The Piestewa Peak Parkway or SR51 provides quick access to Interstate 10, Loop 202 to the East Valley, and to downtown Phoenix. The addition of Loop 101 provides a convenient thoroughfare through the Northeast Valley, linking the area to points west, east, and south. A public bus system combines with Dial-A-Ride and ridesharing programs for transit alternatives.
While residents of the Northeast Valley communities have access to healthcare and educational resources throughout the Valley, they also enjoy leading-edge services and facilities close to home. The internationally famous Mayo Clinic has recently added a state-of-the-art hospital to its Scottsdale clinic facility to offer a complete range of diagnostic and treatment services. Paradise Valley Hospital has long been serving the residents of northeastern Phoenix, while Scottsdale Healthcare provides a growing list of specialties and general healthcare services that include two hospitals, adult day care, diabetes center, home health services, occupational health centers, and the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center.
Schools throughout the Northeast Valley are recognized as some of Arizona’s finest, providing a wealth of extracurricular and special programs in addition to a strong core curriculum in modern classrooms. Paradise Valley Community College in northeast Phoenix and Scottsdale Community College provide two convenient locations that offer continuing education courses, certifications and two-year degrees, vocational training, or an affordable start on a four-year degree. The area is home to a center for the University of Phoenix and specialized institutions of higher learning that include the respected Scottsdale Culinary Institute and a branch of the Phoenix Therapeutic Massage College.
Whether you are searching for the simple pleasures of a relaxing desert environment or the excitement of world-class recreational opportunities, the Northeast Valley provides an idyllic place to live, work, and play. Because of the area’s solid reputation as a resort destination as well as a comfortable home for retirees, families, and professionals—the living environments and the housing styles are exceptionally diverse. Newcomers will discover a seemingly endless variety of single-family homes as well as patio homes, townhouses, and condominiums. Nestled along tranquil streets in the neighborhoods of the “Paradise Valley” section of northern Phoenix, many comfortable two-bedroom wood-frame homes are shaded by mature greenery. The Town of Paradise Valley, on the other hand, has long been known for multi-million-dollar estates that sprawl over generous mountain and hillside lots to command peerless valley views.
Acreage and lot sizes vary widely in this vast Northeast Valley region. The most obvious possibilities for multi-acre lots and mini-ranches or horse properties lie in northern Scottsdale, the Pinnacle Peak area, and the communities of Cave Creek and Carefree. The Northeast Valley now stretches between the small outlying town of New River along Interstate 17 and the far northern Valley communities of Cave Creek and Carefree. In fact, the award-winning master-planned community of Anthem has introduced an entire cluster of residential enclaves into this vast unincorporated area of Maricopa County. Just east of Scottsdale, the beautiful town of Fountain Hills offers an atmosphere of natural beauty, seclusion from suburban sprawl, and small-town friendliness in an upscale environment. Beyond Fountain Hills lie the panoramic and serene active adult communities of Tonto Verde and Rio Verde, where lovely homes surround country clubs and golf courses.
Because the Northeast Valley encompasses some of the Valley’s most popular shopping and cultural districts along with expanses of open space, the recreational amenities are exceptional in both quality and quantity. Art galleries, fine boutiques, and exclusive shops contrast with the “urban cowboy” appeal of Old Town Scottsdale. World-class golf and tennis facilities provide year-round exercise and outdoor pleasure to residents and visitors alike. A myriad of local bicycle paths, small fishing lakes, lush parks, desert preserves, walking trails, and family amusement centers add to the Northeast Valley’s medley of recreational possibilities.
International crowds mingle with residents at a number of annual events and colorful festivals. Beginning in January, the famous FBR Open PGA Golf Tournament draws the nation’s top contenders to the exclusive Tournament Players Club in Scottsdale. In February, equestrians flock to Scottsdale’s Westworld for the internationally acclaimed All Arabian Horse Show. The largest horse-drawn parade in the world, the Parada del Sol, remains a beloved Scottsdale tradition. Fountain Hills hosts the Great Fair twice each year in the spring and fall, adding a hot air balloon race to the list of annual events. This small, upscale town also draws visitors to Arizona’s only Thanksgiving Day Parade and supports a popular community theater. Regardless of where you decide to settle in the Northeast Valley, you are sure to discover an exceptional quality of life that seems to grow richer with each year.
One of the newest planned communities that has emerged in the Valley of the Sun, Anthem has already garnered accolades for its livable design. The community is located north of Phoenix just east of Interstate 17. Developed by Del Webb of Sun City fame, Anthem provides a country-club lifestyle in a self-contained “village” atmosphere. At the same time, active seniors enjoy their own unique development—as do families. The diverse amenities include a marketplace with convenient services, a lush park complete with a four-acre fishing lake and first-class sports facilities, a water play park for the kids, and a community center that features a rock climbing wall. Anthem already has a combination elementary and middle school, and expansion plans for the community include another elementary-middle school complex and a high school.
The first of Anthem’s premier golf courses with its spacious clubhouse is a focal point of community life, creating a panoramic backdrop of fairway vistas for many of the home sites. Situated near an interstate freeway to ease commutes into Greater Phoenix, the community is also convenient to some of the favorite weekend getaway destinations in Arizona. Boating at Lake Pleasant, hiking amid the red-rock splendor of Sedona, hunting for artistic treasures in the boutiques of Jerome, or enjoying alpine sports in the San Francisco peaks above Flagstaff are all possibilities. The Outlets at Anthem provides an expansive shopping center filled with eateries and bargains on name-brand merchandise.
Chamber of Commerce
Set in the high desert approximately 15 miles northeast of Phoenix, the recreational cities of Carefree and Cave Creek provide a respite from the bustling metropolitan pace below. Although these sister communities share a similar elevation just above 2,000 feet in the Sonoran foothills, Carefree is distinguished from Cave Creek in its level of affluence and sophistication. The terrain is spectacular, with massive granite boulders, imposing mountains, and delicate desert greenery. Tonto National Forest borders the area on two sides, surrounding the cities with untouched desert beauty and ancient Hohokam ruins.
Historical Cave Creek offers a traditional “Western country” environment. The small community actually began as a mining town in the late 1800s, although it waited for a hundred years to become incorporated. Carefree sprung up in the late 1950s as a premier master-planned community and incorporated in 1986. Today, these two residential havens reflect a pleasing blend of the older historical themes with upscale resort-style living. In spite of their unique and somewhat contrasting personalities, the two communities harmonize so well with the surrounding landscape that it is often difficult to determine where one begins and the other ends.
Cave Creek and Carefree have long boasted a strong tourist trade, enhanced by posh shopping centers such as the El Pedregal Marketplace, as well as an eclectic blend of shops, cafes, and restaurants. Many of the Valley’s superb recreational facilities are located in or near this area, including several of the most masterfully designed and celebrated golf courses in Arizona. The sudden appearance of a jackrabbit, quail, or deer in view of the green only adds to the magnetism of this charming area, reminding residents and visitors alike that the concrete and parking lots of the “big city” remain a delightful distance away.
Chamber of Commerce
Recognized and acclaimed in the book, The 50 Most Desirable Places to Live in the United States, the Town of Fountain Hills had its genesis in 1970 as a master-planned community that was designed to serve as a retirement village. As the development matured, more and more families were drawn to the scenic mountain landscape, small-town ambiance, and tranquil streets. Today, Fountain Hills provides a genuine community atmosphere to a pleasing blend of retirees, young professionals, executives, and young families. In keeping with its name, the town claims the distinguishing feature of the world’s highest municipal fountain. Primarily residential in character, this attractive town is carefully controlling and limiting the growth of commercial and industrial activity to protect its small-town feeling and friendly atmosphere.
Although the resources of Scottsdale are only minutes away, Fountain Hills boasts a new community center, history museum, library, community theater, fountain park, children’s playground, golf courses, sports courts, and golf courses. The city operates an independent school district and is home to professional service centers that include a family practice clinic operated by Mayo Clinic of Scottsdale. Fountain Hills is well known for its colorful local festivals and celebrations. Highlights include the annual Fountain Hills Great Fair and Balloon Race each February, the July Fourth fireworks at the fountain park, the fall Festival of Arts and Crafts, the only Thanksgiving Parade in Arizona, and luminaria lighting of city streets during the holiday.
The 12,000 acres of gently rolling desert hills that make up Fountain Hills are completely surrounded by the Sonoran desert beauty of the McDowell Mountain, reservation land, and the McDowell County Park on the north. Newer construction single-family homes and fine townhouses dominate the housing selection. Although Scottsdale is nearby for expanded amenities, a growing commercial district continues to blossom along the Shea Boulevard corridor of Fountain Hills that borders east Scottsdale neighborhoods.
Chamber of Commerce
Boasting the title of “Most Livable City,” Scottsdale creates a unique blend of Old West rustic charm with the upscale amenities associated with “New West” resort living. Attracting more than four million visitors each year, Scottsdale is home to more than half of the Valley’s premier resorts. Playing the role of a gracious host to the world’s “rich and famous” has filled Scottsdale with fine art galleries, many cultural attractions, upscale retail centers, pulsating nightlife, and some of the most popular restaurants in the Valley. Attractive landscaping with seasonal blooms and fountains throughout the city reach a pinnacle of beauty in the Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza’s magnificent gardens and open-air performance area.
Scottsdale public schools are some of the Valley’s most highly respected, named “number one in the southwestern U.S.” by Expansion Management Magazine. The district schools consistently produce high achievement test scores and an impressive number of National Merit Scholarship finalists. Scottsdale school administrators and teachers are also frequently honored among Arizona’s finest. The campus for Scottsdale Community College serves as a focal point for the educational community, providing two-year degree and certificate programs as well as continuing education for students of all ages. Led by Scottsdale Healthcare and Mayo Clinic Scottsdale, the city has emerged as a state-of-the-art healthcare center. Quality commercial and light industrial development throughout the city has created a favorable employment outlook and underlines the diversified and healthy economy.
Scottsdale’s sprawling borders extend north to the Cave Creek/Carefree communities and east to Fountain Hills, setting the scene for the development of luxurious planned communities. The Pinnacle Peak area, once a vast expanse of open desert and dramatic rock outcroppings, is home to spectacular new residential villages such as Grayhawk, Troon, Desert Mountain, and Terravita. Exclusive properties and world-class golf courses make these communities some of the finest in the Southwest. Even in the heart of Scottsdale, lush parks and miles of greenbelt recreational area blend with lovely residential neighborhoods for a picture-perfect cityscape.
Town of Paradise Valley
Chamber of Commerce
The exclusive Town of Paradise Valley is distinguished in geography and lifestyle from the northeastern area of Phoenix that has been informally dubbed “Paradise Valley.” Bordering Phoenix and Scottsdale and skirting the edge of Piestewa Peak Park, the Town of Paradise Valley consists of upscale residential development nestled on generous acreage. Many of these properties command breathtaking mountain views and exclusive estates. As one of the Valley’s more contemporary communities that was incorporated as late as 1961, the town was created in an effort to direct growth and preserve the area’s scenic rolling hills and desert beauty. Natural boundaries such as the impressive Camelback Mountain and nearby Mummy Mountain create a pleasing degree of protected isolation from the rest of the Valley of the Sun, in spite of the fact that Paradise Valley is totally surrounded by urban amenities. Within Paradise Valley itself, strict zoning laws requiring one-acre minimum lots have been highly successful in protecting its luxuriously spacious and open feeling.
A number of award-winning resorts grace this picturesque town. The most established landmarks are the Marriott Camelback Inn and Shadow Mountain resorts, although few retreats in the Valley seem to attract more Hollywood celebrities than The Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain. These and other area retreats not only offer first-class dining and exceptional entertainment facilities, they are carefully crafted to blend with the magnificent residences set against the scenic wonder of the Sonoran Desert. Private clubs are readily available within the relatively small 16-square-mile Town of Paradise Valley, an area which also offers 26 miles of bicycle paths that weave a scenic trail around tranquil neighborhoods.
The Verdes: Rio Verde, Tonto Verde
Chamber of Commerce
The active adult communities of Tonto Verde and Rio Verde—collectively known as The Verdes—are located just north of Fountain Hills and east of Scottsdale. Tonto Verde is nestled along the western edge of the lower Verde River with the Tonto National Forest serving as its northern and eastern borders. Offering seclusion and pristine desert beauty, these enclaves are a short drive away from Scottsdale’s array of amenities. Community theater, a library, restaurants, services, and retail centers are all available just minutes from The Verdes in Fountain Hills. The Shea Boulevard area just outside of Fountain Hills is becoming a hub of commercial development.
Tonto Verde |Rio Verde
Tonto Verde and Rio Verde showcase lovely residential development around the focal points of award-winning golf courses and spacious facilities. Rio Verde boasts one of the largest private country club dining rooms in the Valley. Equally impressive, the clubhouse at Tonto Verde garnered a “Best in the West” design award. Homes in both communities enjoy a natural desert setting graced by fairway views. Managed by Maricopa County, the McDowell Mountain Regional Park is a jewel in the Valley’s nature preserves, providing opportunities for hiking, biking, and picnicking right outside the front door of an address in The Verdes.
Scottsdale Residential Villages
In recent decades, North Scottsdale has welcomed premier residential communities and villages that boast some of the most desirable addresses in the Valley. Grayhawk, DC Ranch, Terravita, Estancia, Boulders, Desert Highlands, Mirabel, and Whisper Rock are just a few of the enclaves that feature premier home sites, magnificent estates, and superb recreational amenities. The following are just a sampling of the larger developments and master-planned communities that have place the Northeast Valley on the list of the most desirable sites for a permanent or seasonal home.
It was in 1986 that Lyle Anderson brought his vision of the world’s finest master-planned community into reality with the North Scottsdale development of Desert Mountain. Setting the benchmark for sheer opulence and grandeur, the 52,000-square-foot clubhouse stands as the cornerstone of this magnificent community. Golf courses designed by the legendary Jack Nicklaus combine with the Sonoran Club Tennis, Fitness, and Swim Complex for world-class recreational opportunities. Multi-million-dollar estates and executive homes are set on lots that are masterfully carved into the pristine landscape. Every aspect of Desert Mountain development is dedicated to the preservation of the area’s expansive open space and exceptional views of landscapes and wildlife. A number of residential villages within the Desert Mountain community provide a pleasing variety of home choices in distinctive architectural styles. Apache Cottages, Cochise Ridge, Desert Fairways, and Renegade Trail are just a few of the enchanting enclaves that showcase the casual elegance of the Southwest in lavish custom homes. Pools and spas with boulder and waterfall accents, guest houses, sports courts, and elaborate patios are common.
McDowell Mountain Ranch
Nestled in the foothills of the magnificent McDowell Mountains, the fine residential community known as McDowell Mountain Ranch offers panoramic views of haunting Sonoran desert beauty. As one of the most defining landmarks within North Scottsdale, the McDowell Mountain range towers to the east of luxurious residential neighborhoods. McDowell Mountain Ranch is characterized as an active community where programs and facilities that meet children’s needs are part of the master plan. Anchoring the award-winning community is a five-acre park and a lavish community center with swimming pool, spa, basketball court, tennis courts, sand volleyball, and a splash fountain. Miles of trails link neighborhoods and create paths to the local library, the elementary school, and the recreation center. Residents enjoy the tranquility of a desert retreat with all the convenience of a city address. Shopping, entertainment venues, world-class golf, river and lake recreation, and fine dining are all available close to home. Offering the convenience of a farmer’s market, Desert Canyon Shopping Center makes it possible to meet most retail needs without traveling to Scottsdale’s bustling commercial centers.
The two elegant 1,400-acre master-planned communities of Troon Village and Troon North that have grown up in the shadow of Troon Mountain offer all the beauty of a high-desert retreat in close proximity to Scottsdale’s wealth of amenities. An ideal location near Pima Road and the Loop 101 ensure residents quick and easy connections to major Valley destinations as well as links to other major thoroughfares. The private Troon Golf & Country Club is only one of many recreational advantages in this beautiful area. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the adjacent 185-acre mountain preserve, where multi-use trails meander around giant Saguaro cacti along boulder-strewn ridges. The Troon North community boasts a four-acre park with facilities for tennis, basketball, picnicking, outdoor activities, and child’s play. The golf courses that have been developed to complement the beautiful homes in this area are celebrated among Arizona’s finest, garnering such accolades as #1 in Arizona by Golfweek and Golf Magazine. Newcomers will find a selection of upscale neighborhoods and exceptional home sites, many that command breathtaking valley, fairway, sunset, and mountain views.
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- Jeff McDowell, North Scottsdale Realtor 623.262.0811 EMAIL ME
By Jeff McDowell