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Reviews & Comments


Phoenix, AZ


Microcosm of the Valley. Building Back Better. - 11/16/2023
Phoenix Arizona represents a lot of problems with Arizona but it is the big city which has to carry more burdens than the rest of the greater Phoenix Area.

1. Homeless and Crime- Phoenix has worked hard to address the issues by making sure they have homes and rehab centers for the homeless and also to take care of the crime in the city with better staffing of police. It has been getting better but it will take some time. It is very obvious some areas of Phoenix look very nice, and some of it has these issues. This is no different than most of Arizona as there is a housing crisis i will get into in a moment.

2. Housing Crisis- Most of this has to do with underbuilding for the last 20 years and also the influx of everyone moving in due to it being popular with Middle Class Asians and Mexicans to Phoenix and the Greater Phoenix Areas. As they know it's relatively safe, business friendly and affordable. Phoenix is rebuilding for more Missing Middle, Mixed Use and trying to aim for high walkability including areas of greater Phoenix.

3. Transportation- Phoenix has the Light Rail and is looking into BRT systems, the reason why Phoenix has poor Transportation much like the rest of Arizona is due to a lack of state funds, so they have to rely on Federal Funding and City Funding to get the job done. Also I do wish after Phoenix and Greater Phoenix get's built, there is consideration for more Light Rail and potentially a subway system.

4. Food & Leisure, Downtown- I would say Phoenix's bright spot is it's Downtown and Leisure, especially the Food is affordable and the best you will get out of many cities in the greater Phoenix Area bar none. Always tons of things to do or places to hang out at.

5. Rebuilding. A lot of Phoenix is rebuilding itself right now from a big city to an even bigger city it even managed to get TSM, and host a few huge Sports events despite it's issues and it is doing a good job so far even though i do think they need to begin rebuilding more mixed use, TOD infrastructure especially in poorer areas that desperately need that kind of infrastructure as well. Not just Camelback.

6. Sprawl- Although Phoenix has bad sprawl and it includes parking lots and it's not as bad as Mesa or Gilbert. They do need a ton of Infill for Mixed Use and they desperately need to move away from the Car. A lot of Urbanist videos including various Metro sites use Phoenix Arizona as a punching bag right next to Houston Texas as examples of the worst kinds of Sprawl and Car Dependency in the entirety of America. That nothing in Phoenix is walkable except for Downtown. I can only hope Phoenix City Council proves that is not the case and builds very high and dense to prove everyone wrong.

Like all things Phoenix is just a Microcosm of the valley, they did not build out correctly, they built out for the car, sprawl, and kind of just are waking up to this reality recently and have been doing as best as they can to clean up everything and passing laws to reverse this. I do think if people can be patient or at least for those intending to move here can see the potential of it's future they will be apart of something greater that reverses all of the bad things and becomes one of the top destinations outside of Vegas, Los Angeles, Austin in the West.

Maricopa, AZ


re:
Alright
- 11/16/2023
This used to be true back when your comment was made. But i have noticed it has been so enticing my family has started to move over there the last few years.

Maricopa, AZ


Small Sleepy town to worth moving into. - 11/16/2023
As someone who used to visit my Aunt out in Maricopa for days on end and play with my cousins back in the day, it was a sleepy town with not much retail, not much stores, or places to do anything. It was a small town. But i have noticed when i came back a lot has changed. There is places to eat at like Indian, Donuts, Gyro's, Mexican, small businesses and local shops, there is places to shop at like a Sprouts, Fry's, it is safe and also has a hospital, a high school and a few other things. It also has Fiber Internet with Cox and Centurylink but i am sure more options will come when more people move in. Other than that it is a consideration if you are priced out of the Metro area and looking for another AZ City to move into and just like an ordinary town that is affordable and trying to build for the future and for starter families.

Gilbert, AZ


re:
Thoughts from a Midwest Transplant
- 11/16/2023
I will agree with cultural diversity of venues and populations. But i will say Tempe and Phoenix are not the only areas. Mesa and Chandler are also like this with tons of Indian, Mexican, Mediterranean foods if you look around enough. For example in Mesa there is a place called the Asian District, and there is Mediterranean food areas in Dobson Ranch one named Green Corner which is wildly popular including Mexican Places like Fruitlandia and a nice little ice cream Raspodos called Helados Zacatecas and even Italian place called Heaven On A Spoon Gelato near Downtown Mesa.

Gilbert, AZ


Good Walkability, Mixed Use, Safe. Lacks Transit. - 11/16/2023
My Dad lives in Gilbert and i live nearby due to proximity of Mesa and visit Gilbert a lot. I can definitely say Gilbert is a hidden gem of a town that knows how to build smartly than it's neighboring cities and towns, due to it's focus on Walkability and Mixed Use. Like the Epicenter Agritopia and even the new Verde At The Cooley Station that is beginning to spring up with 600 apartments. It is very walkable and has tons of amenities that are nearby for those that live there to play or eat at. Not a lot of places have the ability to give you the car lite or car free lifestyle unless you live in an upscale area. Also crime is not an issue in Gilbert. it has beautiful weather and even has a vibrant downtown, and some of the best Micro Hospitals in the valley. The only thing it lacks is Transportation like a BRT system or a streetcar that can go Downtown and go into the Verde Station and Agritopia etc.

Mesa, AZ


Building Back Greater. - 11/16/2023
As someone who was born in Mesa and has lived here in the 85210 in Dobson Ranch for the last 13 years after moving out from Chandler. I can tell you that most of the reviews you have read were true at some point but no longer, such as

Crime & Homeless- Yes it did exist back in the day, it was an issue but over time things have cooled down over the last decade and crime is much smaller than it used to be. Also there was a homeless issue for almost 3 to 4 years especially on Alma School & Baseline, but i can say Police and Nonprofits have worked together to help find them a home, rehabilitate them and eventually either get a job or be sent back to their home state to see their families instead of arresting their way out of the problem. Success rate is high at 80% and i have not seen that as an issue since then driving in the area anymore.

Grocery Stores, Failing Areas, And Lack of Retail options- I can say that Mesa has great areas like the Asian District of Mekong Plaza that is a pride and joy of the city, including various Latino areas, and diversity of options and people surrounding the city from the West to Central Mesa. The city council has acknowledged that it does need to rebuild failing areas especially in Dobson Ranch on the West Side, Central Mesa and even East Mesa as well as a whole and has plans to do it within the next 3-4 years with more Retail, Housing, Entertainment, Mixed Use and Missing Middle. Like always with Mesa the problem is not the fact we do not have Grocery Stores or Retail, there just is not enough of them including entertainment areas. Too much office space has been the focus and Mesa is reversing that completely.

Cost Of Living- Yes Cost Of Living is higher and i can agree there is not much housing affordability for lower incomes or those working minimum wage while feeding a child, or even a starter home. But i have spoken with City Council about this issue in an email and they have seem to understand this is an issue and are taking steps to address it as i am writing this with more missing middle housing and making sure they are market rate or affordable within the next few years as of this writing.

Sprawl & Future Of Mesa- There is tons of it here with Parking Lots, Drive-Thru's, it may as well be worse than LA despite the fact we have a Light Rail system and a future Streetcar connection with Tempe coming in to connect with the Asian District and Fiesta Mall Mixed Use Rebuild happening, we have too much parking and Drive-Thru's. But like i have said, the City Council understands and has done some infill lately on parking lots and is on the quest to rebuild the city away from Sprawl and become an actual medium sized city that is worth being called the third largest next to Phoenix and Tucson, to even out competing Chandler, Gilbert and Tempe. They even approved 7 Fiber Internet Providers, including Google Fiber which is unheard of in America and even in the Metro area itself. The future is bright for those who are interested in it's upcoming successes. You do not want to miss out if you are on the younger side moving here. Mesa is a Business friendly yet Progressive City that is on the way to greatness.

Chandler, AZ


re:
Went from great to just ok and declining. - 11/16/2023
I can agree wholly with you on 130k median, this used to be the case not even a decade ago and you could eventually get a home, but i will disagree on overcrowded, the main problem is that Chandler is desolate in a lot of areas unless you are in Downtown or Fashion Mall. The only people left are homeowners who only care about their values and not the people getting priced out who have lived in Chandler their whole lives. Missing Middle housing needs to happen and they need to make those units market rate or affordable.

Chandler, AZ


Used to be the ideal AZ City, now it's a wasteland - 11/16/2023
I have grown up in Chandler for almost 25 years and left in 2012, used to live near downtown with apartments that were affordable on a minimum wage job, until i could save enough money to get a townhome at 120k with some smart investments in the 85225 area for my child and myself, sold my townhome in 2012 and decided to live near my grandparents until they passed in Downtown Chandler recently. Decided to take a visit and noticed that a lot of the 85225 area and everything else surrounding it is not only more expensive to live in and no longer affordable for starting out until you can own, but it is unaffordable to even live in. A lot of the Metro areas in Arizona have their own set of issues, but not as unique as Chandler that used to have upward mobility for starter families and those who have lived here for decades being priced out unless they work in Intel to afford anything or being a lucky homeowner who has theirs and who cares about everyone else.

Chandler desperately needs to work on fixing urban sprawl the car centric infrastructure, housing affordability, prioritizing missing middle with some being built to be market rate/affordable and some to be Workforce housing for minimum wage workers to prevent them from being priced out. mixed use should become a thing, and Chandler should absolutely build a Streetcar feeder after all this is done for the city that eventually goes into Mesa. I know they can do it, and they will but for now i will be rating this city a 2/5 stars when 10 years ago i would have rated it a 4. Chandler really could be a 5 if they implement all of these things.
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