City Council Revitalizes McDowell Road?

Dana Close
Dana Close, Scottsdale Gateway Alliance,

South Scottsdale resident Dana Close penned a letter that was published as a “Special for the Republic” column (also appearing on AZCentral online: “Could South Scottsdale be the next Arcadia?“) a couple of weeks ago in a Wednesday edition. In her column, Ms. Close praised the Scottsdale City Council for their role in “revitalizing” the long-languishing McDowell Road corridor.

I wrote a letter to the Republic to add some contravening points to the discussion. In typical fashion, the Republic editorial staff chose to run it as a “letter to the editor” on the last page of their Saturday print edition, which no one reads and which doesn’t appear on AZCentral. I guess they don’t want you, the reader, to be confused by actual facts.

You can click through to Dana’s column, above. For your convenience, you can read my letter and another related letter, below:

City Council is not leading efforts

I very much respect the efforts of Dana Close (“Could south Scottsdale be the next Arcadia?” Arizona Republic, June 17) and many other residents who work to protect and improve their south Scottsdale neighborhoods. What’s good for their neighborhoods is good for mine.

However, in crediting the “leadership” of the Scottsdale City Council for whatever revitalization has taken place so far on McDowell Road, Close has missed the fact that every election cycle since I can remember has included a candidate chorus on that same subject. And city “leadership” has been a constant throughout the decline of McDowell Road.

This started with the city’s 1995 “blight” designation of the Los Arcos redevelopment area, which carried the stifling specter of condemnation. The City Council subsidized some of the auto dealerships in a ridiculously wasted effort to get them to stay. Then our “leaders” had a couple of dances with wolves Walmart and Steve Ellman. Fortunately, Ellman took Glendale taxpayers home after the prom (along with a bunch of Scottsdale taxpayers’ money), but south Scottsdale residents got stuck with Michael Crow and ASU Foundation (the developer, NOT the university).

Now we have enormous taxpayer-subsidized office buildings at our Southern gateway; and instead of the retail the neighbors have consistently requested, they are going to get thousands of more … neighbors. Taxpayer-subsidized neighbors.

Why did Close have to undertake “The McDowell Road Clean-Up Project?” Isn’t “clean-up” one of the responsibilities of city government? And if Mayor Lane and the City Council are doing such a great job, why did they wait until after Close’s project to attend to the right-of-way landscaping?

Most of the City Council action I’ve seen regarding McDowell Road has been more about promoting business opportunities for campaign contributors, rather than resident-focused revitalization.

“That’s politics,” to be sure. But let’s not give Lane, Virginia Korte, Linda Milhaven, or any of the others in the council majority credit for “leadership.”

John Washington, Editor,, Scottsdale


Why be another Arcadia?

Regarding the recent article about south Scottsdale potentially becoming the next Arcadia district, why do we have to become the next Arcadia district? Why do we have to copy anyone else? What is wrong with south Scottsdale retaining its unique character and identity? What is wrong with this area remaining a place for middle class families etc to call home?

It seems in our great haste to revitalize the area and satisfy the agendas of council members like Virginia Korte, Dana Close and others who seem eager to transform the area into an overpopulated, apartment dense community, are destroying a place that could be far more than the next Arcadia district or — the next north Scottsdale.

R Salazar, south Scottsdale

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  1. It’s not important who gets or is given the credit … the revitalization of Southern Scottsdale is a collaborative effort.

    1. I think you missed the point…pretty much entirely. The meddling of the City Council has been counter-productive to revitalization efforts, and has–in fact–significantly contributed to the decline they now claim they want to reverse.

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