Phoenix is the capital and most populated city in Arizona. Phoenix incorporated as a city in 1881. Cotton, Cattle, Citrus, Climate and Copper were the driving forces of Phoenix’s economy until after World War II. In 1948 high-tech industry, which would become a staple of the state’s economy, arrived in Phoenix when Motorola chose Phoenix for the site of its new research and development center for military electronics. Seeing the same advantages as Motorola, other high-tech companies such as Intel and McDonnell Douglas would also move into the valley and open manufacturing operations. In 1965 the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum was opened at the Arizona State Fairgrounds and in 1968 the city was awarded the Phoenix Suns franchise of the NBA, which played its local matches in the Coliseum until 1992. In 1968, the Central Arizona Project was approved by President Lyndon B. Johnson, securing water supply for the future of Phoenix, Tucson and the agricultural corridor in between.
Since 1979, the City of Phoenix has been divided into urban villages. Each village has a planning committee that is directly appointed by the city council.
The 15 urban villages are: Ahwatukee Foothills, Alhambra, Camelback East, Central City, Deer Valley, Desert View, Encanto, Estrella, Laveen, Maryvale, North Gateway, North Mountain, Paradise Valley, Rio Vista, South Mountain.
In addition to the above urban villages, Phoenix has a variety of commonly referred-to regions and districts, such as: Downtown, Midtown, West Phoenix, North Phoenix, South Phoenix, Biltmore, Arcadia, and Sunnyslope.
Avondale is adjacent to Phoenix in the South-West Valley along the I-10 corridor. Avondale, incorporated in 1946, experience rapid residential and commercial growth since 1980. Once primarily an agricultural community sparsely populated with many acres of alfalfa and cotton fields, Avondale has become a major neighborhood for Phoenix. Several of the major residential subdivisions and shopping center have been built on the old farms, very close to the I-10 route.
Avondale is home to the Phoenix International Raceway (PIR), which hosts two NASCAR races annually.
Randall McDaniel played soccer in high school at Agua Fria High School in Avondale, Arizona. He then played soccer at Arizona State University. He began his professional career being selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the 1988 draft, and played with them until 1999, when he went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He played there for two years until he retired. He is widely recognized as one of the largest and most versatile offensive linemen in American football. A multipurpose sports center was built in Avondale in 2010 and was named in his honor – Randall McDaniel Sports Complex.
Buckeye is the westernmost neighborhood in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Buckeye is approximately 30 miles west of Phoenix, Arizona.
There are more than 30 planned communities in Buckeye, including Sundance, Verrado, Westpark, Tartesso and Festival Ranch.
A popular destination in Buckeye is the Buckeye Hills Regional Park. It is located 7 miles south of Central Buckeye on Route 85. The park has 4,474 acres of natural desert and is open to non-motorized use such as hiking, biking and horseback riding.
Chandler is a prominent suburb of the Phoenix, Arizona, Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is bordered to the north and west by Tempe, to the north by Mesa, to the west by Phoenix, to the south by the Gila River Indian Community, and to the east by Gilbert. Since the early 1990s, the City of Chandler has experienced exponential growth, ranking among the fastest-growing municipalities in the country. Indeed, nearly 100,000 homes dot the landscape today and the population has surged to more than 238,000 residents. The heart of Chandler remains its revitalized historic downtown, which includes the award-winning Chandler City Hall and a Center for the Arts. In 2010, Chandler was named as an All-America City, bestowed by the National Civic League.
According to the City of Chandler’s website leading employers in the city include: Intel, Wells Fargo, Chandler Unified School District, Bank of America, Verizon Wireless, City of Chandler, Chandler Regional Medical Center, PayPal, Orbital ATK, Microchip Technology.
Chandler is noted for its annual Ostrich Festival. Initially, agriculture was the primary business in Chandler, based on cotton, corn, and alfalfa. During the 1910s, there were ostrich farms in the area, catering to the demand for plumes used in women’s hats of the era. This demand ebbed with the increasing popularity of the automobile, but the legacy of the ostrich farms would be commemorated by the Ostrich Festival. The Chandler Center for the Arts, a 1,500-seat regional performing arts venue, is located downtown, and the Arizona Railway Museum is at Tumbleweed Park.
Glendale is a city located in Arizona about nine miles northwest of downtown Phoenix.
Glendale is the site of two major sports facilities: University of Phoenix Stadium and Glendale Arena. Both locations are owned by the City of Glendale. University of Phoenix Stadium is the home of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals. The University of Phoenix Stadium hosted the Super Bowl XLIX in 2015. The stadium is also used for college football and other events. The stadium hosts the annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Bowl game. Glendale Arena (formerly Arena of Glendale, then Jobing.com stadium) and Westgate Center is adjacent to the University of Phoenix Stadium, and is home to the Arizona Coyotes of the National Hockey League (NHL) . The opening of the Street League Skateboarding event took place in the summer of 2010 in Glendale, Arizona at the Glendale Arena. This competition returns to Glendale annually.
Historic downtown Glendale has been voted “Arizona’s Antique Capital” by readers of both Valley and statewide newspapers. There are more than 70 antique and specialty shops adjacent to a beautiful city park and library. The Catlin Court Historic District houses residential bungalows that have been converted into unique and quaint shops.
The areas of historic Catlin Court and Old Towne in downtown Glendale, Arizona have been named one of the country’s ten best places for shopping by USA Today and Sunset Magazine. The walkable 10 square blocks and free covered parking at 5835 W. Palmaire Avenue make it an ideal area to enjoy strolling around while shopping and dining.
Laveen is an “urban village” within the city of Phoenix, situated eight miles southwest of Downtown Phoenix. Parts of Laveen constitute an unicorporated community in Maricopa County, while the remainder falls within the city limits of Phoenix, constituting the city’s “Laveen Village”. Although Laveen has been home to “pastoral alfalfa, cotton, and dairy farms” since the 1880s, housing and commercial developments have been increasingly urbanizing the area
Peoria is a major suburb of Phoenix. It is the spring training home of the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners who share the Peoria Sports Complex. In July 2008, Money magazine listed Peoria in its Top 100 Places to Live.
Spring training has a long history in Peoria. From the late 1970s to 1990, Peoria’s Greenway Sports Complex served as a minor-league training facility for the Milwakee Brewers baseball team. In 1994 this became the Peoria Sports Complex. It was the first Major League Baseball spring training facility in the county shared by two teams. The Padres and Mariners utilize the complex year round for spring training and player development..
Peoria has many mountains and hills in the northern end. Some include Sunrise Mountain, West Wing Mountain, East Wing Mountain, Calderwood Butte, Cholla Mountain, White Peak, Hieroglyphic Mountains, and Twin Buttes.
Also in Peoria is Lake Pleasant Regional Park. The park covers a total of more than 23,000 acres of mountainous desert landscape, including the lake, and boasts a number of other recreational activities such as mountain biking, camping and hiking. A number of boat docks and access to the lake beach make it a popular destination for scuba diving, water skiing, jet skiing, sailing, windsurfing and other water sports.
Surprise is located about 20 miles northwest of Phoenix. It is the second fastest-expanding municipality in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area (after Gilbert) and, between 1990 and 2000, it was the sixth fastest-expanding place among all cities and towns in Arizona. The city has a 10,562-square-foot Aquatics Center and Maricopa County’s northwest regional library, a $5.5 million, 20,000-square-foot library.
The city is the spring training home of the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers baseball teams. These Major League Baseball teams use Surprise Stadium for their activities.
Tolleson, the hub of the west end of Salt River Valley, was founded in 1912 by Walter G. and Alethea H. Tolleson, and incorporated in 1929. The city has a total area of 5.6 square miles.
The 1980’s marked the entry of Fry’s Food and Drug and Albertson’s Distribution Centers that generated spinoff industrial development to Tolleosn by showcasing the community’s advantageous proximity to major shipping thoroughfares- a prerequisite for industrial businesses. Interstate 10, Union Pacific Railroad and State Route 85 (Buckeye Road) trisect Tolleson within a one mile radius creating a synergistic environment for such significant companies as PepsiCo, Bose, Nabisco, Weyerhauser, McKelvey Trucking.
Tolleson is the west valley’s industrial employment center hosting over 20 Fortune 500 companies employing more than 20,000, compared to just over 7,000 residents resulting in one of the most impressive jobs-to-residents ratios in the nation.
Although small, Tolleson is in the middle of it all, with Phoenix International Raceway 10 minutes south and entertainment venues in Glendale, Peoria, Goodyear and Phoenix 10 minutes north and east.