The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination
By 1881, Phoenix had outgrown its original townsite-commissioner form of government. The 11th Territorial Legislature passed “The Phoenix Charter Bill”, incorporating Phoenix and providing for a mayor-council government. The bill was signed by Governor John C. Fremont on February 25, 1881. Phoenix was incorporated with a population of approximately 2,500, and on May 3, 1881, Phoenix held its first city election. Judge John T. Alsap defeated James D. Monihon, 127 to 107, to become the city’s first mayor.
In early 1888 the city offices were moved into the new City Hall, at Washington and Central (later the site of the city bus terminal, until Central Station was built in the 1990s). This building also provided temporary offices for the territorial government, when it moved to Phoenix by the 15th Territorial Legislature in 1889.
The coming of the railroad in the 1880s was the first of several important events that revolutionized the economy of Phoenix. A spur of the Southern Pacific Railroad, the Phoenix and Maricopa, was extended from Maricopa into Tempe in the late 1880s. Merchandise now flowed into the city by rail instead of wagon. Phoenix became a trade center, with its products reaching eastern and western markets. In response, the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce was organized on November 4, 1888. The Phoenix Street Railway electrified its mule-drawn streetcar lines in the 1890s, with streetcar service continuing until a 1947 fire. From 1911 to 1926, an interurban line carried passengers and express packages between Glendale and downtown Phoenix.
In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the National Reclamation Act, allowing for dams to be built on western streams for reclamation purposes. Residents were quick to enhance this by organizing the Salt River Valley Water Users’ Association (on February 7, 1903), to manage the water and power supply. The agency still exists as part of the Salt River Project.
The Roosevelt Dam east of the valley was completed in 1911. Several new lakes were formed in the surrounding mountain ranges. In the Phoenix area, the river is now often dry due to large irrigation diversions, taking with it the large populations of migrating birds, beaver dams, and cottonwood trees that had lived on its waters.
On February 14, 1912, under President William Howard Taft, Phoenix became the capital of the newly formed state of Arizona. Phoenix was considered preferable, as both territorial and state capital, due to its more central location, compared to Tucson or Prescott. It was smaller than Tucson, but outgrew that city within the next few decades, to become the state’s largest city.
During World War II, Phoenix’s economy shifted to that of a distribution center, rapidly turning into an embryonic industrial city with mass production of military supplies. Luke Field, Williams Field, andFalcon Field, coupled with the giant ground-training center at Hyder, west of Phoenix, brought thousands of new people into Phoenix.
On Thanksgiving night 1942, an illegal prize fight between a champion boxer of a black regiment and a white boxer of another army regiment, degenerated into a melee between competing camps. Subsequently, the black regiment left their barracks en masse, and began racially motivated attacks, against whites and started rioting into downtown. Unable to contain the spreading violence by the black soldiers, local police called in the military.
The rioters were met by several military police units that attempted to arrest the rioters. Instead, the rest of the black soldiers based nearby joined the rioters with firearms. The Army quickly responded to the mutiny, and surrounded the area with armored personnel carriers and machine guns, ordering soldiers to use full military force against the mutineers, which resulted in dozens of fatalities.
The Colonel of Luke Field, who had oversight of the city, soon declared Army personnel banned from Phoenix. This pressured civic leaders to reform local government, by firing a number of corrupt officials, in turn getting the ban lifted. This same bipartisan effort also successfully convinced the city council to give more power to the city manager to run the government and spend public funds, making Phoenix one of the largest cities in the country to not use the strong mayor structure for municipal government.
Another wartime incident took place at a Prisoner of War Camp that was established at the site of what is now Papago Park and Phoenix Zoo, for the internment of German soldiers captured in Europe. In 1944 dozens of prisoners had devised a plan to escape from the camp and use boats to go down the nearby Salt River to reach Mexico. They were unaware, however, that the river was mostly dry and had not been navigable for decades, and were thus easily apprehended near the camp.
The long-established relationships between organized crime and the business elite grew after World War II. A primary incident, which marked the post-war face of Phoenix, was its involvement in theGreat American streetcar scandal, in which arson and sabotage were added to the list of illegal business activities that were destroying the city’s mass transit system. A fire in October 1947 destroyed most of the Phoenix Street Railway fleet, making the city choose between implementing a new street railway system, or using buses and cars.
Simultaneously, the city began changing the rights of way downtown, expanding street sizes, raising speed rates, thereby lowering the quality of life in many old neighborhoods. As a result of these changes, automobiles became the city’s preferred method of transportation. This was followed by a number of the first housing developments that helped spread the size of Phoenix, and in turn enriched many of the area’s largest landowners. By 1950, over 100,000 people lived within the city and thousands more in surrounding communities. There were 148 miles (238 km) of paved streets and 163 miles (262 km) of unpaved streets.
Over the next several decades, the city and metropolitan area attracted more growth and became a favored tourist destination for its exotic desert setting and recreational opportunities. Nightlife and civic events concentrated along now skyscraper-flanked Central Avenue. In 1965 the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum was opened on the grounds of the Arizona State Fair, west of downtown, and in 1968, the city was surprisingly awarded the Phoenix Suns NBA franchise. By the 1970s, however, there was rising crime and a decline in business within the downtown core.
In 1970 the Census Bureau reported Phoenix’s population as 12.7% Hispanic, 4.8% black, and 81.3% non-Hispanic white. With the advent of desegregation and the Fair Housing Act, the white flight, which had begun with the Great American streetcar scandal accelerated, as the remaining white middle-class families fled the growing street gangs, violent crime, and the drug trade.
Arizona Republic writer, Don Bolles, was murdered by a car bomb in the city in 1976. It was believed that his investigative reporting on organized crime and politics, particularly the relationships in Phoenix among real-estate developers, organized crime, and out-of-state corporations, especially in regards to land and housing fraud, made him a target. Bolles’ last words referred to Phoenix land and cattle magnate, Kemper Marley, who was widely regarded to have ordered Bolles’ murder. Another suspect, John Harvey Adamson, plead guilty to second-degree murder in 1977 in return for testimony against contractors, Max Dunlap and James Robison. Dunlap was convicted of first degree murder in the case in 1990 and received a life sentence. He died at the Arizona State Prison Complex – Tucson on July 21, 2009, due to natural causes. Robison was acquitted, but plead guilty to charges of soliciting violence against Adamson.
As a result by the 1980s these criminal activities had become public safety issues with the transplanted, noncohesive nature of many neighborhoods, which made crime difficult to monitor. Van Buren street, East of downtown (near 24th St), became associated with prostitution, and many sections of the city’s south and west sides were ravaged by the crack epidemic. The city’s crime rates in many categories have improved since that time, but still exceed state and national averages.
After the Salt River flooded in 1980 and damaged many bridges, the Arizona Department of Transportation and Amtrak worked together and temporarily operated a train service, referred in Metro Light Rail (Phoenix) as the “Hattie B.” line, between central Phoenix and the southeast suburbs. It was discontinued because of high operating costs and a lack of interest from local authorities in maintaining funding.
Phoenix (Post 1980)
The famous “Phoenix Lights” UFO sightings took place in March 1997. The Baseline Killer and Serial Shooter crime sprees occurred in Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa. Steele Indian School Park was the site of a mid-air collision between two news helicopters in July 2007. In 2008 Squaw Peak, the second tallest mountain in the city, was officially renamed Piestewa Peak after Army Specialist Lori Ann Piestewa, an Arizona native who was the first Native American woman to die in combat with the U.S. military, and the first American female casualty in the 2003 Iraq War.
Phoenix has maintained a growth streak in recent years, growing by 24.2% before 2007. This made it the second-fastest-growing metropolitan area in the United States following only Las Vegas, whose population had grown by 29.2% in that time. In 2008, Phoenix was one of the hardest hit by the Subprime mortgage crisis. In early 2009, the median home price was $150,000, down from its $262,000 peak in recent years. Crime rates in Phoenix have gone down in recent years and once troubled, decaying neighborhoods such as South Mountain, Alhambra, and Maryvale have recovered and stabilized. Recently Downtown Phoenix and the central core have experienced renewed interest and growth, resulting in numerous restaurant, stores and businesses opening or relocating to central Phoenix.
Phoenix (/ˈfiːnɪks/ fee-niks; O’odham: S-ki:kigk; Yavapai: Wathinka or Wakatehe; Western Apache: Fiinigis; Navajo: Hoozdoh; Mojave: Hachpa ‘Anya Nyava) is the capital, and largest city, of theU.S. state of Arizona, as well as the sixth most populous city nationally, and is also the most populous state capital in the United States. Phoenix is home to 1,445,632 people according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data.
It is the anchor of the Phoenix metropolitan area (also known as the Valley of the Sun) and is the 12th largest metro area by population in the United States with about 4.2 million people in 2010. In addition, Phoenix is the county seat of Maricopa County and is one of the largest cities in the United States by land area.
Phoenix was incorporated as a city in 1881, after being founded in 1861 near the Salt River close to its confluence with the Gila River. The city has a notable and famous political culture and has been home to numerous influential American politicians, including Barry Goldwater, William Rehnquist, John McCain, Carl Hayden, and Sandra Day O’Connor. Residents of the city are known as Phoenicians.
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Walter Unger CCIM, CCSS, CCLS
I am a successful Commercial Investment Real Estate Broker in Arizona now for 15 years and I worked with banks and their commercial REO properties for 3 years. I am also a commercial landspecialist in Phoenix and a Landspecialist in Arizona.
WHETHER YOU LEASE OR OWN
NOW IS THE TIME FOR YOU TO EXPAND, UPGRADE OR INVEST.
we are at on the a rise of the cycle in Commercial Real Estate. so there is only one way and it’s called we are going up and now is the time for you to expand, upgrade or invest in Commercial Properties in Phoenix. The prices on deals I may get you will not be around forever.
WAITING TO SELL YOUR LAND ? TIMES CHANGE / IT’S TIME
We barely could give land away the last few years, but times are changing. Even in those meager years, I sold more land across the state than most other brokers. Before the real estate crash I was a land specialist in Arizona with millions of dollars of transactions, but then I had to change and also sell other commercial investment properties, which was fun, but I am a Commercial Landspecialist in Arizonal, a Commercial Land Specialist in Phoenix and love to sell land, one acre to thousands of acres.
If you have any questions about Commercial Investment Properties in Phoenix or Commercial Investment Properties in Arizona, I will gladly sit down with you and share my expertise and my professional opinion in Commercial Properties in Phoenix or Commercial Properties in Arizona with you.Obviously I am also in this to make money, but it could be a win-win situation for all of us.
Please reply by e-mail email@example.com or call me 520-975-5207 (cell) 602-778-5110 (office direct).
Walter Unger CCIM
Kasten Long Commercial
2821 E. Camelback Road, Suite 600
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Office : 602-445-4141
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