The Arizona Republic
Aug. 9, 2007 03:42 PM
SCOTTSDALE – Coco’s or Olive & Ivy or Foodbar.Where to go for breakfast in downtown Scottsdale? That choice a few weeks back got me thinking about our changing tastes here in Scottsdale, not only for breakfast but also for the types of businesses that lure us in to spend our hard-earned lucre.
I picked Coco’s Bakery Restaurant because I figured it might not be around in a few years. I wanted to remember what it was like to eat there, the big banquettes, coffee refills and bacon and eggs with Tabasco sauce. Westcor has plans to redevelop the site that includes Coco’s and the Days Inn. Progress will clear them away over the new few years like dirty plates from a worn Formica table.The restaurant was empty, except for one other table and a Christian men’s group meeting in the back.
I heard their psalm.
When I left, a guy with long, gray hair smoked out front by the newspaper boxes.
I looked across Scottsdale Road at the Safari Drive project and tried to imagine its condo tenants going for breakfast at Coco’s or for pie and coffee. Maybe at 2:30 a.m., after a night out.Flavored water and wine racks Around the corner at the Scottsdale Waterfront, the Olive & Ivy restaurant was just waking up on a Monday morning. It was nearly empty, too.I sat among the wine racks at the front of the place and drank a bottle of an imported, sparking orange-flavored water that cost $2 for 6.5 ounces.Scottsdale Waterfront, SouthBridge and other projects along the Arizona Canal are changing the face of downtown, adding contemporary options.
The character of the area is changing, but the new layers of lifestyle options do not have to overshadow what is already good about downtown.
The new can enhance the old, and vice versa.
The Sugar Shack, Pink Pony, Frank & Lupe’s and Saba’s can co-exist with the Pink Taco, W Hotel Scottsdale and Safari Drive.
Downtown’s rapid ‘See’ change
Downtowns evolve and Scottsdale’s has seen a rapid evolution in the past few years.Not everyone is hip to that. Residents are resisting a rising skyline that blocks their views and development pushing out into nearby neighborhoods.
John Washington, a member of the Coalition of Greater Scottsdale, is worried about redevelopment of apartments along Miller Road north of Osborn Road. He has lived in the Peaceful Valley neighborhood east of downtown for about 15 years.
Scottsdale has long been defined by its low-density, low-scale development, but that is threatened by spot zoning for taller buildings, Washington said.
“What is the benefit to the community?” he asked. “We just can’t seem to say no to developers.”
It is disheartening, Washington said, adding that he does not feel comfortable with the size and scale of recent downtown developments.
“I can’t see the sky when I’m at the Waterfront and it makes me nervous,” he said.
Scottsdale prices in perspective
It is easy to get the blues noting that Scottsdale’s median home price has eroded from $640,000 in June 2006 to $612,750 this past June.But in thumbing through my files I found a report that showed the median price was $379,135 in the summer of 2004. Homeowners are still up 62 percent from three years ago, even if they give back a few percent here and there.
To view homes in AZ click here: