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New Projects Target Scottsdale’s Thomas Road

By Edward Gately for The Arizona Republic

Pictured, Thomas Road looking west at 70th Street in the 1960s. Photo credit: The Republic/Scottsdale Historical Society

Pictured, Thomas Road looking west at 70th Street in the 1960s. Photo credit: The Republic/Scottsdale Historical Society

Art Nolte remembers when Thomas Road, one of south Scottsdale’s major east-west corridors, wasn’t even paved headed west to Phoenix, “Right down the street was Arizona Downs, a horse racetrack right at the canal.”

Despite the changes, the feel of the area has largely remained the same — mostly homes and smaller businesses dotting the landscape.

In recent decades, Thomas Road has tended to be overshadowed by three other major east-west streets that link Scottsdale with Phoenix: Camelback Road, McDowell Road and Indian School Road.

City leaders adopted a Southern Scottsdale Character Area Plan in 2010 and pinpointed the area along Thomas west of 68th Street as an opportunity for future commercial, office and mixed-use residential development.

Notable changes are coming to Thomas in the coming months. The area will see an influx of residents when Diamante, a sprawling condominium project to be built on 11 acres, opens. Diamante is the first major residential project on Thomas in at least a decade.

And Scottsdale is investing $4M on a streetscape project, which includes most of Thomas between Hayden and Scottsdale roads, to make the corridor more inviting.

In addition, the city is planning a construction project within the next one to two years to make the Hayden-Thomas roads intersection safer, said Paul Basha, the city’s transportation director.

“The Hayden-Thomas intersection has had the single highest collision frequency in the city for the past two years,” he said. “One of the difficulties we have is a large number of driveways very close to the intersection, so the improvements will consolidate driveways…and prohibit left turns at some of these driveways.”

Read more at AZCentral

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