By Edward Gately for The Arizona Republic
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