Central Scottsdale

General

This area combines Scottsdale’s oldest and newest homes, top shopping and restaurants with some of the city’s best resort and outdoor venues. McCormick Ranch, one of this area’s first big developments, is located here. New condominiums are going up throughout this area, which is drawing more empty nesters and Millennials. The Arizona Canal has been redeveloped into a popular spot for living and playing. Jobs can be found in downtown Scottsdale and Arizona State University’s SkySong project on the southern end of the neighborhood. 

This neighborhood guide - like every one on Street Scout - was researched and written by experts from The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com. It's based on public records, census data and on-the-ground reporting. Our Emmy-winning photographers and videographers have brought images of each neighborhood to life. We know our neighborhoods. If you want to live here, you want to read this.

Transportation

Loop 101 freeway runs along the eastern side of this neighborhood. Scottsdale Road is the area’s main thoroughfare.

School Map
Walk Score

Explore the 4 Areas of Central Scottsdale

Old Town Scottsdale: 85251
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Old Town Scottsdale is home to the eastern edge of the Arcadia neighborhood. But most of this Central Scottsdale area includes the city’s downtown with many eclectic shops and restaurants, large upscale shopping center, resorts and the waterfront area.

SoSco: 85257
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SoSco (south Scottsdale) is where ASU’s innovative SkySong office hub is located. Homes in this area are older, typically with carports and desert landscaping. Many have been renovated.

McCormick Ranch: 85258
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McCormick Ranch is named after one of Scottsdale’s first high-end communities. McCormick Ranch was once home to an Arabian horse farm. Many of the area’s homes built in the 1970s have been renovated. The Gainey Ranch community with the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort also is part of this neighborhood.

Indian Bend: 85250
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Indian Bend is the home to a lot of the wash and greenbelt it is named after. Talking Stick Resort and Golf Club are on the eastern edge of this neighborhood that the Loop 101 runs through. Scottsdale Community College is here. There are many new and old townhomes.

Housing

Housing

This area has many of Scottsdale’s oldest and newest homes. McCormick and Gainey ranches have million-dollar houses and golf courses. More-affordable homes can be found in Indian Bend and SoSco. Old Town has million-dollar condos and includes part of the affluent Arcadia neighborhood. New condos are popular in the southern end of this neighborhood. Luxury apartments can be found throughout. This area is popular with families, second-home buyers, empty nesters and Millennials. Older townhouses throughout central Scottsdale draw many winter renters.

The Market

Old Town Scottsdale85251

SoSco (south Scottsdale)85257

McCormick Ranch85258

Indian Bend85250

  • Median home prices in central Scottsdale range from more than $500,000 in McCormick Ranch to about $250,000 in SoSco.

  • There’s little land left to build new housing in this neighborhood except for new condo and apartments.

  • Many of the area’s older homes have been renovated.

  • Most of the new condo projects are in Old Town and SoSco. Home prices in those areas have been climbing the fastest.

  • Investors purchased foreclosure homes in SoSco, so there are more rentals in there. The area draws Arizona State University students.

  • Rents throughout Central Scottsdale are higher than average for metro Phoenix.

Living Here

Living here

Expect an urban and upscale lifestyle with resorts, sought-after restaurants and shopping, golf courses and popular outdoor attractions. Central Scottsdale includes the city’s oldest and newest housing. It draws all kinds of residents and visitors. This area’s central location and many amenities make it a popular spot to live and visit. But its popularity means more traffic, particularly in the winter and spring when visitors flock there.

Things To Do

Old Town Scottsdale85251

SoSco (south Scottsdale)85257

McCormick Ranch85258

Indian Bend85250

Main attractions

Beautiful Camelback Mountain makes for a stunning backdrop for the Phoenician, one of the Valleys’ most luxurious resorts. Scottsdale Fashion Square is one of the Valley’s best and biggest indoor malls, with shops as lux as Barneys New York and Tiffany & Co. Get cultured at the ultra modern Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art or one of the neighborhood’s many art galleries.

Out on the town

Old Town Scottsdale is loaded with charm and good times. Find nightclubs, golfing and boutique shopping there. For serious foodies, there’s something to please every palate. There’s the modern Citizen Public House or Brat Haus. And then there’s the retro Pink Pony or Roaring Fork. During soccer season, catch an Arizona United match at Scottsdale Stadium. In the spring, it serves as the training ground for the San Francisco Giants.

Main attractions

Beautiful Papago Park to the west offers outdoor adventures and a stunning backdrop to trips to the Phoenix Zoo and the Desert Botanical Garden. Enjoy more family fun at Eldorado Park and Community Center, a 60-acre park outfitted with a fishing lake, community center, swimming pool, playgrounds, courts and ball fields.

Out on the town

Come March, Scottsdale Stadium is the spring training home of the San Francisco Giants. Tap into the local beer scene at Papago Brewing and Fate Brewing Company. For the more culturally inclined, there are plenty of shows, exhibits and classes to enjoy at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

Main attractions

McCormick Ranch is one of the Valley’s oldest and most popular planned communities. It’s home to McCormick Ranch Golf Club, which features two courses and stunning views of Camelback and McDowell mountains. The area is a golf lover’s paradise with public and private courses, including Camelback Golf Club, Scottsdale Silverado Golf Club and Starfire Golf Club.

Out on the town

Talking Stick Resort, with a sprawling casino and a showroom that brings in A-list touring acts, is nearby. Salt River Fields at Talking Stick is the spring training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies. For a dose of family fun, take the kids for a train ride at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. Or visit fanciful Butterfly Wonderland, the largest butterfly conservatory in the country and home to more than 3,000 butterflies from around the world.

Main attractions

Golf is a way of life in Scottsdale. And there are plenty of public and private courses to choose from here, including Scottsdale Silverado Golf Club. Nearby Salt River Fields at Talking Stick is the spring training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies. And Scottsdale Stadium, near the city’s downtown, hosts the San Francisco Giants. For those looking to continue their education or jumpstart a new career, Scottsdale Community College offers many academic and occupational programs. Get active at Chaparral Park, a 100-acre recreational facility complete with a pool, community center, dog parks, ball fields, volleyball courts and a lake for fishing and boating.

Out on the town

Talking Stick Resort is the East Valley’s epicenter of adult fun, with a sprawling casino and a showroom that brings in A-list touring acts. Scottsdale Fashion Square is nearby. It’s one of the Valley’s best and biggest indoor malls, with shops as luxe as Barneys New York and Tiffany & Co. After some retail therapy, get cultured at the ultramodern Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art or one of the neighborhood’s many art galleries. For more family-friendly fun, take the kids for a train ride at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. Or visit Butterfly Wonderland, a butterfly conservatory home to more than 3,000 butterflies from around the world.


Explore the Outdoors

Outdoors

These neighborhoods straddle the Indian Bend Wash, a flood-control greenbelt and recreational jewel. It includes a 17-mile stretch of an off-the-street multiuse path, parks, a skate park, disc golf, community gardens and other amenities. Just to the west, Camelback Mountain and Echo Canyon Park offer some of the Valley’s most popular hiking trails, not to mention breathtaking views. To the south, Papago Park is a mountain biking, hiking and trail-running haven, with a canal path flanking it for recreational cycling. And Tempe Town Lake is directly south of Papago Park, with a multiuse path that ties into the Indian Bend Wash system and kayak, canoe or paddleboard rentals.

Stats & Facts

Old Town Scottsdale85251

SoSco (south Scottsdale)85257

McCormick Ranch85258

Indian Bend85250

Who lives here

Most housing stock in Central Scottsdale is at least 30 years old. The area attracts many renters and has above-average education levels. Incomes are only slightly higher than average. Many residents send their children to private schools. The McCormick Ranch neighborhood (85258) is notably more affluent and educated, and its houses are slightly newer.

5 Things To Know About Scottsdale

It’s well run.

Scottsdale consistently ranks as one of the best-run cities in America. Elected officials generally espouse a business-friendly, fiscally-conservative attitude. The city’s finances are heavily dependent on revenue from sales taxes, which can fluctuate with the economy. Though it suffered cutbacks several years ago, Scottsdale’s budget is balanced, and the city has been able to provide services without significantly impacting residents.

It has many things to do.

Scottsdale’s high-end amenities frequently draw visitors from other cities. The city boasts more than 40 parks, five public libraries and a recreational greenbelt with 11 miles of walking paths surrounded by lakes. There are three dog parks, including the award-winning Chaparral Park Off-leash Area.

It offers help to residents.

Scottsdale is known for its wealthy population, but low-income and needy residents can still benefit from a host of city-funded programs. These include “Beat the Heat,” a summer donation program benefiting seniors, and “Operation Fix It,” which helps eligible residents maintain their yards and houses.

Its residents are mixed on growth.

Many longtime residents fear unbridled growth and the explosion of new high-rises and apartment complexes could detract from the city’s charm and character. Other residents, particularly the younger generation, maintain a more progressive view and welcome most new development, especially in the thriving downtown. Every 10 years, voters have to approve an updated General Plan to steer new growth. Voters rejected the 2012 plan.

It was renamed.

Scottsdale was originally called Orangedale because of its many citrus orchards. In the 1890s, a former Rhode Island banker, Albert Utley, set aside land for the town. But an article in The Arizona Republican called the area Scottsdale after a well-known farmer in the area, Winfield Scott, and the name stuck.