Guest Editorial: Cool Architecture, Designs Key For Scottsdale’s Brand

By Recker McDowell —

Architecture and design are increasingly important as Scottsdale charts its course on the future of Old Town and other parts of the city.

Developers and builders need to offer cool and impactful designs, new projects and redevelopment plans. That is especially true in Old Town and southern Scottsdale where there are redevelopment opportunities and chances to enhance or replace existing buildings.

Metro Phoenix has not always been known for great architecture. That happens in markets where low costs are a competitive advantage.

But Scottsdale isn’t the rest of metro Phoenix or Arizona. It is a world-class destination. It is the first choice for many employers looking to bring jobs to the state and region.

Scottsdale should look at itself as competing with the likes of Austin, Seattle, Denver and Santa Monica for technology and creative jobs and other art and cultural hubs such as Santa Fe and Palm Springs.

No offense to other Valley cities, but Scottsdale should see itself competing on a national and international stage for economic development, restaurants, tourism and culture.

Such efforts require communities to stand out among the crowd. Scottsdale already does that on several fronts. Scottsdale Fashion Square is one of the top performing malls in the Western U.S. Old Town Scottsdale and the city’s events such as Barrett-Jackson and the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

The community should expect high architecture and design standards from those proposing new projects and redevelopments in Scottsdale. The city is home to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West.

But the dynamic must be a two-way street. City planners, elected officials and 2020 mayoral and City Council candidates.

There are plenty of properties and parcels in Old Town and other parts of Scottsdale that need to mature, evolve and potentially be upgraded.

The city should be welcoming to cool architecture and designs that enhance Scottsdale’s brand and vibe. Otherwise, it will miss out on a chances to upgrade and evolve.