Catering to a younger, upbeat population, this area immediately west and south of Arizona State University is the artistic and culture hub of Tempe at large, if not the whole of Phoenix. It is also the home for big employers like State Farm Insurance, Morgan Stanley, Microsoft, LifeLock, Waste Management and Silicon Valley Bank, to some smaller, creative type, like Sitewire.
Featuring an eclectic array of shops, colorful street performers, and local artworks, hardly a square-inch isn’t somehow steeped in artistry and local culture. With easy access by public transit or bike ensuring a constant street of fresh faces, Mill and adjacent avenues are kept bustling through the day, and long into the night.
There is also no shortage of restaurants of all specialties and ethnic flavors. There are trendy wine bars like Postino and The Yard at Farmer Arts District; coffee connoisseurs’ favorite The Cartel; classic and elegant House of Tricks; neighborhood hangout like Boulder on Broadway; fun Irish pubs like Casey Moore’s Oyster House (shhh… it’s haunted!) and Rula Bula; and countless ethnic food adventures like Café Lalibela Ethiopian Cuisines, Thai Basil, Lemongrass Thai Café, Maskadores Taco Shop, and Cornish Pasty Co.
Locals enjoy nearby Tempe Beach Park, which hosts numerous large-scale events year-round, and provides space for a variety of recreational activities on and off the water. From the Dragon Boat Festival, Tempe Festival of the Arts, to the Tempe Beach Park Fourth of July blowout and Oktoberfest, there is always something novel and exciting happening.
As the home of Arizona State University, downtown Tempe comes to life after the summer months as its streets become even more populated with an influx of students. With them comes PAC-college sporting events, access to ASU’s many amenities, such as their art museum, Gammage Theater, and vibrant night life.
Residents in downtown Tempe near Mill Avenue and along Tempe Town Lake live in high-rise condos or apartments built in recent years.
Riverside and Sunset neighborhoods are the area between Tempe Town Lake and University Drive, Priest Drive and Ash Ave. Among older homes and apartments, several townhomes and lower-rise condos were built during and after the housing boom this century. Jaycee Park in the Riverside neighborhood houses the Boys and Girls Club of Tempe and one of the Tempe’s multi-generation centers.
Going south following the railroad along Ash Avenue to Maple Ash Historic Neighborhood where Old Tempe started, you will find a mix of historic homes and newer townhomes subdivision. Further down the railroad, immediately south of the University, anchored by the Daley Park, are houses sitting on larger lots, that either are the original structures or have been rebuilt or added-on. West to the old town you will find homes built for American soldiers returned from World War II. Mid-Century architecture characteristics can been spotted here and there in these neighborhoods. Public arts on the irrigation standpipes and in the traffic circles greet you on your walk through the tree-lined streets. Today Mitchell Park is the campus for Childsplay, an internationally known theater for children; Clark Park is known for its community garden and weekend farmer’s market.
Further west are the neighborhoods call Holdenman and Gilliand, thanks to recent bike lane improvement on Hardy Drive and the Tempe neighborhood bus route Orbit, it has become a favorite of ASU community members looking for cheaper rentals and first-time-home-buyer bargains.
Find North West Tempe/ASU properties: