What do you know about Glendale, Arizona? Just a good place to see an NHL or NFL game? There’s more than that. If you’re looking to move to Phoenix, Glendale should be on your radar. This suburb sits just northwest of downtown Phoenix and is also next to Scottsdale, giving it great access to plenty of attractions.
Harry Shapiro, a native of Glendale since 1975 and director of investor relations of Glendale’s Chamber of Commerce, describes the city this way: “It is a big city by being over a quarter of a million people. But, it has a small town charm. In the metropolitan area, Glendale has its own identity by being not only a business hub, but also an education hub. People will come here and stay.”
Glendale was built on the back of water and beets (yes, you read that correctly). When Phoenix founder Jack Swilling re-excavated a network of prehistoric Hohokam Indian canals in the 1860’s that irrigated thousands of acres of farmland along the Salt River, north and west Phoenix were left out of the equation. That’s because there were no canals to restore.
Enter William J. Murphy. Along with two other builders, Murphy took the initiative to build the 40-mile Arizona canal which brought the much-needed water to the area once it was completed in 1885. He named the area Glendale and in the coming years, he built an avenue to connect the area to Phoenix, as well as constructed a $1-million sugar beet factory.
The beets ended up being a bust but Glendale still thrived. Census estimates put the current population of Glendale at nearly 260,000. “When I first moved to Glendale [in 1975] in the population was 67,000,” said Shapiro. “And from 2010 to 2020, 21,000 new residents [have moved into the area].”
Here’s a closer look at what makes Glendale tick. And if you want to skip ahead to a slew of new homes listings in Glendale, you can just click the link.
- Tell me some more about the history of Glendale?
- What does the Mayor of Glendale have to say about the city?
- What’s the weather like?
- How do I get around?
- Can I go see a professional sports team in Glendale?
- What can I do for fun?
- Where do I go to school or find a job?
- Where can I find a new home in Glendale?
The Glendale Historical Society is full of information
The Glendale Historical Society are the keepers of everything that dates back to the early days of Glendale. The society says that William J. Murphy wanted to establish a colony in the area, and approached Burgess A. Hadsell, a well-known colonizer for the German Reformed Church, to do so.
In the fall of 1891, the “Temperance Colony of Glendale” was created. The Temperance Colony of Glendale was a farming community for “quiet, sober, industrious, hard working people.” It was promoted as an agricultural “paradise for the stock and fruit grower.” Glendale attracted farmers from areas like Pennsylvania and the midwest who were looking for a new home and a fresh start.
Although predominantly white and Anglophone, the settlers that came in the later 1890’s and early decades of the 1900’s included many different minority groups. The wide variety of cultural additions played a major role in the city’s development. Glendale became an important agricultural center that shipped fruits and vegetables all over the United States.
Glendale has a whopping 461 buildings and 10 historical districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Some of the most notable buildings are the Sauharo Ranch, the Glendale Woman’s Club and Manistee Ranch.
Willam Henry Bartlett was 36 when he and his brother and his brother Samuel became interested in the Phoenix area. They had come from Peoria, Illinois to invest in produce farming and ranching.
William homesteaded the Sauharo Ranch back in 1886. By 1891, he controlled over 2,000 acres of farmland in Glendale and was one of the largest ranchers in the region. The ranch had plenty of buildings built on the land for superintendents, ranch hands, family and friends. This area was in an area that resembled an attractive park — it was landscaped with rose bushes, large frond palms and many species of local plants. There was also a large pond with a bridge leading to an island, complete with a gazebo. William continued his work on the ranch until his death in 1918.
Throughout the 20th century, Sauharo Ranch has been home to many different types of crops, from olives, oranges, dates, figs and even cotton.
The main house and other key buildings on the property underwent a major restoration in the mid-1990’s and the city has committed to preserving the Sauharo Ranch for future generations, given its historical significance to Glendale.
The Glendale Woman’s Club
The Glendale Woman’s Club began in 1901 and was described as a “self culture club”, giving women in the community a way to educate themselves by expanding their literary knowledge. The Woman’s Club raised the money needed for Glendale’s first library and city parks. The club had been meeting in homes but by 1907 Glendale had grown considerably. Membership in the club had increased so much that they needed to acquire a larger space of their own.
The building was erected at 60 North 5th Avenue (now 7032 N. 56th Avenue) on two lots donated during a real estate promotion, and is one of the best examples of a craftsman-style bungalow in Glendale.
The building was the largest meeting hall in the community and was used for many other events other than the Woman’s Club gatherings. High school dances, concerts, weddings, church services, town meetings and even funerals were held there. The doors were opened to the Red Cross for sewing, bandage- making. and packing supplies for the troops during both World Wars. The women were instrumental in establishing the city’s art council and historical society. The club members still own and use the building for their meetings and to complete their community service projects. The club house building was placed on the National Historic Register on July 27, 1989.
Manistee Ranch was built in 1897 by Herbert W. Hamilton, a wealthy lumber baron from Wisconsin. Manistee Ranch began as a 320-acre spread along what is now Northern Avenue. Hamilton sold the place to Louis M. Sands, a prominent Arizona businessman and rancher, in 1907, and it stayed in the Sands family until it was sold to the Glendale Historical Society in 1996.
Today the ranch is on the National Register of Historic Places and is made up of four buildings: a garage, office, barn and house. All can be visited by anyone who wants to get a little taste of Glendale history.
The home is full of antique furnishings that have been on-site since the Ranch’s earliest days. The basement contains a large display of photographs, in addition to Glendale grammar school necessities and farm equipment that was used to manage the livestock.
Similar to Sauharo, The Sands family also grew citrus and dates on the ranch. In the 1920’s workers would harvest the dates and store them in a date house next to the rose arbor. Today, the ranch is home to 11 different species of palm trees. The date grove has been turned into a garden by the City of Glendale, where visitors can sit and enjoy the outdoors among the palms, some of which are more than 100 years old.
The Mayor of Glendale makes the case for the city
Glendale’s Mayor, Jerry Weiers, is a long time resident of the city and just passed his tenth anniversary in the mayoral seat. We spoke to him about the uniqueness of Glendale, its past, its appeal for newcomers and what the future holds for the city.
Tell us a little bit about your relationship with Glendale — how long have you lived in that part of the Phoenix metro area? Were you living in Glendale prior to becoming Mayor?
I moved to and from the Phoenix area several times with my family as a child. I have lived in Glendale permanently since 1998 and was elected as the Mayor of Glendale in 2012. Prior to serving as Mayor, I represented the West Valley in the State Legislature for eight years, serving as Chairman of the House Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee. I helped lead efforts to bring the F-35 to Luke Air Force Base, solidifying this critical economic engine for the West Valley and the State of Arizona.
What makes Glendale unique or special? What makes it stand out from the rest of the Phoenix metro area?
Glendale is experiencing unprecedented growth in both commercial development and job creation. Glendale’s economic development strategies have focused on increasing its tax base while targeting the creation of high-quality job opportunities. To lessen any significant risks that could potentially harm the city during an economic downturn, the city has intentionally diversified its industries, creating a broad and stable range of revenue sources.
What’s your favorite thing to do in Glendale?
My favorite thing is when I have a chance meet citizens in public who don’t recognize me. I really enjoy being able to talk with them one-on-one as “Jerry” instead of as “the Mayor.” It allows me to hear what people think about current situations on the local and national level. My second favorite thing is being able to go to the schools and meet the kids. I’ve been invited to many of the Glendale schools and done story time, career day, and other types of visits.
If I’m a person with a family who’s looking to buy a home in the Phoenix metro area, why should I consider Glendale? What about potential single homeowners? Why would Glendale appeal to them?
I’m proud that the City Council and I haven’t raised property taxes for seven years straight.
Incorporated in 1910, Glendale is home to both historic attractions like Sahuaro Ranch Park and state of the art entertainment facilities like State Farm Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals and the 2008, 2015, and 2023 Super Bowls, as well as two Final Fours and 11 Fiesta Bowls. We are also home to the shared MLB Spring Training facility of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox.
Glendale provides many housing options for both families and single residents and we have countless amenities for all ages. For outdoor enthusiasts, there are many parks, trails, lakes, and historic sites to explore. Families with children will find numerous K-12 options, as well as several higher education institutions. Westgate Sports & Entertainment District provides singles many entertainment and dining options.
In the Sports & Entertainment District, there are currently 5,760 multifamily units that have either been recently built or at various stages of the development process. Residents can live, work, and play in the same area. This helps provide a better quality of life. The city has direct connectivity to some of the Phoenix metro area’s major freeways. The transportation corridors allow for easy access in and out of the city.
How would describe Glendale to someone who knows little about the Phoenix metro area or Arizona?
The city of Glendale is a vibrant and welcoming metropolitan city with extraordinary opportunities for everyone to prosper, connect, and experience all that is remarkable about our community.
Glendale features natural preserves such as Thunderbird Conservation Park and high-tech manufacturers like Conair and Honeywell Aerospace. There are also several higher education schools in Glendale, including medical school Midwestern University, the only veterinary school in the state of Arizona. The city is also home to Luke Air Force Base, the training home for F-35 pilots.
The Westgate Entertainment District is Arizona’s premier entertainment destination offering a vibrant outdoor setting with unique water features and an interactive shopping, dining, and entertainment experience. Also in Westgate, the city’s Gila River Arena hosts the Arizona Ridge Riders, who are part of the Professional Bull Riders Association, as well as numerous concerts and other events throughout the year.
What are some of the changes that will be coming to Glendale? What can residents look forward to in 5-10 years?
There is significant westward growth in the area, which will shift the region’s center to the west and bring it to the heart of Glendale. This means Glendale residents will truly be at the center of it all. Glendale residents can enjoy world-class amenities and entertainment and find quality jobs and education close to home.
In 2023, Glendale will welcome the largest resort in Arizona, VAI Resort, with more than 1,200 rooms and suites. The property will become another wonderful asset for the City with additional restaurants, a concert venue, and many other amenities that will attract people from across the world.
Our goal is to continue to attract world-class businesses and build on the previous decade by bringing more high paying jobs that the community needs. The City Council will continue to make financially sound decisions that help us weather any potential economic challenges. By working with City leadership to build the strength of our City, we ensure we can be in the best position to endure any challenges we may face.
Glendale’s weather will remind you of Phoenix
You can count on Glendale’s weather to be identical to that of Phoenix, given their proximity to each other.
Glendale is also part of the “Valley of the Sun” and its reputation for blistering hot weather through the majority of the year is notorious. Located in the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix is the largest city in America in this climate zone.
The District of Maricopa County began keeping separate weather records for Glendale in 1996. Glendale’s record high of 120°F has been reached three times: Twice in July 1998, and in June 2013. Its lowest temperature of 21°F was recorded in January 2007.
The city has over 300 days of sunshine per year, making it a popular spot for outdoor activities like golf, swimming, and hiking.
Like Phoenix, Glendale stays pretty dry. When it comes to rainfall, don’t expect much wet weather. The National Weather Service reports that Phoenix has never received more than 20 inches of rain in a year since the records began. However, you can also expect the monsoon season to hit Glendale, typically between June and September. Lightning, dust storms and powerful winds are the norm, snarling traffic and coating everything in a fine film of sediment. Also: Look out for rock slides and flash floods during this time.
Transportation is best handled by yourself
Most Phoenicians will tell you that the city is best navigated by your own car, given the sheer expanse of everything in the area. But Glendale does have public transportation options, including a fixed-route bus service, Dial-A-Ride and the free Glendale Urban Shuttle (GUS) bus. GUS is free and takes riders on three circulator routes, making it easier to reach popular locations. Transit hours are listed as Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Off-hours, UBER also services the city as well as the rest of Phoenix.
Glendale is 9.6 miles from downtown Phoenix, via the as-the-crow-flies Grand Avenue that was built by Willam J. Murphy more than 100 years ago. It’s 14 miles from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is the busiest airport in the state of Arizona and the tenth busiest airport in the United States. Phoenix is served by 22 airlines and offers non-stop flights to more than 150 destinations worldwide. Phoenix Sky Harbor is also a hub for American Airlines and Southwest Airlines.
If you’re interested in checking out local bike trails, TrailLink will help you explore Glendale with ease. The Arizona Canal path comes highly recommended and spans nearly 70 miles, covering Peoria, Glendale, Phoenix, Scottsdale and the Salt River Pima–Maricopa Indian Community. New River Trail takes riders 16.5 miles through Peoria and Glendale, running parallel along the river’s shoreline. Along the way, there are plenty of neighborhoods and businesses to stop and explore.
Glendale does sports in a big way
Glendale and hockey? That doesn’t make any sense, does it? Yes, it does. The city played an enormous role in keeping the former-Phoenix Coyotes in Arizona. The team had suffered massive financial losses throughout the 2000’s and ended up in bankruptcy court in 2009.
After years of being kept afloat by the National Hockey League (the League secured a lease with Glendale’s Gila River arena), Glendale city council voted in favor of a 15-year, $225 million lease agreement with the new owners of the team, Renaissance Sports and Entertainment. The name was changed to the Arizona Coyotes to reflect that the team was no longer located in metro Phoenix.
If it weren’t for Glendale, the state of Arizona would have lost its professional hockey franchise years ago. The Coyotes will be moving on to play at the new Arizona State University arena in Tempe for the 2022-23 season.
Harry Shapiro describes Glendale as “a great hub for sports and entertainment.” In 2006 Glendale became home to State Farm Stadium, the venue of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals. The stadium was named Best New Venue of the 2000’s by Sports Illustrated, and Best NFL Facility by Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily in 2006 and 2007. The site holds 73,000 for mega-events and has hosted two Super Bowls (NFL), two National College Football Championship games, and the 2017 NCAA Final Four Basketball Championship. It will host its third Super Bowl in 2023.
It also has the first retractable natural grass playing surface in North America, which takes approximately 70 minutes to roll either in or out of the stadium via a set of 13 railroad-like tracks.
In addition, State Farm Stadium has the first completely retractable roof operating at an incline. Its first concert was a notable one: The Rolling Stones played State Stadium on November 8, 2006.
There’s baseball, too, if that’s what you’re seeking. “We have spring training in Glendale, you have the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox that train here,” said Shapiro.
Fun in Glendale – Where to go
Glendale’s Gila River Arena and State Farm Stadium are located next to the Westgate Entertainment District. This area has shopping, lots of restaurants, a comedy club, and plenty of scheduled live entertainment. It might be the only place on the planet where you can see a pro sports game and take your child to a pottery class on the same day. There’s also events like Bike Night, where motorcycle lovers can gather, gawk at some nice rides and enjoy some live music.
VAI Resort, scheduled to open in 2023, is guaranteed to be a huge draw for Glendale residents. VAI will be the largest hotel and entertainment destination in the state, and aims to bring an oasis-like concept to the desert. There will be over 1,200 luxury suites and rooms, a 360-degree concert stage, 13 fine dining restaurants and a 52,000 square foot island that will feature white sand beaches and clear blue waters.
If you want to head outdoors, check out Xeriscape Botanical Garden. It’s free and is open to the public from dawn until dusk. The area contains over 1,000 different types of plants, as well as more than 250 different species of cacti and succulents. There’s also a desert food forest, with edible trees, shrubs, perennials and succulents that homeowners can grow and harvest.
If you’re the marrying kind, you could have your ceremony in the historic rose garden at Sahuaro Ranch. Weddings in the rose garden date back to April 6, 1899, between Mary Wentworth Bartlett and Charles W. Case Deering. The roses had been planted by Mary’s father, William Henry Bartlett, in the 1890’s. Today, the Glendale Arizona Historical Society schedules weddings in the rose garden for a fee and the flowers make a wonderful backdrop for photos.
Education and Employment
Shapiro insisted that Glendale’s wide variety of campuses and employers make the city the perfect place to put down roots and flourish.
“We have high schools, major colleges, Midwestern University is [in Glendale], Arizona Christian University and Glendale Community College,” said Shapiro. “So there are good education locations and people come from all over to go to some of those institutions.”
Employment options also run the gamut.
“We have Luke Air Force Base, which is also in the city limits of Glendale,” said Shapiro. “Defense contractors are in the area like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Magellan Aerospace and Honeywell. We also have major employers like Red Bull, Humana, Bechtel, White Claw and many more. Many of the Fortune 500 companies have moved into Glendale. There’s been a lot of new growth. There’s health and medical, too. Phoenix Children’s Hospital is building a major location in Glendale and they are Valley wide. But the biggest location will be now in Glendale.”
So, are you ready to move to Glendale? Here are listings for new developments in the area based on data from BuzzBuzzHome.
New homes in Glendale, AZ
Stonehaven Discovery Collection
Location: 8934 West Georgia Avenue, Glendale, AZ
Developer: Taylor Morrison
Price range: $497,990 to $589,990
Size: Three to six bedrooms, 1,715 to 2,961 square feet
Stonehaven Discovery Collection has six different floor plans to choose from, with one or two-storey layouts. Options for two or three-car garages are available. Families will find elementary and high schools within 1.5 miles or less of the community.
Stonehaven Voyage Collection
Location: 8526 West Solano Drive, Glendale, AZ
Developer: Taylor Morrison
Price range: $600,990 to $770,990
Size: Three to seven bedrooms, 2,341 to 4,517 square feet
Stonehaven Voyage Collection single-family homes have plenty of room for growing and extended families to live all under one roof. There are six floor plans and one- and two-storey designs available.
Location: 8817 West Luke Avenue, Glendale, AZ
Developer: Pulte Homes
Price range: $537,990 to $754,990
Size: Two to four bedrooms, 1,730 to 2,821 square feet
StoneHaven is a master-planned community with seven different models. Amenities include a sports court, community playground and a community pool with cabanas.
Location: West Orangewood Avenue, Glendale, AZ
Developer: K. Hovnanian Homes
Price range: $607,990 to $684,995
Size: Two to four bedrooms, 2,291 to 3,240 square feet
Orangewood Ranch is located close to the Westgate Entertainment District for convenience. Three-car garages come standard with four- and five-car options available. There are four floor plans to choose from.
Location: 8918 West Vermont Avenue, Glendale, AZ
Developer: Taylor Morrison
Price range: $507,990 to $625,990
Size: Two to five bedrooms, 1,925 to 3,540 square feet
Stonehaven Encore has six different floor plans and one- or two-storey homes available. Elementary and high schools can be found less than 1.5 miles away from the development.
Rovey Park Expedition Collection
Location: 375 West Vista Avenue, Glendale, AZ
Developer: Taylor Morrison
Price range: $570,990 to over $780,000
Size: Two to seven bedrooms, 2314 to 3704 square feet
Rovey Park Expedition Collection has four floor plans still available and a number of their homes are move-in ready. Great shopping and entertainment options can be found close to the development.