Overview of Tempe
Apartments and rentals are plentiful in Tempe, AZ, a sundrenched city within the Phoenix metropolitan area. Tempe is bordered by Phoenix, Scottsdale, Chandler, Mesa and Guadalupe, all within the "Valley of the Sun," or metro Phoenix.
Living in Tempe, AZ
The Hohokam were the area's original inhabitants. They dug an extensive canal system to support agriculture, which later settlers recreated. After about 2,000 years, the Hohokam left the area in the 15th century. Although early Europeans had passed through the Phoenix valley, it wasn't until the mid-1860s that a fort was built about 25 miles northeast of today's Tempe. A short time later, two camps were set up on the Salt River, the first settlements since the Hohokam. One was Hayden's Ferry, named for Charles T. Hayden who ran the ferry service across the Salt River. While still a territory in 1885, the territorial legislature set up a Territorial Normal School, which after several transformations over the decades eventually became Arizona State University.
Today, although Tempe is part of the Phoenix metro area, it is a significant city in its own right. It has more than 160,000 residents. The city also considers itself a center for education and commerce.
The Tempe of today is still growing. It's many quiet residential areas are supported by a growing downtown district with its own impressive skyline. Popular neighborhoods in Tempe include: Riverside, Holdeman, Hudson Manor and Sunset.
Tempe Work & Study
Arizona State University (ASU) is a major player in Tempe's economy. It is the largest university in the nation with more than 70,000 students. ASU not only brings thousand of students into the city each year, but it also is a major employer. Large, non-government employers in Tempe include: Wells Fargo, Honeywell, Chase, U.S. Airways, ABM Janitorial Services and Safeway, among others. Tempe's unemployment rate is below the national average, making it a bit more attractive than other similar sized cities.
Plus, the large metropolitan area of Phoenix offers additional employment opportunities just a short freeway ride away.
Tempe Cost of Living
Tempe's cost of living is only slightly above average compared to the rest of the country. The significant adjustment to housing prices and costs during the economic downturn of recent years has helped in keeping rental prices affordable. Studio apartments, a good option for someone single, start at around $450 monthly. One-bedroom apartments can be found for between $650 and $950 a month, depending on location, size and amenities. Most two-bedroom apartments start around $700. Most apartment complexes in Tempe are low-rise and garden style, although there is a selection of upscale high-rises. Generally these surround Tempe Town Lake. You can also find rental condos, townhomes and houses.
Tempe Attractions & Entertainment
A key feature of Tempe is one that's hard to miss. The Tempe Town Lake in downtown was created in the late 1990s by damming the Salt River This outdoor recreation area includes a large beach park, fishing and boating. Many weekend festivals are held at Tempe Beach Park. The lake also adds a stunning visual highlight to the cityscape.
The area around ASU is a bit more lively than other sections of the city, which is understandable with such a large student population. Mill Avenue, in downtown Tempe near the University, is a trendy district with coffee shops, eateries, bars, retailers and entertainment venues. A number of festivals are held in this district throughout the year.
You can get your shopping diva on at the Arizona Mills Mall, a destination shopping center with 175 stores, movie theaters, an IMAX theater and many restaurants. Sea Life Aquarium is also located at the mall. Tempe also offers historic and art museums, a water park, parks and recreation areas, and in the spring you can catch Major League spring training baseball games at Tempe's Diablo Stadium.
Tempe Special Events
Tempe holds a number of special events throughout the year for residents and visitors alike. The Festival of the Arts is a nationally recognized event held each spring in downtown. The Tempe Festival of Lights and Tempe Holiday Boat Parade are held at the holidays. The Fiesta Bowl Block Party on New Year's Eve is billed as one of the largest block parties in the country. About 100,000 people ring in the new year at this event. And the PF Chang's Rock and Roll Marathon and _ Marathon in January is a two part-event. The marathon, a qualifier for the Boston Marathon, begins in Phoenix and ends in Tempe, while the _ Marathon begins in Tempe.
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