Central City is a neighborhood in Phoenix, Arizona. The boundaries are north of Camelback Road and west of Central Ave to 81st Avenue and Palm Lane on the North. Hoyt Street/Jomax Road forms the southern border and Interstate 10 is the Eastern Border. It was one of four neighborhoods that merged into the city of Phoenix in 1959, when it became apparent that the original town site could not accommodate future growth. The other neighborhoods that were included at this time were Alhambra, Encanto Village, and Sherman Terrace. Today Central City is considered by many to be the premiere neighborhood with a rich history tied closely to many other areas throughout town including Mid Town, Desert Ridge and Downtown Scottsdale. One thing you will find when talking about Central City is that the new developments are some of the most exciting projects in town. If you see a really hot neighborhood in Phoenix, there’s a good chance it will be here or one of its many nearby residents.
Central City is an old city neighborhood with roots dating back to the 1920s and 1930s, and as such has had many name changes over time to reflect what was going on around it at any given period in history. The current name Central City was first used during World War II to describe areas away from the front lines where troops could rest and recuperate between battles. Back then this area was known as “The West Side”. It wasn’t until after the war ended that investors decided to invest in the now useful vacation spot. With a post-war housing boom, the area was planned for development and eventually incorporated as the city of Central in 1948. It’s interesting to note that many cities throughout Arizona have their beginning during this time period so when you are driving around you will notice all sorts of Historical Markers about how different areas developed into what they are today. Some of these cities include Scottsdale, Chandler and Glendale to name a few.
Central City was the last of the four new cities (Desert Ridge is still in the planning stages) to be added to Phoenix as part of its annexation process. After much debate it was decided that this area along with Encanto Village would actually be annexed by Phoenix in 1959, while Alhambra and Sherman Terrace joined Glendale and Mesa respectively. It was at this time that Central City officially changed names from Central into Mid Town due to an effort at promoting a more positive image for the city. In 1965 Mayor J Hugh Mc Millan lobbied hard for changing the name yet again, this time calling for a change into “Miracle Mile”, but the City Council rejected the proposal in favor of Central Avenue Corridor.
The real estate boom and subsequent bust that followed World War II lead to a decline in development for this area, however by the late 90’s things started to pick up again. In 1994 new businesses began moving into this part of town and today it is thriving with boutique shopping, great restaurants, nightlife venues and more. One thing we always recommend when you are visiting the city is your stay at one of those new luxury hotels as they have put so much care into making their place special but also helping you enjoy everything that the neighborhood has to offer by being a short stroll away.