|Urban village of Phoenix, Arizona|
|Ahwatukee Foothills Village|
A typical Ahwatukee neighborhood as seen from South Mountain Park
|Motto(s): Warm People, Bright Future|
Location of Ahwatukee Foothills highlighted in red.
|o Total||35.8 sq mi (93 km2)|
|Population (2016 Estimate)|
|o Density||1,783/sq mi (688/km2)|
|Website||Ahwatukee Foothills Village Planning Committee|
Ahwatukee Foothills, often simply called Ahwatukee, is an urban village of Phoenix, Arizona. While geographically, Ahwatukee forms the southernmost portion of Phoenix, it is normally considered to be part of the East Valley region of the Phoenix metropolitan area.
There exists three theories surrounding the name "Ahwatukee", with all three claiming the name has roots in the Crow language.
Some stories of the name's origin trace back to Helen Brinton, who reportedly renamed the area after buying an area property in 1935, and chose a Crow-rooted name due to her time among the Crow Nation tribal members in Wyoming, and the influence it subsequently had on her.
Up until at least 2006, the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce acknowledges house of dreams as the meaning of the area's name.
However, a Crow language dictionary maintained by the Crow Language Consortium, a project spearheaded by the Crow Nation, Little Big Horn College, and The Language Conservancy, claims the Crow word for "house" is ashé, and the Crow word for "dream" is baashíale or balewaashíale.
Some sources claim the name is a Crow term for land on the other side of the hill, based on the Crow word awe chuuke. The Crow language dictionary maintained by the Crow Language Consortium lends credence to this theory, as the dictionary claims the word awé means "ground", "land", or "earth", and the word chúuke means "over the ridge", "over the hill", or "the next valley over".
At least one book claims the name closely resembles a Crow term for "flat land" or "prairie". The Crow language dictionary maintained by the Crow Language Consortium also lends credence to this theory, as the dictionary claims the Crow word "flat land" is "alawachúhke".
Prior to the area's development into the community it is known today, the name "Ahwatukee" referred, at times, to a since-demolished house that sits in an area near Sequoia Trails and Appaloosa Drive, west of the Warner-Elliot Loop.
At least two major thoroughfares in today's Ahwatukee are named after people who claimed lands in the area, in the decades following the signing of the Homestead Act in 1862. Warner Road was named after Samuel Warner of Kansas, while Elliot Road was named after Reginald Elliott of California. Both claimed lands in an area now known as Tempe. A third man, Arthur Hunter, claimed land within an area now known as Ahwatukee. The street known today as 48th Street was, for a time, named Hunter Drive, after Arthur Hunter. Hunter is rumored to have, in the 1940s, disassembled and buried in the Ahwatukee desert a Studebaker car purported owned by Al Capone.
One of the first houses in the area was built by Dr. William Van Bergen Ames, who co-founded Northwestern University's now-closed Dental School. The house was built on a piece of land measuring over 2,000 acres (810 ha), which was purchased for $4 an acre.
At the time, the Chandler Arizonan newspaper called the house, built in the foothills of the South Mountain, "unmatched in scope and size". The house was noted to be a 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2) winter residence, designed by prominent Phoenix architect Lester Mahoney, with construction starting in 1921.
The house was given the name "The Mystic House" by the Chandler Arizonan, due to its cost, size, and isolated location. The Ames, however, called it Casa de Sueños. They moved into the house on Thanksgiving of 1921, but Dr. Ames died suddenly in February 1922. Ames' wife continued to spend her winters at the house until her death in 1933.
Following Ames' wife's death, the Ames' property in Ahwatukee was willed to St. Luke's Hospital. The property was bought by Brinton in 1935, who gave the house (and eventually the area) the name it is known by today (as explained above). The house was demolished in 1979. Brinton died in 1960.
In 1946, the International Harvester Company rented land from a United States Army tank testing facility, located west of today's Lakewood community, for use as a truck and heavy equipment proving grounds. The proving grounds eventually grew to over 4,000 acres (1,600 ha).
The grounds were designed to stress test trucks and heavy equipment, with, among other things, a 7.5 miles (12.1 km) test track, dirty tracks, a special testing area with 20 to 60% grade, service shops, and a runway for company executives. The grounds were sold to a property development company in 1983, due to a combination of economic issues, labor union problems, and a patent infringement judgement against the company. The area is now a part of The Foothills and Club West developments.
Development of Ahwatukee began in 1970, when Presley Development Company, led by Randall Presley, bought 2,080 acres (840 ha) of land. The land included Ahwatukee Ranch, by then owned by a land syndicate led by an Arizona State University English professor, as well as land owned by a local moving and storage firm. Presley originally planned for the area to be a retirement community, but later devised a mix of retirement living, family living, and light commercial zoning for the area.
Presley Development was noted to have a role in Ahwatukee eventually becoming a part of Phoenix, instead of neighboring Chandler or Tempe, through a handshake deal Maricopa County Supervisor Bob Stark, who was also an attorney with Presley Development, made with Mayor of Phoenix John D. Driggs. However, Chandler and Tempe officials were noted to have refused offers of annexing Ahwatukee.
In the same year as the model home's opening, the Arizona State Legislature set aside $5 million to build a prison near the proving grounds. Plans for the prison, however, were later scrapped.
The Ahwatukee Foothills Village is bordered by Interstate 10 to the east, South Mountain to the north, and the Gila River Indian Community to the west and south. Ahwatukee is geographically isolated from the City of Phoenix, and was once seen as appropriate for semi-rural development.
The community is served by the ALEX neighborhood circulator, which is operated by Valley Metro Bus. Riders, however, have complained of poor service after a new contractor took over the route in 2016. Portions of Ahwatukee are also served by Valley Metro Routes 56-Priest Drive, 108-Elliot Road, 140-Ray Road, 156-Chandler Boulevard/Williams Field Road, and the I-10 East RAPID route.
As a result of only having access points via 48th Street in the northeastern part of the area, and a number of east-west crossings over I-10, Ahwatukee has been called the world's largest cul-de-sac. The building of Loop 202's South Mountain Freeway segment, however, will give the area a western gateway, via a series of exits along the southern border of the community.
There are also a number of private/charter schools, including Desert Garden Montessori (serving ages infant-high school), Inspire Kids Montessori (which opened in June 2010 and serves children ages 2-6), Keystone Montessori School, Horizon Community Learning Center Charter School, Skyline Technical High School, the Summit School of Ahwatukee (a private, independent school serving children ages 2.5-13 years old), St. John Bosco Catholic School (a private, Catholic school which opened in 2001 serving preschool - 8th grade), and public charter school BASIS Ahwatukee (which opened in August 2013 initially serving grades 5-10, and will add a grade each year until serving grades 5-12 in 2015. BASIS Ahwatukee is related to nationally ranked public charter schools BASIS Tucson North and BASIS Scottsdale).
The southern section of the city of Phoenix is known for its popular stucco homes with red-tile roofs. Circle roadways are the norm. The area is located next to South Mountain Park. Ahwatukee has good schools and an abundance of shopping. Considered part of the East Valley, the area draws many families and people who want to be closer in but still live a suburban life.
The word "Ahwatukee" means "house of my dreams" in the language of the Crow Nation.
Ahwatukee got its name from the Native American Crow tribe phrase for "land on the other side of the hill."
They call it the "world's largest cul-de-sac." A place with nice homes, good schools, friendly neighbors. Ahwatukee is an affluent oasis south of Phoenix, but geographically isolated from the rest of the city.
For years, many who are familiar with the area have also called the neighborhood "All-White-tukee."
Having lived in Ahwatukee Foothills with his family for a decade, a community with a reputation of "allwhitetukee" by some...
The District's boundaries encompass all of Ahwatukee...