To all residents of South Phoenix:

             Some of you have been in South Phoenix for generations and others have just recently purchased your new home in the area.  It is evident major changes are going on in your community.  We know that with changes it can affect residents negatively and positively.  Also, with such a diverse community, not only on racial lines but also with economic earnings, nobody will be winners or losers to the change that this area will endure in the future. 

I am a resident of South Phoenix.  I knew four years ago South Phoenix was the best kept secret around.  We are centrally located.  We are within ten minutes of all major freeways, five minutes to down town, five minutes to South Mountain for hiking, five minutes to horseback riding and golf.  I know we donít have many Chain Restaurants, but we have some of the most authentic family owned restaurants in town like, The Farm (deli), T-Bone Steak House (steak), Rocky Point (seafood), El Mesquite , Ponchos, and Los Don Molinos (Mexican food), Ewns Sports bar (Wings).  I also love getting my tortillas straight from the tortilla factory at La Sonorense Bakery.   I love having these unique authentic family owned establishments.  However, I do miss not having a coffee shop, Target, Home Depot, and Costco.    One Kmart for the whole neighborhood is just not meeting our needs.  We end up shopping in other neighborhoods for our necessities.

The other down fall is that I am outgrowing my house and even though I enjoy this area I cannot afford to stay.  The property values are skyrocketing and this is good when I sell my home, but when I try to repurchase I can only afford to stay in the same small-scale house I am already in.  So basically, this can be both negative and positive.  For the residents that are already situated in a house that fits your needs you are a winner.  For the residents needing bigger accommodations you might find yourself like me, priced out of the area.  This area has many residents that rent.  Once the property values increase so does the rent.  I think they too may be priced out of the area.  The revitalization in the neighborhood has positive effects for some residents and negative effects for others.

 To the new residents I do want to issue a warning.  I know many residents in the higher priced homes are shipping their kids to other school districts to meet their childrenís needs.  I know you probably feel you have it under control.  You have all the positives South Phoenix has to offer you, but to solve the school issue you send your kids elsewhere.  Well what is going to happen Five years from now when all these new houses are built and everybody is shipping their kids off to attend schools in other neighborhoods?  I anticipate chaos and frustration.  Why should you have to?  Would you if you lived in other neighborhoods? These Home Builders need to set aside land for new schools or filter large amounts of money into existing schools for major improvements.  Part of living in a neighborhood is interacting with each other.  When neighborhood kids attend the same schools in their neighborhood it gives a better sense of community and not so much separation.                                     



                                                Lillian Contreras