PHOENIX — As Maricopa County continues to grow, zoning approved by the city of Phoenix is aiming to help the West Valley flourish.
New development is coming to the area near the Loop 101 Agua Fria Freeway and 99th Avenue, stretching from Thomas Road to Indian School.
Gene Derie has lived in that area since 1989 and for almost 14 years has served on the Maryvale Village Planning Committee.
When plans were underway to develop the spot, called the Algodon Center, he along with other neighbors wanted a say on what should be there.
Originally set to be a lot of houses, Derie says the committee asked for additional restaurants, retail and office spaces, something historically missing from their community.
"Their dream is to have people be able to shop, be able to live on the west side and not have to travel more than 45 minutes to get to work," said Councilmember Betty Guardado, who represents District 5, during a recent council meeting.
Phoenix City Council recently approved the zoning, which also includes a West Mec Education Facility.
Derie calls it a step in the right direction, hoping his community of over 200,000 could someday be like downtown Tempe and the rest of his East Valley counterparts.
"We just want the same treatment on the west side," Derie said. "These are diverse neighborhoods, but we're all striving for the same thing the betterment of our lives and our kids' lives and our grandkids lives if we're fortunate to have grandkids."
The landowner, J.F. Long Properties, tells ABC15 that each of the builders appear to be preparing to start their individual projects later this year. Adding, they are satisfied with the outcome and were able to create a project "that meets the goals of the Long family, the builders, the neighborhood and the overall city."