By Beth Duckett | The Republic | azcentral.com
There was a time when Al McCarthy thought about moving his sports bar away from McDowell Road.
“Both sides of the street up and down were basically empty,” said the owner of Duke’s Sports Bar in south Scottsdale. “I couldn’t afford to go anywhere else. There was no future to the street.”
By 2008, McDowell Road, once a commercial power center of Scottsdale, was at the end of a decade-long downturn triggered by the closure of Los Arcos Mall and numerous auto dealerships.
Accelerating the descent were the loss of key anchors, aging shopping centers, and stiff competition from newer and bigger retailers opening across the Valley. Car dealerships along the once-booming corridor — dubbed the “Motor Mile” — had closed, leaving behind empty lots, for-sale signs and the hope of redevelopment.