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colin

Casa Grande

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I thought I had opened up a Pinal County thread a while ago, but I could only find a single thread on a Casa Grande bypass from a long time ago.

Casa Grande mall to open in fall

Casa Grande used to have two outlet malls, but one has closed (ironically, the one with the better location). This new mall will be caddy-corner to that mall that closed.

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Is Casa Grande big enough for a mall? I don't know that much about Pinal County, save that it is home to Arizona's version of what we in Michigan, termed, the hill people.

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OK I did a little research, I had no idea that Casa Grande has 32k people in it. Though it covers as much land area as Miami FL, that might have something to do with it. Wikipedia lists it as the largest city in Pinal County. But Apache Junction has slightly more people it it. I wonder why the discrepancy. Does Pinal county not want AJ either? I know that part of AJ is in Maricopa right? Casa Grande has history which is suprising to me, and it has some cool buildings. What else do we know?

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I thought it was closer to 50k. Looks like the 2000 census had AJ larger, but the '05 estimates put Casa Grande slightly higher. Maybe there's a Pinal County population war that needs to be covered: who can build the most low-cost tract housing within their respective city limits by 2010.

There's Francisco Grande in Casa Grande. It's like a 6-story condo tower in the middle of cotton fields. Quite a sight. You can see it from the freeway (by far the tallest building in town), but it's interesting up front too.

home_left.jpg

You've also got the now also large town of Maricopa to consider, the other 5,000+ residents of Eloy and Arizona City, and then the surprisingly-large Coolidge. Couple these towns with the influx of disgruntled I-10 drivers looking to get the hell off that road and you've got a lot of potential.

The outlet mall there does very well. I don't think I've ever driven by when the parking lot wasn't fairly crowded (except at like 2am, of course).

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In Casa Grande I drove around a bit, got a 99 cent Whopper, changed my air filter (it was dirty!), and got gas. Not much else to do there, although I did see a couple of things that may have been cool if it wasn't 7:30 on a Sunday night.

Just wanted to share a pic I got in Downtown. The light had already faded, so I couldn't do much more.

oldtown1.jpg

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is there a definitive downtown area in Casa Grande? My impressions the few times i've been there, is that it's grown so fast, there is little in the way of defined business districts. The only one I could truly tell, was that strip between I-10 and the city itself.

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Oh, but there is!

Almost every town in Arizona seems to have an old Downtown, except for the newer cities like LHC, Marana, Oro Valley, Fountain Hills, etc, of course.

It's hard to find in CG though because the town has two grids: one that follows the railroad and another that goes NSEW. If you get off I-10 at 387 you have to follow it into town and make a 45 degree left at the end and you'll sort of stumble upon it. It's easier to reach from the south.

But Casa Grande's Downtown is called "Old Town" since they've gotten so much stuff built in the area between the city and the interstates, especially along 287. But there's an theater, some little shops, civic buildings, a museum and even an old soda shop. Maybe not worth spending a weekend there, but it's one of the more interesting parts of Pinal County.

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