Before there Tempe Town Lake was in the Valley, the Salt River flowed year around. We call the native people of this area Hohokam. They lived in the Valley around 300 BC and here until after 1200 AD. Nobody really knows where they went but what we do know is they dug out canals for watering crops. The canals we have today throughout the valley are mostly in the same place the Hohokam dug over 2000 years ago.
When Phoenix started to grow it was obvious we needed to make sure we always had enough water. Over the years dams were built along the Sale River to create Saguaro Lake, Roosevelt Lake, Canyon Lake and a few more. The Valley has 3 rivers that store water for us, the Salt River, Agua Fria River and the Verde River.
Because we dam up the Salt River it's dry most of the time. When I was growing up and until the drought we are currently in, Salt River Project (SRP) manages valley water and would let water out of the lakes each spring if needed. This gave us a river for a few days until they turn the water off.
Maricopa County has been voting to do what's called the Rio Salado Project along the whole river as it goes through town for as far back as I can remember. Since Tempe is landlocked with limited resources to increase income for the city, they decided to do Tempe Town Lake. This is basically Tempe’s portion of the original idea, but good for them.
The lake runs along the south side of 202 freeway through Tempe. In a way, the lake has breath more life into Tempe. They were doing OK but Tempe is landlocked. Without being able to build or annex land they can't grow or the taxes would be too high for their residents. So they built a lake. Great idea I think.
The communities along the lake and walking distance are very popular. There are various sizes and price ranges to fit most budgets. Remember this is ASU's main campus territory so there's a lot of competition for residential properties. 525 Town Lake is both affordable and facing the lake with nice views from the south shore.
There are 3 mid-rise residential condos on the east side of Mill Ave that face Tempe Town Lake. Bridgeview is a high-end condo with many amenities. Most of the condos have nice to fantastic views of the lake. The community also has a private pool, spa and workout room.
Don't forget all the fun you can have right outside your front door when you live on the Tempe Town lake. From kayaks and canoes to walking along the short. There are festivals on Mill Ave all the time and they have triathlons that use the lake.
Of course, downtown Tempe and ASU main campus is right there with all the entertainment, college sports and shopping they’ve always had.