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The extreme eastern Phoenix suburbs of Apache Junction and east Mesa form a large geographic corridor that includes the relatively new Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. Because of the warm weather and affordability, this area is developing rapidly, and once-empty desert is filling up with neighborhoods, shopping malls, restaurants, and movie theaters.

Newcomers to the area are struck by the looming presence of Superstition Mountain, home to the legendary Lost Dutchman gold mine. While few people move to the area to search for gold, most people come for the mountain views and a lower cost of living.

Apache Junction, commonly known as AJ, sits about 40 minutes drive from downtown Phoenix via U.S. 60 during times of light traffic. Rush hour can easily double that time as commuters fill the freeway to capacity.

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Rent Trends

As of August 2017, the average apartment rent in Mesa, AZ is $614 for a studio, $881 for one bedroom, $1,048 for two bedrooms, and $1,326 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Mesa has increased by 5.2% in the past year.

Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent
Studio
388
$614
1 BR
765
$881
2 BR
1,034
$1,048
3 BR
1,231
$1,326
Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent

Ratings

41 Walk Score® Car-Dependent
25 Transit Score® Some Transit
58 Bike Score® Bikeable

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Restaurants

More chain restaurants open every week as the area continues to grow, but newcomers must try the Mining Camp Restaurant, a popular gathering spot at the base of Superstition Mountain since 1961. The restaurant has been serving an all-you-can-eat family style assortment of baked ham, roast chicken, and BBQ beef ribs for years, but it now has a separate steakhouse called the Dutchman's Hideout. Meat lovers enjoy the 20-ounce Porterhouse steak cooked in olive oil and accompanied by a large baked potato and corn. Prime rib, beef, and pork ribs, and filet mignon are all on the menu, as is an assortment of lighter fare. Bring visitors to see musical performances or don the garb of the Old West for a fun photo.

Dirtwater Springs is another AJ institution where diners might just get a little more than they expect. Located on the site of a murder from the 1940s, some people say they still see the victim walking through the restaurant. Some diners have trouble walking after they tackle the restaurant's 72-ounce steak challenge. Eat the whole thing with all the side dishes in 60 minutes, and don't pay a penny. You'll also find smaller steaks on the menu of traditional American fare as well as all-you-can-eat cod on Wednesday and Friday evenings. Homemade pies top off the meal.

While a thriving nightlife scene has yet to catch up to other types of growth, you can find live music and drinks in and around AJ. Country-western dance hall Denim and Diamonds in east Mesa features different specials most nights of the week. Cheap drinks and a large dance floor add up to a good time without driving all the way into Tempe, Phoenix, or Scottsdale.

Just a few miles back toward the city, The Monastery on east McKellips Road offers live music under the stars on the weekend. A wide selection of cold beer hits the spot after playing on one of the outdoor volleyball courts. Cook your own burger or chicken on one of The Monastery's outdoor grills, or choose from full-service selections. Darts, horseshoes and pool make this a unique spot for a fun evening.

History

Early settlers to this region said that anything that could survive either had to "stick, sting, bite or eat meat." Sparsely inhabited by Native Americans and eventually some settlers, the AJ corridor started to blossom after the construction of Roosevelt Dam in 1911. The availability of water turned the harsh desert into fertile fields. Farmers grew melons, grain, nuts, alfalfa and a variety of vegetables. The arrival of Williams Field Air Force Base, now Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, came with the country's involvement in World War II.

Mesa continued to grow and eventually bordered with AJ. U.S. 60 finally connected the two cities to downtown Phoenix in 1991.

Superstition Mountain Museum tells the history of this area, including a tribute to Apacheland, a movie studio that created many westerns. The Renaissance Festival, the Festival of the Superstitions and Lost Dutchman Days draw thousands of visitors to the area annually.

Transportation

The vast majority of residents of this corridor use private vehicles for transportation. East Mesa has very limited public transportation available, with none in Apache Junction. While you can't hail a cab in this region but taxi companies accept reservations over the phone. Some senior citizen mobile home parks do have shuttle services that take residents to shops and doctor's appointments.

The great expanse of this area makes both bicycling and walking a hit-or-miss proposition. Neighborhood streets are generally quiet, but you don't have to go too far off the beaten path to find gravel roads and a lack of sidewalks. Both Uber and Lyft serve this area; however, expect to wait at least an hour for pickup.

Cost

The cost of living in the AJ corridor runs about 10 percent lower than in other parts of the Phoenix metropolitan area. While transportation, groceries and health care are actually a little higher, the cost of housing compares favorably to other nearby locations. Renters can expect to pay about $770 for a one-bedroom apartment.

The cost of gas runs about 16 percent less than the national average. Expect to pay $3 to $4 for a domestic beer and a couple of dollars more for an import at a local bar.

Shopping

A perfect fit for the history and makeup of the area, Shopper's Supply in AJ sells everything from men's and women's clothing to feed for the horses and cattle. With more than 30,000 square feet right in the center of downtown, this store is a one-stop shop for sporting goods, tools, boots, bits and bridles.

In the AJ corridor, people congregate on the weekends at the Mesa Market Place Swap Meet. Located near the border of east Mesa and AJ, more than 900 merchants fill the stalls surrounding the 1 1/4-mile long covered breezeway. Mesa Market Place caters to everyone, but loves senior citizens. Scooter and wheelchair rentals are available for people who need a little help traversing the aisles. Mesa Marketplace has a little bit of everything, including clothing, shoes, hygiene products, jewelry, purses, art, sculptures and even hot tubs. Reasonably priced food, beer and soda are all available here.

The 202 freeway provides easy access to San Tan Village in Gilbert where major retailers such as Apple, Chicos and Best Buy all have a strong presence.

Fry's Food and Safeway have multiple grocery stores in the area, which is also served by smaller grocery chains such as Bashas' and Sprouts Farmers Market. Locals head to Superstition Ranch Market for fresh produce. Superstition Farm, on Hawes Road in east Mesa, not only has fresh products every Thursday, but also a petting zoo and hayrides.

Parks

AJ has a number of parks to serve its residents, as does east Mesa. All parks are great places to take children, but dogs must be kept on a leash. Superstition Shadows Park and Aquatic Center in AJ has a swimming pool, sports courts and picnic areas. The aquatic center, which features water slides and splash-and-play areas, only opens in the summer, with season passes available for frequent users. AJ's Rodeo Park features a rodeo during the annual Lost Dutchman Days celebration in February.

The Red Mountain Center, a fitness facility sponsored by the City of Mesa, sits just a short drive from AJ. This jewel of the East Valley offers an indoor running track, cardio equipment, weights, fitness classes, a gymnasium, and a climbing wall.

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Rt 60 Corr to Apache Junction Apartments for Rent

419 Apartments Available

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Villas On Hampton Avenue
5120 E Hampton Ave, Mesa, AZ 85206
1 / 22
2 hrs
$1,037 - 1,687 1-3 Bed Available Now
480-845-6504
Vista Grove
1320 S Val Vista Dr, Mesa, AZ 85204
1 / 19
New
$859 - 1,350 1-3 Bed Available Now
866-704-2489
Envision
1361 S Greenfield Rd, Mesa, AZ 85206
1 / 29
4 hrs
$1,030 - 1,515 1-3 Bed Available Now
844-765-0512
Island Palms
5315 E Broadway Rd, Mesa, AZ 85206
1 / 42
3 days
$805 - 1,030 1-2 Bed Available 09/15/17
844-721-7909
The Traditions
4450 E Southern Ave, Mesa, AZ 85206
5 days
$910 - 1,100 1-2 Bed Available 09/01/17
623-552-7574
The Palms at Augusta Ranch
9335 E Baseline Rd, Mesa, AZ 85209
1 wk
$910 - 1,400 1-3 Bed Available Now
855-975-8246
San Angelin
1935 S Sunnyvale Rd, Mesa, AZ 85206
1 wk
$796 - 1,015 2 Bed Available 10/18/17
866-202-1365
Sun Valley Ranch Apartments
7353 E University Dr, Mesa, AZ 85207
2 wks
$839 - 1,225 1-3 Bed Available Now
844-295-4309
San Fernando
4150 E Main St, Mesa, AZ 85205
2 wks
$693 - 1,059 1-3 Bed Available Soon
877-804-9145
Villas On Hampton Avenue
1 wk
The Groves
2990 S Power Rd, Mesa, AZ 85212
$619 - 849 1-3 Bed Not Available
844-656-4355
2 wks
Marabrisa
234 N 75th St, Mesa, AZ 85207
$749 - 799 1 Bed Available Now
844-350-9585
Orchard Mesa
108 N Greenfield Rd, Mesa, AZ 85205
$544 1 Bed Available Now
New
Vista Grove
230 S Leandro
Mesa, AZ 85208
$1,150 House for Rent Available Now
3 hrs
Envision

Apartments for Rent in Rt 60 Corr to Apache Junction, Mesa, AZ

The extreme eastern Phoenix suburbs of Apache Junction and east Mesa form a large geographic corridor that includes the relatively new Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. Because of the warm weather and affordability, this area is developing rapidly, and once-empty desert is filling up with neighborhoods, shopping malls, restaurants, and movie theaters.

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