Anthem is the result of a Del Webb development on a large parcel of land adjacent to the town of New River, Arizona, United States. It is a planned suburb 34 miles north of downtown Phoenix that opened in 1998. Although Anthem is currently unincorporated, Phoenix is slated to annex the community by 2020 as documented in the City of Phoenix General Plan. Anthem has grown substantially since its founding and now has an estimated population of about 40,000 people.
Featuring sweeping mountain vistas, golf, hiking and other recreational opportunities, Anthem has been described as one of the best places to live in Arizona by Phoenix Magazine and the best place to raise a family by Parenting Magazine in November 2003. The community now has a high school, Boulder Creek High School, serving the area. Interstate 17 is the only connection to the area from the rest of the Phoenix metropolitan area, which sometimes causes traffic delays and problems.
The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has plans to widen I-17 from Loop 101 to Anthem Way. Construction starts in 2007 to widen I-17 from 2 lanes to 4 General Purpose lanes and a HOV lane from Loop 101 to Carefree Highway and in 2009 I-17 will have 3 lanes in each direction from Carefree Highway to Anthem Way.
Anthem, Arizona could possibly refer to Anthem at Merril Ranch or Florence's Anthem, a similar master-planned community being developed by Pulte/Del Webb in the town of Florence, southeast of Phoenix. Modelled after the success with the original Anthem, it is designed to be a largely self-sufficient community with a mix of residential and commercial development along with the same recreational amenities as seen in the New River Anthem. It builds upon the successful Anthem name brand that Del Webb has developed, along with an Anthem community in Colorado.
Anthem is nearly inaccessible other than by automobile. Valley Metro does not provide bus service to Anthem, nor is there a circulator bus. Taxis from metro Phoenix are very expensive. Bicycles are permitted on I-17 (on the shoulder, adjacent to cars and trucks typically traveling 75mph or faster).