New Luxury Developments Offer Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous in the Valley

By Rachel Hawkinson
December 17, 2004

It's no secret that the Phoenix metropolitan area has been in the midst of a real estate boom over the past few years. People are moving into the area in record numbers, the job market is recovering from a post-9/11 nosedive, and low interest rates have increased the incentive to invest in a place to call our own. Massive development projects are pushing retail ventures and corporate offices back into the Valley, and the people of Arizona want to be near all of the action. We're doing better for ourselves these da ys, and we want to reward ourselves for our hard work. We want convenience, we want amenities, and darn it- we want the same luxuries that P. Diddy flaunted on the latest episode of Cribs.

Fortunately, the development craze that has hit Phoenix and the surrounding areas has delivered a number of upscale housing opportunities that give us a chance to enjoy living the high life. These places give new meaning to the phrase "luxury developments."


As recently as five years ago, who would have thought that downtown Phoenix would be one of the hotspots for residential living? In July, The Business Journal reported that there were more than 1,600 new lofts, condominiums and apartments under construction in central Phoenix alone. Numerous other projects have been added since that time, giving people a variety of choices in where to live as the downtown area continues to attract more attention and proceed with its revitalization efforts. It seems like everywhere you turn, more residential communities are popping up. With that kind of competition, each development is bringing its "A-game" to the table.

One such upscale project in downtown Phoenix is Portland Place. Located on Portland Park between Central and 3rd Avenue, these condominiums and brownstones offer 950 to 2,900 square feet of living space in a choice of one to three-bedroom units that range in price from $225,000 to $1.25 million. Each unit has a balcony that treats you to an amazing view of a Japanese friendship garden and Hance park from any of the six-, eight- or ten-story buildings.

Then again, if you're more of a high-rise kind of person, you can always pick up a place at Monroe Place Luxury Condominiums at 1st Avenue and Monroe. The one- to three-bedroom residential units include both flats and penthouse lofts, and they range from 1,000 to 1,600-plus square feet. Construction has already started and is set to be complete by the third quarter of 2005. With a location next to the future light rail, within walking distance of Bank One Ballpark and numerous downtown theaters, this is bound to be a prime location that is worth the $300,000 to $900,000 asking price that's attached to it. The Z Lofts at 2nd Avenue (north of Fillmore) will be another high-rise complex, expected to stand 16 stories tall when it reaches completion in the first part of 2006. Floors plans for the 111 units range from 800 to 2,500 square feet, and community amenities include a pool, sundeck, fitness center, and a clubhouse- just a few of the extras that make the location worth its $200,000 to $900,000 asking price.

Looking for a state-of-the-art home that has you living in style AND comfort? Palm Lane Urban Living is a residential community that will put you in the heart of Phoenix- all for around $369,000 and up. Floorplans for loft or two bedroom homes cover 1,500 to 1,600 square feet and are loaded with European kitchens, steel and aluminum detailing, block and steel construction...this is THE place for contemporary living.

If you've been downtown lately, you've probably caught sight of the Artisan Lofts, an award-winning building that is loaded with one- and two-story residential lofts. Your home can range from 1,000 to 2,700 square feet, and will give you a private balcony with a breathtaking view. Public amenities include a fitness room, an outdoor heated pool, a rooftop terrace... the list goes on and on. From the concrete floors to the high ceilings, you can rest assured that these homes are worth every penny. Not to be outdone is The Patry Loft, which has 1,200-square foot unit located in the Artisan Lofts and is created by the Patry Building Company. This place will accommodate your every high-rollin' wish before you even make it. It includes a built-in flat screen plasma TV, a built-in platform bed and European plumbing fixtures (which are fabulous) all for $429,000.

For those of you who love living a contemporary life with that back-in-the-day feel to it, the Orpheum Lofts at 1st Avenue and Adams Street is calling for you. The Phoenix Title and Trust building is being given new life while maintaining its historic Art Deco charm. Only 90 units are available, with floor plans ranging from 700 to 1,800 square feet, though multiple units may be purchased for a customized layout. Amenities include a heated swimming pool and spa, a 24-hour doorman, a state-of-the-art fitness center and many more, making the $150,000 to $1.5 million asking price seem like a bargain.

Another taste of historic flavor can be seen in the Fontenelle Lofts on the corner of Roosevelt and 3rd Avenue in the Roosevelt Historic District. This old apartment building is currently being renovated and made into seven condo units, each of which includes stained concrete floors on the main level, hardwood floors on the upper level, slab granite countertops, exposed brick walls and wood ceiling beams. The going rate of $245,000 to $295,000 for the one to two-story lofts is a steal when considering the numerous amenities within each loft and the location within the historic district.

Copper Square is synonymous with downtown Phoenix, so it only makes sense that the Summit at Copper Square will be in the middle of all the action. Currently in the planning stages with construction to begin in early 2005, the goal is to have approximately 170 loft and condo units in the 22-story building that will be located on 4th Street and Jackson across from Bank One Ballpark. Units will range from 900 to 2,500 square feet, and the tentative price range is $250,000 to $700,000 per unit, with an option of combining multiple units to create a custom home.

Heading east of the downtown Phoenix area are plans for The Residences at 2211 Camelback, which broke ground over the summer and will offer luxury living at its finest. This 12-story building will be home to 86 condo units, with floor plans ranging from 2,000 to 4,000 square feet in size. Add in a rooftop pool terrace, private storage units, a fitness center, underground parking with a valet staff on hand and a concierge staff that's ready to accommodate your every need, and this place will be the definition of luxury living. That kind of living doesn't come cheap though, so start saving- prices are ranging from $550,000 to $2.5 million.

In the same vicinity is the Optima Biltmore Towers, which will be home to 230 condo units within a 15-floor building on 24th Street and Camelback. Here you can choose from one-, two- or three-bedroom units that range from 856 to 2,666 square feet, many of which offer amazing views of the Valley. Enjoy an outdoor living area that is secluded by privacy screens, or leave your private sanctuary to check out the fitness spa and two-story party room. The amenities planned for the Biltmore Towers will make it worth every last cent of the $259,000 to $1 million price. Regardless of which property you choose, you'll be in the heart of the Camelback Corridor, a perfect place to be for shopping and dining options.

Go south a ways and you'll run into The District, a group of three-story townhouses around the 52nd Street and Oak area. Each unit is 2,890 square feet and has two bedrooms, with a third room that can be used as a theater room if desired. Each site has a rooftop sun deck, giving you a chance to seclude yourself from the rest of the world. Look for these properties in the middle to end of 2005, when they'll be costing between $450,000 and $600,000.


Chicago-based Optima has another hand in the game with Optima Camelview- a seven-story project near Scottsdale's Fashion Square Mall, which will offer 800 units that range from 800 to 1,800 square feet in size. Development will include interior courtyards, sky bridges, water fountains and even a large reflecting pond. Plans have development slated to begin in early 2005, so there is still time to save up for the $250,000 to $1 million properties.

Nearing completion is Scottsdale's Third Avenue Lofts, located north of Indian School right off of Scottsdale Road. The highly-anticipated five-story community features 88 one or two-level units, each of which features customizable cabinetry, floor color, carpet, and much more. The community includes a private courtyard with a heated pool, spa, wet bar and fireplace, which are essential to high-quality living. Within walking distance to numerous restaurants and just blocks away from the infamous Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall, this truly is in the heart of all the action in Scottsdale.

Don't think that north Scottsdale is content to only being the ultimate home buyer's market though. The Venu at Grayhawk gives the perfect address to luxury. Outside of the fabulous 898 to 1,550-squarefoot homes that include high-end appliances and enclosed garages, the Venu boasts of its recently opened Great Room- a 5,800-square foot community area that gives residents a place to hang out with their neighbors while enjoying plasma screen televisions, Hummer bike rentals and many other activities. If that's not your style, there are two outdoor fireplaces and two resort-style pools that may suit your needs a little better. Nearby are a number of supermarkets, movie theaters and restaurants, not to mention Kierland Commons and Desert Ridge. Leave it to the Venu to make sure North Scottsdale stays in the game.


Tempe has always carried the "college town" moniker, but with the number of upscale living facilities that keep sprouting up, it's not just for college folks anymore. Brownstone Residential is bringing unique choices to Tempe with The Lofts at Orchidhouse on East Sixth Street, where timeless architecture meets urban style. There are 83 lofts and brownstones, each of which can be customized to suit your needs in regards to cabinetry, countertops and many other interior features. Units range from 916 to 3,745 square feet, ensuring that whatever your living needs are, they can be met here. If you can't find anything there, check out Brownstone at Hyde Park, at 589 South Roosevelt. Here you'll find two or three-story townhouses that range from 976 to 2,800 square feet and feature a variety of interior selections and upgrades based on your floor plan, with prices ranging from $250,000 to $439,000.

If sitting on the water is more your style, you definitely have some options. The Tempe Town Lake waterfront is developing so much, we can barely keep up. In 2006, Edgewater at Haden Ferry Lakeside will be ready for tenants to move into 40 of the one-, two- and three-bedroom units that are part of a 400- condo development project. Across the water, people can live the good life in Northshore, a five-story complex that will house 134 units ranging from 1,138 square feet to 2,270 square feet. Located east of Rural Road on the north shore of Tempe Town Lake, this community will include a fitness center, resort-style cabanas and numerous interior options. It's a great deal at the $375,000 to $2.2 million asking price.

Down the road on University (between Hardy and Beck) is The Vale, which is aiming for completion in June of 2005. The Vale offers units that are currently between $160,000 and $500,000, depending if you choose the one-, two-or three-bedroom layout. Each condo has a patio or balcony, underground parking and its own private entrance. Ranging from 675 to 2,300 square feet, you're bound to find one that can accomodate all your stuff.

As the metro region of Phoenix continues to grow, so will the number of options that Valley residents have for places to call home. Each one of these upscale living locations is battling for our affection with lush communities, convenient locations and indulgent (but oh so necessary) amenities, and each one is catering to a lifestyle that we never thought possible for ourselves. Go ahead- treat yourself. After all, there's no place like home, so make yours a luxurious one.


Check out these luxurious livin' quarters now in the works in the Valley.

The Lofts at Orchidhouse
21 E. 6th St Tempe, AZ 85281
Tom Tokoph