Tempe Town Lake Nets Two Condo Developments

Mike Padgett
The Business Journal

More condominium towers are showing up on the Valley's residential radar screen, and the newest residential buildings are planned on two Tempe sites by SunCor Development Co. and Gray Development Co.

Condominiums priced up to $1.7 million w ill comprise phase two of Hayden Ferry Lakeside in Tempe. SunCor plans to add four condo buildings next to an existing office tower, said Randy Levin, SunCor's senior project manager of commercial development. Sales of the condos, to be named Edgewater, are projected to begin as early as this summer. (For re-sale info: Edgewater - Bridgeview at Hayden Ferry Lakeside )

Drawings, building plans and other details were shared with about 200 prospective buyers March 27 by SunCor, developer of the mixed-use property on the south side of the lake and east of Mill Avenue. Sales are expected to start in late summer, when SunCor expects to have its public report from the Arizona Department of Real Estate.

Three swimming pools, water features and landscaping -- including grassy areas for bocci ball -- are planned between the condo buildings.

"We definitely are positioning ourselves for the top of the market for this area," Levin said.

Potential buyers include retirees now living in Paradise Valley, Arizona State University professors, airline pilots, medical doctors and other executives who work in Tempe or in downtown Phoenix.

The Edgewater condo marketing center will open in late May in the Hayden Ferry Lakeside office building. Levin said the condo building will have a north-south orientation. Every condo will have a view of the lake because their angled windows will be designed looking northwest or northeast over the lake.

The condo building will have a design and color palette similar to the existing office building. And, like the offices, the condos will have specially designed, two-paned windows and heavy wall insulation to minimize noise from aircraft using Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Levin said.

"We haven't had a single tenant in the office building complain about the aircraft noise," Levin said.

McCarthy Building Cos., which has its regional office in the Hayden Ferry Lakeside building, is SunCor's condo contractor. The architectural team consists of Callison Architecture in Seattle, and Hancock, Bruckner, Eng & Wright in Vancouver, B.C.

The Hayden Ferry Lakeside project was started a few years ago as a joint venture of SunCor and Benton-Robb Development Co., in partnership with Bay State Milling. The other partners decided in late 2003 to opt out of the project, leaving SunCor the lone developer in the project. Levin declined to release any details about the other companies' departure.

"SunCor is 100 percent the sole stockholder in Hayden Ferry Lakeside LLC," Levin said.

Meanwhile, Gray Development is a key part of the Playa del Norte project on the north side of the lake and east of Rural Road. The condo development, called Mondrian Tempe Town Lake, will have about 475 units on four floors, construction is projected to start this summer, and it will open in 2005. More details, such as whether the residences will be rentals or condos, are yet to be finalized, President Bruce Gray said.

Playa del Norte is a mixed-use development with office, retail and residential components. Developer Brad Wilde and partner Roberta Barrett could not be reached for comment.

Both developments are encouraging to Tempe officials, who have been seeking more residential projects along the lake. Chris Anaradian, the city's Rio Salado project manager, said SunCor's condos "will further solidify our connection between Town Lake and downtown Tempe."

Anaradian said Gray Development's condos, now in the design stage, will be a vital part of the Playa del Norte development on the lake's northeast side.

An additional new residential community in Tempe is Riverview at Rio Salado, a 466-unit apartment complex under construction at 987 W. Washington St. The developer is Trillium Residential, and the contractor is hardison/downey construction inc.

The new condo developments in Tempe come in the wake of plans for residential units as part of the total redevelopment package Arizona State University envisions on its old Tempe Center shopping plaza at the southeast corner of Mill Avenue and University Drive. ASU officials are reviewing applications filed by development teams.