Home prices have shot up in metro Phoenix, but deals can still be found if you know where to look.
Finding that Valley neighborhood, block or home that is still a bargain and likely to rise in value sooner rather than later is the end game for most homebuyers, investors and flippers.
Rising home prices are making it so much tougher for first-time homebuyers. So this year I am sharing some neighborhoods where houses are priced below $300,000.
A disclaimer: I am not advocating to buy in these areas. Some of the areas come with higher crime rates or other urban issues. But when a friend or source asks me where first-time buyers can still afford houses closer in, here’s my answer.
I thought this central Valley area close to freeways and the biggest city park in the U.S. would rebound 15 years ago. But the housing boom and bust delayed its comeback until now.
Home sales in the area’s 85040 ZIP code soared 37% last year. Prices in that neighborhood climbed 22% to $201,000 but are still affordable compared with metro Phoenix’s median home price of $268,000.
South Phoenix has golf and gated communities closer to South Mountain in the 85042 ZIP code. But the median price for that area is only $250,000.
A cool new community called Avance on a former golf course, right next to the preserve, opens in May, 2019. Prices there are expected to start above $300,000.
The median home price in downtown Mesa’s 85201 ZIP code is $220,000, up 10% from last year. The Evergreen Historic District with homes dating to 1910 can be found here.
Benedictine University has a new campus in downtown Mesa, and Arizona State University is opening one. ASU’s investment in downtown Phoenix helped create a rental housing boom in that area.
This often-maligned north Phoenix neighborhood that stretches up and around 7th Street and 7th Avenue north of Northern Avenue to North Mountain is starting to see home prices rise and more businesses open.
Its lower-income housing may deter some buyers, while others like the great diversity. It spans the ZIP codes 85020 and 85021 and is one of the most affordable neighborhoods in both.
The median home price in 85021, the more affordable area, is $301,000. But that area also includes parts of the much-pricier north central neighborhood.
Some interesting luxury homes can be found in Sunnyslope around the Phoenix Mountains Preserve.
Neighborhoods bordering some of the historic districts are great places to look, too. Grandview is one of my favorites, or St. Gregory/Westwood, and there are some hidden gem “no-name” neighborhoods also between 7th and 15th streets and Osborn and Indian School roads.
The median home price in 85013 is $325,000, but houses that need some work can be found for less. The median price in 85015 is $229,000.
The 85017 ZIP code is home to growing Grand Canyon University. The school helped revitalize the area that had Phoenix’s highest crime rate in 2010.
This west Phoenix neighborhood is drawing investors, who are buying homes and turning them into rentals for students, and flippers, who are redoing the area’s older brick ranch-style houses.
Crime rates have dropped and home values have climbed in this area near Interstate 17. The median home price in the 85017 ZIP code has rebounded 302% from $41,000 after the crash in 2011 to $165,000 in 2018.
Despite the jump, it’s still one of the Valley’s most affordable neighborhoods.
The continued rise of Phoenix as a place to live is fueled by an increasing number of technology and other jobs in downtown. The city has more than 300 tech firms within the downtown area which also are surrounded by amazing Historic Districts, compared with 67 in 2012, according to city officials.
If the condo lifestyle is something you’re considering, or, if it’s all you can afford now, please give me a call for free, no obligation consultation. I specialize and LOVE working with first-time homebuyers and am am FIRM believer that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A STUPID QUESTION. I’ll take all the time with you that you need!
The fully remodeled home was confirmed as a Haver this year.
The sprawling desert metro was Haver’s playground from the 1940s into the ’80s. Over the decades, entire “Haverhoods” in Phoenix, as well as commercial buildings, were designed and built with his signature aesthetic: an open floor plan, exposed beams, vaulted ceilings, and a marriage of indoor spaces and the outdoors.
This home is in Beverly Park, a neighborhood that has long been recognized as a Haverhood.
Along with the home’s prestigious pedigree, it has also been completely remodeled, including the addition of a 436-square-foot owner’s suite in 2016.
It has a total of four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and 1,600 square feet, and all the infrastructure has been updated, including plumbing and electrical. The interiors include newly remodeled bathrooms and kitchen and a distinctly modern minimalist approach, in keeping with the spirit of the home’s design. All the exposed block walls have been coated in Haver masonry wash.
The home is situated only minutes from some of the area’s hippest bars, restaurants, and local attractions, including another Mid-Century Modern architectural gem, the Arizona Biltmore, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in collaboration with his student Albert Chase McArthur.
If you’re one the fence about buying a home in Phoenix, it’s time to get off. It’s been a long, hard road to recovery for metro Phoenix’s boom-and-bust-battered housing market, but it’s back, and then some.
Metro Phoenix home prices are rising the fastest in many of its most affordable, centrally located neighborhoods, from downtown Phoenix to central Mesa, where young buyers want to live and can afford houses.
2017 was a good year for the housing recovery in the Phoenix area. Almost one-third of the Valley’s ZIP codes posted double-digit-percentage increases in prices last year, according to The Arizona Republic/azcentral Street Scout Home Values report.
Street Scout is azcentral’s neighborhood and housing site that provides property valuations, home sales data, real estate news and listings.
Street Scout exists to make our community stronger, more informed and more connected. We’re a news organization with deep roots here, but we’re also a modern media company that’s pushing the boundaries of what we think about when we say “content.” Stunning real estate photography, comprehensive neighborhood guides, accurate, timely data and expert analysis provide you with what you need to find the best place to call home.
But there is concern buyer demand for affordable homes is beginning to outpace the supply. And there’s always worry in Arizona about the possibility of another housing bust when prices climb for a few years.
Most of those areas still have median home prices below $300,000.
“Last year was a strong one for the Valley’s housing market, particularly the more affordable neighborhoods closer in,” said Tina Tamboer, senior housing analyst with the Cromford Report. “Only 2004, ’05 and 2011 were better years for home sales, and those weren’t normal years.”
The housing boom inflated home prices and sales between 2004 and 2006, and then investors drove up sales as foreclosures climbed and prices plummeted from 2010 to 2012.
Home prices have doubled in many Phoenix-area neighborhoods since the bottom of the market. Besides the 30 ZIP codes where home prices have bounced back from the crash, values in another 40 neighborhoods are within 10 percent of recovering.
Fastest-growing home prices In the Phoenix Metro Area
“We fell in love with the area, but saw prices and rents climbing fast,” Williams said. “We knew we wanted to buy, but there was a lot of competition for the houses we liked.”
Woodland is part of the 85007 ZIP code,one of central Phoenix’s more affordable neighborhoods. The area, which has also attracted many investors, saw its overall median home price climb 10 percent to more than $192,000 in 2017. Sales in the area jumped nearly 20 percent last year.
Home prices in their neighborhood on the western side of downtown have rebounded from the crash and are almost 2 percent higher than they were in 2006.
Aysia and Benjamin were so lucky and bought from their wonderful neighbor, who didn’t want to sell to an investor.
The couple’s house, for which they paid less than $250,000 a few months ago, wasn’t even listed for sale.
People talk about the gentrification of central Phoenix pricing too many first-time buyers out. But more high-end home sales in the area help other more affordable areas like Woodland and Coronado Historic District improve, too.
Buying a house in the hot 85007 neighborhood of Phoenix included graffiti art in the backyard of Ben Hughes and Aysia Williams’s home.
‘First-time homebuyer market is exploding in Phoenix, AZ’
Stephanie Silva and Billy Horner moved to Chandler, AZ, from Chicago for the warmth last March.
“We wanted to rent first to see if we liked the area and a ‘shovel-free life,’ ” said Silva, who works in Tempe. Horner works in downtown Chandler.
The couple recently bought a home for under $275,000 in the central Mesa, AZ ZIP 85210, almost halfway between their jobs. Prices in the still-affordable neighborhood climbed 9 percent, and sales rose 38 percent last year.
Home values just rebounded back to 2006 levels in their neighborhood, where the median price is about $215,000.
“We are on a quiet, cozy block in a home with a pool and a yard,” Silva said. “So far, it is everything these Midwest transplants could ask for.”
The couple’s real-estate agents said if more people don’t decide to sell in the popular, affordable neighborhoods closer in, then it will soon get even tougher for first-time buyers.
“The first-time homebuyer market is exploding. So many people are done with renting and dealing with landlords,” Matthew Coates said. “But we are seeing a deficit of homes available.”
The number of Valley homes for sale priced under $350,000 is down almost 20 percent from last year, according to the Cromford Report.
Some potential buyers are giving up
Nils and Heather Hofmann began looking for a home midway between their jobs in Deer Valley and Chandler more than a year ago. Their budget was $300,000.
The couple, who was renting in north-central Phoenix, put their home search on hold last fall after seeing dozens of houses. The ones they liked usually sold before they could get an offer in.
“I think we must have seen more than 80 houses,” Heather Hofmann said. “We wanted to buy where we were renting, but prices were too high.”
The couple decided to stop looking for a while late last summer because it became too frustrating. But then they found out Heather was pregnant, resumed their search and upped their price to $400,000.
The Hofmanns bought a home last month in north Phoenix’s Desert Ridge neighborhood, close to several freeways for their commute.
The median home price in the Desert Ridge area is about $485,000, up 5 percent from 2016.”
Looking farther outside of Phoenix Proper for Real Estate to Buy
The metro Phoenix suburbs farthest out were hardest hit by the crash and have been the slowest to recover.
But both sales and prices are again climbing in those areas, including the West Valley suburbs of Goodyear, Surprise and Buckeye and southeast Valley areas of Queen Creek and Maricopa.
The median home price in the Buckeye ZIP code 85326 is up almost 10 percent from last year to $192,000. But the area’s home values are still about 19 percent off the 2006 peak.
Will 2018 be the year for Phoenix?
Metro Phoenix home prices continue to climb in most neighborhoods.
The median Valley home price is now about $253,000, up from $235,000 a year ago.
Some homeowners and national market watchers see price increases in the Valley and are concerned about another bubble.
“The housing market is very solid now. But there’s nothing that shows we are heading for another crash.
Metro Phoenix’s December 2017 median price of $250,000 is still below the high of $260,000 from 2006.
Housing market watchers say 2018 could be better than 2017 for prices and sales.
Whether this is the year the area’s median market reaches that 2006 level depends on whether first-time buyers can find homes they can afford.
“Either low inventory numbers for homes for sale will restrict sales because buyers can’t find houses in their price range or Millennials, the driving force behind our market, will be able to and decide to buy,” said Tom Ruff, housing analyst with The Information Market, owned by the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service.
“That, coupled with an improving economy, will lead to increased sales in 2018,” he said.
Home to historical neighborhoods like “The Windsor,” prominent office buildings and iconic retail centers, the area between the sevens is also becoming an increasingly attractive place to work and play as new commercial real estate projects take shape, blending modern needs with the area’s rich history.
The latest projects range from adaptive reuse transformations of a former grocery store and other businesses into multifamily communities or trendy bars and restaurants. It also includes the modernization of older office buildings to meet current standards with lots of natural light, high ceilings, large open floorplates and easy connection to amenities.
Whether its people or companies, everyone is looking for a connected place that’s walkable, vibrant and linked to other amenities and uses, says City of Phoenix Economic Development Director Christine Mackay.
In addition to providing great transit options such as light rail, buses and the Grid Bike Share program to get around, Midtown and Uptown also boasts incredible dining and shopping options as well as prime office locations for major corporate companies.
Mackay says the rejuvenation of Midtown started in 2016 when Banner Health moved its corporate headquarters to the Banner Corporate Center on Thomas and Central Avenues.
Banner retrofitted an old building, bringing it to the 21st century, explains Mackay, which signaled to other large corporate tenants that the area and surrounding communities would support regional and/or national headquarters.
From there, the 2828 North Central building renovated its bottom floor to include a co-working shared space that’s currently occupied by Mod Phoenix. Meanwhile, the owners of the 2020 On Central building renovated all of its lobbies and shared spaces, which eventually led Facility Source to lease office space.
“Those three things really set the stage for other building owners to come in and start making dramatic changes,” Mackay says.
Now, Midtown is experiencing office renovations across the board because so many of the existing buildings were constructed in the 1970s and 80s.
Mackay also describes an incredible and growing demand to live in Midtown and Uptown. “It’s cultured. It has night life, distinctive dining and pretty much everything is local. It’s exactly what people are looking for today,” she says.
In addition to new office product and multifamily units, the area between the sevens has also seen a surge in new retail projects as it’s becoming more widely well-known as a foodie hotspot with an eclectic and tasty mix for restaurants and bars.
Mackay says, “The restaurants, culture and nightlife is really what’s drawing people into this Central City to live.” In fact, she says, there are not less than 100 restaurants in that area for people to choose from.
Mackay points to the success of projects like The Yard, along Seventh Street and Missouri Avenue, as an example of the pent-up demand for restaurants nearby, which has spurred other retail and dining destinations to follow like The Colony, built by LGE Design Build in 2016.
Looking ahead throughout Midtown, Mackay says, the renovations of Park Central Mall is “the last missing piece before the area returns to full throttle.” Meanwhile in Uptown, she predicts, the completion of Arrive Phoenix will “really prove the market and show what a destination hotel looks like in that area.”
DEVELOPER: Vintage Partners; Venue Projects
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Venue Projects
ARCHITECT: Arrive Hotel & Restaurants
LOCATION: 400 & 444 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix
SIZE: 45,000 SF; 79-rooms
START/COMPLETION: Q1 2018 – Q4 2018
Located at what’s been called the Valley’s “hottest intersection” by the Urban Land Institute of Arizona, the project transforms a trio of mid-century gems into Uptown Phoenix’s newest dining, entertainment and urban hotel hub. The two-acre site will also host a boutique coffee shop, poolside taco bar, gourmet ice creamery, and nautical-themed rooftop craft cocktail bar featuring 360-degree city views. For the project, Vintage Partners teamed up with Venue Projects, the visionary developers behind The Newtown and other successful adaptive reuse projects like Windsor/Churn and The Orchard along Central Avenue.
DEVELOPER: First Place AZ
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: hardison/downey construction
ARCHITECT: RSP Architects
LOCATION: 3001 N. Third St., Phoenix
SIZE: 81,525 SF; 56-units
START/COMPLETION: January 2017 – March 2018
The $15 million residential property for adults with autism and other neuro-diversities will be a first-of-its-kind facility that First Place AZ plans to expand into a worldwide model. First Place AZ Founder, President and CEO Denise Resnik started the nonprofit to ensure that housing and community options are as bountiful for people with autism and other neuro-diversities as they are for everyone else. The project provides a one-of-a-kind approach that combines apartments, a residential training program and a national leadership institute to advance more independent and community integrated living options.
The Curve at Melrose
DEVELOPER: P.B. Bell
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: M.T. Builders
ARCHITECT: Studio 15 Architecture Inc.
LOCATION: 4333 N. Sixth Dr., Phoenix
SIZE: 204-units; 308,618 SF
START/COMPLETION: August 2016 – Early 2018
The Curve will consist of 204-luxury apartments in a vibrant and eclectic urban Melrose District neighborhood positioned within walking distance of Indian Steele Park, light rail as well as numerous locally owned shops and restaurants. Included in the property’s luxury amenities are several that were selected by public vote in 2015, which include a resort-style pool and spa along with an outdoor kitchen and gas grills. P.B. Bell also worked with the Seventh Avenue Merchants Association on plans to reserve three display windows at the property to spotlight community-curated work and displays.
DEVELOPER: Trammell Crow Company; High Street Residential
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Chasse Building Team
ARCHITECT: ESG Architects
LOCATION: SWC of Seventh Avenue & Osborn Road, Phoenix
SIZE: 190-units; 45,000 SF (retail)
START/COMPLETION: July 2017 – August 2019
The Osborn is a mixed-use grocery anchored retail shopping center and multifamily development. The project sits on a 5.96-acre site located in the heart of Midtown Phoenix where the city’s oldest Bashas’ grocey store, originally built in 1956, used to be located. The site benefits from immediate adjacency to many major employers, desirable affluent neighborhoods, abundance of social venues and high visibility with over 50,000 vehicles passing per day.
DEVELOPER: Vintage Partners
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Kitchell
ARCHITECT: Nelsen Partners
LOCATION: 100 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix
SIZE: 116,787 SF
START/COMPLETION: 2014 – June 2016
The Valley’s first retail center located outside of Downtown Phoenix is being restored to its former glory and street appeal as a result of wall-to-wall renovations over the last three years. The property’s renovation aims to restore this iconic shopping center — originally constructed in 1955 by the Del Webb Co. — to its stylish brick-lined, mid-century roots and appeal. The 11-acre renovation includes restoring the original brick façade, adding new landscaping and successfully securing a variety of local, regional and national tenants like Shake Shack, Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, Huss Brewing Company’s flagship taproom, Creamistry, Flower Child and more. The latest phase included updates to the exterior of AJ’s Fine Foods.
DEVELOPER: ABI Multifamily
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Alexander Building Company
LOCATION: 5227 N. Seventh St., Phoenix
SIZE: 16,281 SF
START/COMPLETION: Q4 2017 – Q2 2018
The two-story adaptive reuse project will transform the former Uptown Phoenix office building into a refreshed Class A office for ABI Multifamily on the top floor and co-working space on the first floor. A large multipurpose room will be used for entertaining, training and a yoga room open to the community. The design repurposed raw industrial materials, while still maintaining a sleek modern feel. In addition, a perforated metal canopy and second skin will be added to create new dynamic exterior spaces while protecting the building from the harsh summer sun of the desert.
Dignity Health Third Avenue Parking Garage Expansion
DEVELOPER: Dignity Health
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: JE Dunn Construction
ARCHITECT: GLHN Architects & Engineers
LOCATION: 2929 N. Third Ave., Phoenix
SIZE: 177,000 SF
START/COMPLETION: December 2017 – July 2018
While the area’s public transit options like buses, light rail and Grid bikes have made commutes easier, parking is often a top-concern for companies and tenants considering a move to the Central City. That’s why the Dignity Health’s St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix is embarking on a campus-wide parking solution that will add approximately 500 new spaces.
DEVELOPER: Plaza Companies; Holualoa Companies
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: DPR Construction
ARCHITECT: richärd+bauer architecture
LOCATION: 3121 N. Third Ave., Phoenix
SIZE: 337,000 SF
START/COMPLETION: Q4 2017 – Fall 2018
“Our goal is to transform Park Central into a truly innovative and exceptional work environment for companies in the ‘New Economy,’” says Sharon Harper, president and CEO of Plaza Companies, which also led the the successful transformation of the Los Arcos Mall in Scottsdale into the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center – SkySong. As Phoenix’s first-ever mall, Park Central benefits from an exceptional location and unique retail history. In total, 337,000 square feet will be revitalized into several distinct districts, each with its own identity.
If you are interested in a free consultation to see if buying a Phoenix home is a better option for you, please call or email me today. You may be surprised at what you learn. I have access to programs that offer down-payment assistance with money you do not have to pay back.
Whether you’re buying or selling a home in Central or Downtown Phoenix, or just have some questions about anything at all in or about any one of the historic districts in Phoenix, I’d be very happy to help you! Just call or email me anytime.
G.G. George, the Phoenix author of the new book, “The Arizona State Fair,” has a history of preservation activism dating back to the 1960’s and remains an active voice in the historic community today for Historic Phoenix Districts.
“G.G. George is the Energizer Bunny of historic preservation,” said Kathryn Leonard, the Arizona State Historic Preservation Officer.
Most recent, the Norton House and all of Encanto Park were listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This completed a project led by George, the president and founder of the Encanto Citizens Association, and the president of the Phoenix Historic Neighborhoods Coalition, to put the entire Encanto Neighborhood on the National Register, which was started in the 1970’s.
And these are only a few of her accomplishments.
“G.G. has always been an extremely valuable voice in the historic preservation movement in Phoenix and it dates back to when all of our historic districts downtown were considered blighted, and nobody wanted to live in them,” said Leonard.
George began her work back in 1969 when she heard the plan to construct the I-10 Papago Freeway was displacing residents from their homes. These homes were in the area known as the Moreland Corridor, located between McDowell and Roosevelt Streets and Central and 19th Avenue.
At the time, the Arizona Highway Department, now known as the Arizona Department of Transportation, was offeringhomeowners less than what their houses were worth so that they could begin construction on the freeway, according to George.
“The freeway fight spurred preservation awareness,” said George. “The homes they were tearing down in the Moreland Corridor were just as nice as this house, just as old and even older,” said George, referring to her home in the Encanto-Palmcroft neighborhood.
George was invited to a meeting by a group known as Citizens for Mass Transit Against Freeways which included a group of concerned neighbors who wanted to make a difference. George attended the meetings, heard the stories from the people who lost their homes, and wanted to help in some way.
“She really was instrumental in saying ‘Hey, these houses have value,’” said Leonard.
According to George, the people in this neighborhood had no idea there was anything they could do to stop the construction of the freeway until a few activists organized the neighborhood. Nearly 2,000 neighbors came together to express their dissent against the construction.
In 1973, a vote appeared on the ballot which determined the fate of the freeway. The Citizens for Mass Transit Against Freeways and preservation advocates won their first battle when construction of the freeway was voted down.
The Department of Transportation had to scrap their original plan for the Papago Freeway, which led to the development of a new plan of an I-10 tunnel under Margaret T. Hance Park.
Arizona State Fairgrounds
Over the years, George has worked on countless other efforts to preserve historic buildings. Most recent, when the Works Progress Administration (WPA) building, located on the Arizona State Fairgrounds near Fairview Place Historic District, was threatened with demolition, George supported the effort to save it.
George wrote “The Arizona State Fair,” a book that chronicles the history of the fairgrounds from its formation in 1905 through the Great Depression when the WPA building was built. George wrote the book “to stimulate interest in the preservation of the buildings and the grounds.” According to George, the profit from the books goes toward historic preservation efforts.
“I devote all my time, research, and writing ability to the [Encanto] citizens association who gets the profits from these books to carry on our work,” said George.
According to Jim McPherson, president of the board of directors for the Arizona Preservation Foundation, George was very supportive of this effort from both a preservation and neighborhood standpoint.
“We have been really appreciative of G.G. in undertaking that major project,” said McPherson regarding George’s book.
Moving forward, George said that she will continue to fight to preserve the integrity of historic districts.
“If we don’t understand the past we can’t even plan for the future,” said George.
In North Central Phoenix sits a home on top of a hill that has a unique history. It used to be a train depot in Mayer, a town more than 70 miles north of Phoenix.
The history is very cool. The train depot began operation in Mayer in 1898. It was in full operation until it finally shuttered in the 1950’s. For years it sat decaying to the ravages of time, but a Phoenix man named Don Dedera had a great idea: ship the depot to the Valley and turn it into a home.
So, in early 1963, the train depot was placed on a moving truck and shipped south.
It wasn’t an easy task. It was brought down the Old Black Canyon Highway and telephone and power lines had to be moved out of the way. At one point, the moving truck turned toward the Deer Valley Airport and was able to drive down the runway to avoid even more telephone lines. Eventually, it ended up on a hill and became part of a new home.
Fast forward to a few years ago, the most recent owner, Will Auther and his wife spent nearly a year fixing up the home, and they lived in it for nearly 13 years.
Now, they’ve decided to put it on the market. They hope that someone will take it over and keep the history of the home alive and help to keep the story of the traveling train depot alive.
It’s now the Valley’s most popular intersection, according to a new poll among real-estate and growth experts.
Urban Land Institute Arizona members recently voted the central Phoenix spot the “hottest intersection” in metro Phoenix. It beat out Phoenix’s Camelback and 24th Street, an area that garnered the title the last time the group voted a decade ago.
“Camelback and Central has old buildings with great design, diversity and very supportive neighbors,” said Craig DeMarco, restaurateur and a founder of Upward Projects, at the Urban Land contest last week. “It’s the only intersection in the entire Valley with four historic neighborhoods surrounding it.”
Camelback and Central didn’t even make Urban Land’s top 10 list for hottest intersections in 2007.
A lot has changed since then. A boom and bust, light rail and a move toward an urban lifestyle by more Valley residents have shifted our growth.
Plus, DeMarco’s group has opened five restaurants, including a Postino, Windsor and Federal Pizza, around Camelback and Central over the past decade.
Other rankings on Urban Land’s top 10 list:
Downtown Tempe’s Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway was voted No. 2 in the hot-intersection contest. The popular urban hub moved from third a decade ago. Matt Mooney, managing director of Cousins Properties, pointed out that Tempe led the nation for filling existing office space with tech firms from 2014-16.
Scottsdale and Camelback roads came in at No. 3, after hitting No. 2 the last time. Real-estate attorney Jordan Rose, who has an office at this Scottsdale intersection, said people can shop, eat, work, vacation, get their hair done and even buy a Tesla at Camelback and Scottsdale.
Chandler’s bustling Arizona Avenue and Chandler Boulevard tied for fourth. Danny Plapp of LGE Design Build pitched the area for its $70,000 median household income, office space, new apartments and jobs. “A younger, richer and hipper generation wants to live in new suburbs like Chandler,” he told the crowd. “Just look at San Tan Brewery’s sales at this intersection.”
Phoenix’s 24th Street and Camelback intersection and the Camelback Corridor tied for fourth. The area is still a hot spot of offices, hotels, shopping and eateries but has a lot more competition now.
At No. 5 is the Scottsdale Road and Greenway Hayden Loop area, near the city’s popular airport. Danielle Casey, Scottsdale economic-development director, said there are often “celebrity sightings” at the airport and in the area. The intersection didn’t make the list the last time.
Downtown Phoenix’s Central Avenue and Roosevelt near Roosevelt Historic District ranked No. 6 after not making the list a decade ago. The area, known as Roosevelt Row, has recently emerged as a hub for new apartments, condos, cool restaurants, historic renovations and light rail.
6 BIKE LANE PROJECTS COMING TO A DOWNTOWN NEIGHBORHOOD NEAR YOU
JULY 28, 2017 BY FARA ILLICH
Right now, Phoenix lacks a comprehensive bicycle network connecting the downtown business district with surrounding neighborhoods.
But a number of improvement projects aim to change that.
From road “diets” to restriping, the City of Phoenix is not only focusing on making downtown more bikeable, but more walkable and livable too.
Six projects impacting downtown are in the works, which will add things like cycle tracks (two-way bike lanes), landscaping enhancements, signage, lighting and ADA improvements.
Omar Peters, a director with the Urban Phoenix Project (UPP), sees the changes as a step toward making cycling as comfortable as driving.
“It’s exciting to think about biking this entire area and it’s a nice, easy, protected and pleasurable ride,” he said.
As the special projects administrator for the city’s street department, Mark Melnychenko sets up many of the community meetings advocates (like Peters) attend. Melnychenko gathers public input and helps lead the design and construction process.
“I think we’ve made some pretty good strides in what we’re doing with streets and transportation in the Valley,” he said. “If we had talked about these types of things even 10 years ago, people would not have listened to you, now it’s part of everybody’s vocabulary.”
“Complete streets” are part of that new vocabulary, a concept that emphasizes the importance of multi-modal transportation. In fact, the city just passed a complete streets policy on June 28, ensuring all transportation improvements moving forward have things like walkability and bikeability in mind.
One example of that is the First Street Pedestrian Improvement Project, which started in 2012, and is slated to conclude sometime this year.
Big changes on First Street have already been made between Van Buren and McKinley Streets, including repaving, reducing the roadway width, widening the sidewalks and adding bike lanes.
Those improvements will extend through the Evans Churchill neighborhood up to Margaret T. Hance Park in the final phase.
Third Street is another major artery running north from downtown. And unlike 1st Street, which dead-ends at Hance Park, Third Street helps bridge the I-10 barrier from Evans Churchill into the Alvarado neighborhood and beyond.
Stretching all the way up to Indian School Road, the Third Street Improvement Project will impact a lot of central city neighborhoods. It already went through the public input process, settling on design plans that reduce the traffic lanes from five to three and add buffered bike lanes. Construction will begin in late 2018 or early ‘19.
It basically provides a walkable, bikable corridor through the Coronado neighborhood (and areas east of that), in addition to easier, safer passage across major intersections like 7th and 16th streets.
According to Melnychenko, the Oak Street improvements are a great example of how the city is creating one big bicycle network, while trying to keep motorists, residents and pedestrians happy.
“Everything we do with the streets is a balancing act because we have commuters, bicyclists, public transit — and we need to balance the use of the street,” he said. “We have go about it incrementally because it impacts a lot of people.”
Construction on the Oak Street bike lanes is set to begin in 2019, and will eventually tie into the Grand Canalscape near 24th Street.
So while many of these projects aren’t connected yet, they eventually will be.
For instance, there’s a bike lane gap between Central and 7th Avenues along Roosevelt Street — but that’s about to change. The street was recently redone east of Central Avenue (along Roosevelt Row), and now it’s the west side’s turn.
In addition to repaving and restriping Roosevelt Street, Third and Fifth Avenues will also get bike lane makeovers, possibly as far north as Thomas Road. As part of the lengthy pre-design process, which concluded in December 2016, key stakeholders provided input, followed by a three-day design charrette.
Because of the all the new development happening in that area and connection to downtown neighborhoods like Roosevelt and Willo, a lot of community members attended the discussions.
UPP was one of the groups present, pushing for cycle tracks on both 3rd and 5th Avenues, in addition to two-way traffic south of Roosevelt.
“When you think about all the new residential that’s happening, there’s a reason why these people want to move downtown,” Peters said. “They want that lifestyle and that includes being able to walk to places, being able to bike to places.”
The historic Garfield neighborhood east of downtown is also growing, and a new project along Van Buren Street would add bike lanes to that area as well. Spanning from 7th Street to 40th Street, the initial design provides a road diet, buffered bicycle lanes and sidewalk improvements.
But according to Dan Klocke, executive director of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership, it’s time to rethink that mentality.
“Cities originally widened roads so people could get to their far-flung neighborhoods faster,” he said. “It’s time to recapture some of the quality of life for those neighborhoods by reducing the impact of wide roads, and offering transportation solutions for local residents and employees.”
Using the existing roadway and curbing, a restriping project will also affect Washington and Jefferson streets — adding bike lanes to the gap between 7th Avenue and 7th Street.
Lanes currently exist just outside the “Sevens” going west toward the Woodland neighborhood, and east toward Eastlake Park. This would connect cyclists from those neighborhoods to the downtown business district, at no detriment to vehicle traffic.
“In a tight urban area, bikes get a lot of people around and cause no congestion,” Klocke said. “Bike lanes are an important quality-of-life amenity for those who enjoy it, but also a critical infrastructure piece for those who don’t have a car.”
That is one of the busiest intersections in the region and is also on the Metro light rail systems. The land is owned by real estate entities managed by trusts of the Aberbach family.
Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley
Julian J. Aberbach, who died in 2004, was the music publisher for Elvis Presley. Music publishers do deals related to song writing and royalties when compositions are used.
Public records and real estate databases show land at the Indian School/Central land is owned by Aberbach Investments LLC and Vembec LLC.
Those entities are managed by estates for Julian J. Aberbach and his family.
Greg Vogel’s Land Advisors Organization is marketing the land.
The corner was previously home to an AM/PM gas station which is no longer there, parking lots and a Yoshi’s restaurant.
Vogel said the land for sale totals approximately 3 acres with an asking price of $50 per square foot.
Vogel sees the Indian School/Central land as a good spot for a new apartment development.
Julian Aberbach and his late brother Joachim Jean Aberbach were in the music publishing business and forged deals with Elvis Presley, Ray Charles and Johnny Cash.
Julian Aberbach died in 2004 at age 95.
The New York Times outlined in his obituary the business ties to Presley whom he first forged a deal with in 1955. That included telling Presley to hire songwriters to provide him more music.
“I gave Elvis a check for $2,500, an advance against the royalties of his stock ownership,’’ Aberbach said in a 2002 interview with Billboard magazine according to the Times obit. “And he promptly went to the Cadillac dealer and got a pink one.”
Elvis first appeared on the “Ed Sullivan Show” in 1956.
Land Advisors is a leading real estate firm in the state and region. Vogel’s group forged the deal that is bringing Lennar-developed apartments to the northwest corner of McDowell Road and Central Avenue.
by Mike Sunnucks Senior Reporter Phoenix Business Journal