Tag Archives: Camelback Corridor

What Does Turn-Key REALLY Mean?

Turnkey homes Phoenix

Do you know what the REAL definition, the LITERAL meaning of “TURN KEY?

turnkey,definition,historic,phoenix,real,estate,homesTurnkey homes in Phoenix – Most people think it simply means that the home is ready for move-in and it’s so nicely remodeled that you don’t have to do anything but move in and enjoy! Now, this is definitely true, but here’s the REAL definition, although similar, but more accurate.

It means, you put the key in the door, turn it, open the door and you’re home with nothing to do to the house but enjoy.

Further definition states: Turnkey refers to something that is ready for immediate use, generally used in the sale or supply of goods or services. The word is a reference to the fact that the client, upon receiving the house, just needs to turn the key in the lock and walk in, or, that the key just needs to be turned over to the buyer.

I just completed helping a turn-key client remodel for a 1937 Bungalow in the Camelback Corridor at 1131 E. Fern Drive South and it’s now on the market getting TONS of attention! She’s a sweetheart of a home in a fantastic historic neighborhood!

Contact me, Laura Boyajian at 602-400-0008 for more information or to schedule a showing.

Metro Phoenix Starting to Grow Up Instead of Out

The Valley is seeing new inward development, a change from the outward expansion typical of metro Phoenix.
Mark Quinones/azcentral.com

There’s an urban revival going on in the Phoenix Valley, which has long been known for its affordable suburban homes.

Karen Wang is buying a condo in the new 14-story Portland on the Park development in downtown Phoenix.

Her new home is going up on a prime piece of land next to Margaret T. Hance Park that was a dirt parking lot when she moved here from the San Francisco Bay Area for culinary school 12 years ago.

Of course, metro Phoenix had plenty of empty lots back then. It was rated as one of the cheapest metro areas for parking in the U.S. in the mid 1990’s because it had so much vacant land, especially downtown.

Now, construction cranes and new housing, restaurant and retail developments can be found on many of those long-vacant parcels across central Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa and Glendale.

The Valley, an area that for so long has grown outward with new, affordable suburbs, is having an urban revival.

For example:

  • Almost 4,000 condominiums are under construction, planned or were recently built in the central Valley, according to developers.
  • Upwards of 8,000 apartments are being built on infill sites in metro Phoenix, according to ABI Multifamily.
  • Infill land prices in the Valley have more than doubled in the most popular neighborhoods during the past 15 years, property records show.
  • Home prices and rents are climbing the fastest in the Valley’s urban hubs.
  • And the days of finding free parking on dirt lots in central Phoenix, Scottsdale or Tempe are as long gone as those vacant parcels.
downtown,phoenix,real estate,construction

Portland on the Park project at Central Avenue and Portland Street

Millennials and Boomers are behind the shift in metro Phoenix’s development. They want to live where they can walk or ride bikes to where they work or play — or both.

Builders are responding with many new high-density, high-rise condominium and apartment projects near popular eateries and shopping hubs. Not only are vacant lots being filled; older, often empty buildings are being transformed as well.

“I want a more urban lifestyle that wasn’t available when I first moved here,” said Wang, 39, who is moving downtown from the Arcadia area of Phoenix. “I am looking forward to walking just a few minutes to restaurants and the dog park.”

Her commute to her retail job in Scottsdale will get longer, but her partner, Logan Stephenson, works in downtown Phoenix.

Most urban planners support infill and high-density development because it uses less water, cuts back on freeway traffic and can create more walkable neighborhoods.

“It is a reflection of the Valley maturing as a metro area when the value of land closer in becomes more valuable and demands higher uses or basically more density,” said Mark Stapp, a growth expert and director of the Master of Real Estate Development program at Arizona State University.

“It’s a good thing for growth,” he said.

The Valley may never be Manhattan, but …

Phoenix will never be a San Francisco, Manhattan, London or Hong Kong for high-rise living.

The Valley also still lags other big cities such as Chicago, Portland and Denver for urban redevelopment. And growth on the Valley’s fringes will continue.

But metro Phoenix is already a higher density city than most people realize.

“Too many people equate the Valley’s growth with sprawl,” said Grady Gammage Jr., author of the new book “The Future of the Suburban City: Lessons from Sustaining Phoenix.”

An average of 3,200 people live per square mile of the Valley, according to the Center for Neighborhood Technology, a national growth think tank.

Gammage, who has been analyzing metro Phoenix’s growth for decades, said that makes the Valley a more dense area than Seattle, Houston, Charlotte or Atlanta.

Los Angeles is the densest U.S. city with an average 7,000 people living in every square mile. Second is Las Vegas with 4,500 people per square mile, he said.

But more condominiums and apartments are under construction or planned in the Valley now than any time since the boom. Most are going up in the central Valley on infill sites.

People often try out an area by renting, experts say. Then they’ll buy if they really like it.

“Apartments lead the way for condo construction,” said Tom Simplot, CEO of the Arizona Multihousing Association and a former Phoenix city councilman. “People first became comfortable living in that area, and are now converting to ownership.”

Rooftops following retail

Metro Phoenix’s typical growth trend has been reversed with infill.

Retail followed rooftops to the Valleys’ suburbs. But now new housing is chasing new infill restaurant and shopping hubs.

“Creating ‘high-connectivity’ hubs with high-density homes near restaurants, bars, shops, cultural centers and jobs is becoming the development pattern of metro Phoenix,” Stapp said.

Phoenix infill hubs include:

  • Downtown Phoenix, which has become a big draw for buyers, renters, eaters and shoppers. The area’s Roosevelt Row has several new condo developments, row houses and apartments. The Muse, with 367 apartments, is going up at Central Avenue and McDowell Road, a prime corner of the city’s skyline that has been empty for decades. Downtown Phoenix has the highest average apartment rents in the Valley.
  • Central Phoenix, where there are several restaurant hubs drawing residents and new infill homes. There’s the Uptown area around Postino, near Camelback Road, where high-end townhouses are filling the last vacant spots. One developer is transforming old apartments into Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired condos called the Mason.
  • Midtown Phoenix, where apartments and condos are going up among clusters of restaurants and shops across from Steele Indian School Park. In the Midtown neighborhood called the Yard, after the hopping restaurant hub on Seventh Street, home prices jumped 50 percent last year.
  • Phoenix’s Camelback Corridor and Biltmore areas, which have very few empty lots left for development. Now builders are tearing down older apartments to make way for newer, luxury ones because so many people want to live near the area’s luxury shops and high-end restaurants. New projects are stretching this chic area’s borders south.

“In the last 15 years the major urban cores of Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe have transformed to the extent that the population is now demanding planners make them increasingly vibrant,” said David Newcombe, a co-founder of Scottsdale-based Launch Real Estate and broker at Portland on the Park.

He said the trend for urban growth is being powered by “people wanting to take back ownership of their life.”

Suburban high-rises

High-density and vertical developments aren’t just going up in Valley downtown’s anymore, either.

If an area has a popular restaurant and shopping hub, then developers are building, believing buyers will come.

Pat and John Simpson are moving from their home in north Scottsdale’s DC Ranch to a new luxury condo at Optima Kierland. The 12-story development is going up on the Phoenix/Scottsdale border next to a resort, popular shopping and restaurant hub near the Loop 101 Freeway.

“We are downsizing but not downgrading to an area where we can walk to get a cup of coffee or a meal,” said Pat Simpson, a real-estate agent with Russ Lyon Sotheby’s who moved to the Valley from New York a decade ago.  “We want views and amenities.”

In April, more than 1,400 new and used condos sold, according to The Information Market. That’s the highest monthly tally since mid-2007.

“Creating higher-density housing like condos near central areas strengthens communities and provide people with an alternative way of living in the Valley,” said architect David Hovey Sr., who developed the Optima condos in Scottsdale and Phoenix’s Biltmore area and now is building in Kierland.

Kierland, where a 12-story condo building is on the rise, is among the suburban areas drawing higher-density housing. Others include:

  • Central Scottsdale, where the Old Town and the Waterfront areas are sprouting high-end condos and apartments near many upscale restaurants and shops. Condo prices are easily topping $1 million, particularly in the development replacing the Borgata shopping center.
  • South Scottsdale, known as SoSco, which is drawing Millennials to its new apartments and older neighborhoods with more affordable porch homes. Apartment rents jumped 20 percent in this area last year.
  • Tempe’s Town Lake and Mill Avenue, which led the Valley’s urban rebound. New developments underway on ASU land along the water will bring even more apartments and condos to the 24/7 area that is drawing not only students and Millennials, but Gen X-ers and Baby Boomers.
  • Downtown Mesa, which is drawing its first new housing developments in many years and becoming a cultural hot spot.

Moving in, up or down

Metro Phoenix’s two biggest groups moving closer in now are Millennials and empty nesters or Boomers, developers say.

These huge demographic groups seem to want to spend less time in their cars and taking care of homes with yards.

The Koch family represents both. Ann, 55, and Bob Koch, 59 live in north Phoenix but are buying a new condo in downtown Phoenix’s en Hance Park for their daughter Kayla to live in while she goes to ASU.

“We looked at renting an apartment for Kayla downtown and then realized buying could be a better deal,” Bob Koch said.

He said when their daughter moves out, the couple plan to keep the condo, stay there themselves and share it with family and friends who want to enjoy downtown.

Kayla Koch, 21, said she will walk to class and take light rail to her job in Uptown Phoenix at Flower Child restaurant.

“There’s these new type of ethos and feeling about living in an area where you can walk to a park, so many restaurants, museums and things to do,” said Aaron Carter, broker for en Hance. “More people are letting go of the trappings of a larger home to be in a great location, particularly if it’s near light rail.”

Ride it, and you might like it

downtown phoenix,light rail

Metro Phoenix Light Rail

Some may question whether light rail has drawn enough riders to be considered a success, but few dispute the train tracks have drawn development and created new Valley growth hubs.

Several of the Valley’s most popular new restaurant and shopping areas stretch along light rail from Midtown Phoenix to downtown and out to Tempe and Mesa. Housing has followed the train.

Some planners expect to see similar hot spots for development in Glendale as light rail expands there.

Light rail helped draw Adrian Zaragoza to downtown Phoenix.

He had been living in north Phoenix and found himself driving everywhere, including to central Phoenix to hang out with friends.

Five years ago, he began renting on Roosevelt Row. Now, he’s buying a condo at Portland on the Park.

portland on the park,central phoenix

“Downtown is great. I can either bike or take the train wherever I want to go,” said Zaragoza, 29, a senior financial manager in Tempe. “I only drive my car to go to work.”

Patricia Gober, interim director of ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, said light rail has helped change metro Phoenix’s growth pattern.

“Light rail has created places where people feel like they belong and want to be in the Valley,” she said. “Phoenix is becoming more dense and poised for better growth, thanks in part to its trains.”

Density means less water usage

Urban planners say one of the biggest benefits from higher density housing is how it improves water conservation. Most infill developments use much less water than traditional neighborhoods with single-family homes.

“A very rough but conservative estimate would be that a typical high-rise household would use at least 50 percent less water than a typical single-family home on the Valley’s fringes,” said Sarah Porter, director of the Kyl Center for Water Policy at ASU’s Morrison Institute.

Based on several recent studies, she estimates a metro Phoenix high-rise home uses an average 4,000 to 5,000 gallons of water a month.

That means a Valley single-family home with a yard uses an average 8,000 to 10,000 of gallons of water each month.

“In the Valley, up to 70 percent of household water goes to outdoor uses, though the average percentage per household has been declining,” Porter said.

Water usage is an important growth factor for cities in the West like Phoenix dealing with shortages and long-term droughts.

But not all urban planners think a big shift to infill development is the right growth path for the Valley.

“Areas with high-dense housing and vibrant downtowns like San Francisco, Paris and Manhattan are unaffordable for most people,” said Joel Kotkin, executive director of the Center for Opportunity Urbanism. His most recent book is “The Human City. Urbanism for the Rest of Us.”

He said metro Phoenix’s big draw for new residents is relatively inexpensive housing.

“Affordable cities like Phoenix are now drawing Millennials and families who can’t afford to live in Southern California or on the East Coast,” he said. “I am not sure those people are looking for more expensive high-rise developments in the desert.”

But Gammage and Stapp said they think there’s demand for both infill and high-rise homes as well as more affordable single-family houses farther out in the Valley.

“Not all future growth will occur in the Valley’s core,” Stapp said. “We will need to build on the edges, but more dense regional hubs can also evolve in Gilbert, Mesa, Chandler and other suburbs.”

Density appeals to Wang, who the Bay Area transplant who is moving to downtown Phoenix.

“Part of my pessimism about living in the greater Phoenix area is that I’ve always felt like it was a large suburb due to the sprawl,” she said. “But the growth of Phoenix has dynamically changed in the past five years.”

She said it’s tough to compare Phoenix to San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles for downtowns.

“But Phoenix can be Phoenix, and it has changed over the years,” she said. “I am happy about the attention and renewal being brought to the heart of the city.”

Arcadia Historic Neighborhood In Midtown Phoenix Arizona

The Arcadia neighborhood is one of the most desirable addresses in Phoenix.

Camelback Mountain Arcadia Historic Neighborhood

Camelback Mountain is prominently seen from many homes in the Historic Arcadia Neighborhoods

I personally lived in Arcadia starting in 1989 as the first house I purchased was in this eclectic neighborhood. I had a stunning view of Camelback Mountain in my back yard like so many homes in Arcadia do. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a home that doesn’t have a view of Camelback Mountain, at least to some degree. I can attest to all the wonderful attributes Arcadia has to offer but don’t take my word for it; get in your car and go cruise the area. You’ll fall in love with it.

Arcadia is bounded by 44th Street to 68th Streets and from Indian School Road to Camelback Mountain. Immediate surrounding areas have more recently been referenced as Lower Arcadia or the Arcadia area but the true Arcadia corridor begins at the corner of 44th Street and Indian School Road going north and east from there. Contrary to many people trying to ride on the “Arcadia” name, there is indeed a true, defined Arcadia Corridor.

Arcadia neighborhood is not officially a historic district and its eastern edge is in the City of Scottsdale but Arcadia has more than earned its huge place in Phoenix history.

Arcadia Homes For Sale

Arcadia is one of the most desirable and priciest addresses in Phoenix. The homes range from small ranch houses under 1,000 Square feet to stunning luxury estates that sit on five acres with a lot of in-between. You’ll find a wide variety of architectural styles from sprawling 4 to 5-bedroom ranches built in the postwar era to Revivals and Pueblo-style homes dating to the late 1920’s and early 1930’s

The neighborhood is surrounded by original luxury guest resorts along Camelback Road like the Royal Palms and is walking distance to many trending restaurants are bars such as The Vig, LaGrande Orange Grocery and Pizzeria, Postino’s Wine Cafe, Zipps, The Arcadia Tavern, the famous Pete’s Fish and Chips and so much more! Eating and drinking your way around Arcadia is fun and can take some time.

Many people now refer to Arcadia as Midtown as it’s in the middle of everything superb and its overall location is in the center of it all. Sky Harbor Airport is just a hop and a skip away as is Biltmore Fashion Park, Fashion Square in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley along with a plethora of fantastic golf courses! Downtown and Central Phoenix is just a very short jaunt as is I-10, the Loop 202, the 51 and the 143.

Arcadia Park, G.R. Herberger Park, Camelback Mountain (and its hiking trails) along with easy access to the canal gives many options for hiking, jogging, biking and walking.

Arcadia is also known for its top tier public schools (some of the best in the state) such as Hopi Elementary School, Ingleside Middle School and Arcadia High School in the Scottsdale Unified School District making it an extremely family friendly community. There are also private schools in the area.

This is the type of neighborhood where the neighbors know each other, walk their dogs and are out with their children enjoying the tranquility this wonderful neighbor offers!

Arcadia homes have character, are well-kept and have high property values as the neighborhood is adjacent to the upscale suburbs of Paradise Valley, the Biltmore area, Scottsdale and North Central Phoenix. Most lawn have lush, green lawns, custom landscaping, palm trees and citrus trees galore!

Built on former citrus groves, Arcadia is known for well-irrigated, mature landscaping. Several yards prominently feature orange, lemon and grapefruit trees as reminders of the area’s past. The area used to be occupied by citrus farmers from 1919 to the mid-1950’s. In the mid-1950’s, the rest of Phoenix caught up with the farms and the area suburbanized with characteristic ranch homes on large lots. Arcadia High School serves and derives its name from the neighborhood.

The film, Everything Must Go, takes place in Arcadia.

In 2002, CNNMoney voted Arcadia as one of the “Best Places To Live” stating:

In stark contrast to Ahwatukee’s desert foliage are the lush green lawns of Arcadia, a neighborhood that sits on the Phoenix and Scottsdale city line. Arcadia is a former orange grove with its own irrigation system, and rows of citrus trees line its blocks of quaint homes built in the 1950’s and 1960’s on large lots.

Because Arcadia is so highly regarded for its greenery and high-performance schools, which are in the Scottsdale system, prices are on the high end: Starter homes begin at $300,000. Homeowners tend to do a lot of remodeling, adding much diversity to the once similar-looking homes; it’s not uncommon to see a country cottage adjacent to a Spanish hacienda. Residents brag about being close to Scottsdale’s high-end shopping, a world-class resort, arts centers and good restaurants, as well as downtown Phoenix.

I couldn’t agree more. After all, living in Arcadia for so many years, I’m hooked.

Read the History of Arcadia Historic Neighborhood

DOWNTOWN PHOENIX LIFE

The City of Phoenix defines Downtown as the area between 7th Street and 7th Avenue, from McDowell Road on the north to Buckeye Road on the south. However, the majority of downtown development is concentrated in the smaller area surrounding the intersection of Washington St. and Central Avenue. Downtown Phoenix is one of a the few major business districts in the city and is the central business district of the City of Phoenix, Arizona.

It’s located in the heart of the Phoenix metropolitan area or ‘Valley of the Sun’ with a large variety of designated historic districts housing some classic, vintage homes attracting people from all walks of life.

Phoenix, being the county seat of Maricopa County and the capital of Arizona, serves as the center of politics, justice and government on the local, state and federal levels. The area is a major center of employment for the region, with many financial, legal, and other national and international corporations housed in a variety of skyscrapers. Major arts and cultural institutions also call the area home. Downtown Phoenix is a center of major league sports activities, live concert events, and is an equally prominent center of banking and finance in Arizona. Regional headquarters for several major banks, including JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, US Bank, Bank of America, Compass Bank and MidFirst Bank are all located within or close proximity to the area.

A Little History of Downtown Phoenix

Territorial era

In 1870, a meeting was held to select a town site for the influx of pioneers coming to the recently recognized town of Phoenix. 320 acres were purchased for $50 raised by popular subscription. This original site, the whole of the town of Phoenix in that day, encompasses what would presently be the Downtown Core, bordered by Van Buren Street south to Jackson Street, and Seventh Street to Seventh Avenue.

With the first survey of the new town, streets were laid out in a grid, with Washington Street as the main east-west thoroughfare. The north-south streets originally bore Native American tribal names, but were changed to more easily remembered numbers, with everything east of Center Street (later Central Avenue) named as streets and everything west as avenues. The town continued to grow, and was eventually incorporated as a city on February 28, 1881 centered around downtown.

Throughout the 1880’s the newly incorporated city made many strides toward modernization with the construction of one of the first electric plants in the West as well as the opening of the horse-drawn streetcar line. The Phoenix Street Railway system was eventually electrified and expanded to several different lines that connected Downtown Phoenix to other neighborhoods and cities in the Valley. Independence Day of 1887 heralded the arrival first Southern Pacific train. This opened up the economy of the young city, as goods now flowed in and out by train as opposed to wagon. As Phoenix became the center of commerce in the territory, the capital was moved to Phoenix, with temporary offices being set up in Downtown.

The city of Phoenix’s story begins as people from those settlements expanded south, in conjunction with the establishment of a military outpost to the east of current day Phoenix.

The town of Phoenix was settled in 1867, and incorporated in 1881 as the City of Phoenix. Phoenix served as an agricultural area that depended on large-scale irrigation projects. Until World War II, the economy was based on the “Five C’s”: cotton, citrus and cattle, climate and copper. The city provided retail, wholesale, banking, and governmental services for central Arizona, and was gaining a national reputation among winter tourists. The post-World War Two years saw the city beginning to grow more rapidly, as many men who had trained in the military installations in the valley, returned, bringing their families. The population growth was further stimulated in the 1950’s, in part because of the availability of air conditioning, which made the very hot dry summer heat tolerable, as well as an influx of industry, led by high tech companies. The population growth rate of the Phoenix metro area has been nearly 4% per year for the past 40 years. That growth rate slowed during the Great Recession but the U.S. Census Bureau predicted it would resume as the nation’s economy recovered, and it already has begun to do so. While currently ranked 6th in population, it is predicted that Phoenix will rank 4th by 2020. Currently it the 6th most populous city in the United States.

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Downtown and Central Phoenix Life Becoming a Nationwide Hotspot

DOWNTOWN LIFE

The Downtown Phoenix Condo and Loft Scene

Metro Light Rail, Phoenix, AZ

Metro Light Rail In Downtown Phoenix

The number of high-rises, mid-rises and low-rises being built, restored and renovated have been absolutely BOOMING in Central Phoenix! These buildings are old mixed in with new and provide amenities galore. Downtown Phoenix is the new home of loft traditions where space and creativity have been merging into stylistic, personalized urban expression. Many industrial buildings have been converted into desirable, luxurious, lofts or condominiums for your taking. If a single-family home is not for you but simple living is, (no yard responsibilities, etc.), then you’ve come to the right place. Or maybe you’re an artist looking to live where you work. I have ideas for you.

Here, you will find real-time, live listings of all Downtown, Central and North Phoenix condos for sale, Urban Lofts for sale, Condos in High-Rises for sale, and pretty much any dwelling type that is not a single-family home. Whether you wish to buy, sell, renovate or design a loft or condominium in Phoenix, HistoricPhoenixDistricts.com and Downtown Life has the property and solution for you.

Downtown and Central Phoenix is fun urban living. It is a series of distinct urban and historical phoenix neighborhoods where neighbors know each other and are constantly welcoming new neighbors as the downtown area continues its growth.

Downtown Phoenix and the Central Avenue Corridor has enjoyed tremendous growth since the completion of light rail and ASU opening its Downtown Phoenix Campus.

You can walk for coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks and entertainment including the First Friday Art Walk, museums, sporting events, shopping, parks and more. It is a place populated by people seeking a way of life that doesn’t require hours of commuting each day. Many people enjoy driving any one of the many Historic Phoenix Districts just to view the architectural designs of the beautiful homes that encompass Phoenix Historic neighborhoods.

While downtown Phoenix grows, you can and experience urban living at its best. No matter what your taste there are homes that will make you happy. Live in an area full of cultural venues and experience the convenience a downtown residence can provide whether in a modern or historic condominium, historic loft, or a townhome. Come be part of downtown life.

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