Tag Archives: Scottsdale Real Estate

Downtown Phoenix’s Growing Popularity is Pricing Out Many Residents

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10-28-2018 Courtesy, in part, azcentral

Downtown Phoenix’s Metro housing boom is blanketing the area with thousands of new apartments and condominiums.

But the rents and prices for the new homes will shut the door on some who want to live in the area. and home prices in historic neighborhoods in and around downtown Phoenix are soaring as the area becomes more popular, further limiting Metro Phoenix potential buyers.

“It’s heartbreaking that the teachers and those working in the area’s hotels and cafes can’t afford to live in downtown,” said Cindy Dach, downtown Phoenix proponent, resident and business owner. “The area won’t be diverse unless we plan housing for everyone.”

Some affordable housing is planned in the city’s core, but not enough, say housing advocates. Building affordable housing in the area is tough due to rising land prices.

“We need the entire spectrum of housing in downtown Phoenix,” said Patricia Garcia Duarte, CEO of the housing non-profit Trellis. “Many people forget affordable housing is needed to create a healthy community.”

Luxury, luxury and more luxury in Metro Phoenix Phoenix, AZ

Most of the 8,000 apartments recently built, underway or planned in downtown Phoenix are in luxury complexes with rents higher than the average Valley mortgage.

The average apartment rent in downtown Phoenix is $1,608, according to ABI Multifamily. The average apartment rent for a one bedroom for the entire city of Phoenix is $1,050.

Millennial Adrian Zaragoza rented in downtown Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row neighborhood for five years before buying a new condo in the area’s Portland on the Park development last year.

“I saw rents rising, and the chance to buy a condo before those prices climbed too,” he said.

Zaragoza said all of the new development going on downtown “is exciting,” but he’s glad to be his own landlord and not dealing with rent hikes.

If too many apartments go up and don’t fill up fast, rents could fall in downtown Phoenix.

Also, though rents are high in downtown Phoenix, they are still $50 to $100 lower a month than rents in downtown Scottsdale and Tempe.

Can you still find an affordable house In Phoenix, AZ?

Aysia Williams and Benjamin Hughes rented in Phoenix’s Woodland Historic District, on the western edge of downtown, for about a year before trying to buy their first home.

“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.

The couple’s house, for which they paid less than $250,000 a few months ago, was never even listed for sale. They were renting in the neighborhood and searching for a home they could afford when they met a longtime homeowner who didn’t want to sell to an investor.

People talk about the gentrification of central Phoenix pricing too many first-time homebuyers out. Buyers can still find affordable homes if they look hard enough.

Home prices in most other historic neighborhoods around downtown Phoenix are much higher. Prices in nearby the nearby Roosevelt historic district and Willo historic neighborhood can easily top $500,000.

Housing downtown workers can afford

Phoenix Housing Director Cindy Stotler said downtown Phoenix has 1,001 affordable units which is more than most people realize.

The issue is that those units are reserved under federal law for “very low-income” individuals who have a median annual income of  $14,000-$38,000.

Stotler said the real downtown housing gap is in “workforce housing,” for middle-income individuals who make $38,000-$48,000 annually. These individuals would have to pay nearly 50 percent of their income to afford living in market-rate housing downtown which is not reasonable or sustainable, she said.

“To me, the area that we’re missing in downtown is the working people’s housing. And people who are not like a lawyer or something and making a lot of money, but they’re just average working people,” she said. “There’s no regular housing for them. We’re not building that.”

To get workforce housing downtown, the city likely won’t be able to rely on traditional developers, Stotler said.

Land prices are high, which makes it difficult for developers to offer middle-income rents and still turn a profit on their projects, she said.

Garcia Duarte said financing is also difficult for more affordable housing, which deters some developers from building it. 

Stotler is looking to city-owned land in downtown as a possible solution to this issue. She hopes to find developers or non-profit groups that may be able to build middle-income housing on these lots.  

Affordable housing to market-rate

Phoenix’s housing department owns and operates three affordable housing properties in the downtown core.

  • Deck Park Vista: Located at Third and Moreland streets, Deck Park Vista has 56 subsidized senior apartments. The average household income is $17,848 and only two of the units qualify as workforce housing.
  • Ambassador West: This complex located near Van Buren Street and Fifth Avenue has 102 units. The average household income is $24,159 and only 28 of the units qualify as workforce housing.
  • Reflections on Portland: This small, 18-unit complex at Second and Portland streets has five workforce housing units. The average household income is $35,245.

Stotler would like to take some of the city’s housing projects and redevelop them as denser projects with more units available for middle-income households.

For example, Deck Park Vista is a garden-style apartment complex with just 56 units on two acres of land. Stotler said she could fit between 200-400 units on the land.

“It’s a poorly designed project for the downtown,” she said.

Stotler said the city has 10 other senior housing options across Phoenix, including some near downtown, like the Warehouse District, where the current residents could be moved to accommodate a new multistory project on the land with 200 workforce units and 50 affordable units.

Financing the project won’t be easy. While the city gets federal assistance to provide low-income housing, there are far fewer resources to build and provide middle-income housing, Stotler said.

“That’s where I’m struggling right now, is where we can get the funding to build all these workforce units,” Stotler said.

Pressure to build affordable In Phoenix, AZ

In most large cities, particularly those on the East Coast, it’s common practice to require developers who build market-rate housing to contribute to an affordable housing trust fund, which allows the city to build affordable housing.

Phoenix can’t do this. State law prohibits cities from creating such trust funds, Stotler said.

Instead, the city council can, and has, put pressure on developers to include a percentage of affordable or workforce housing in its projects if they want special perks from the city like a tax break or extra height.

Recently, the developer of an apartment project planned at the Arizona Center agreed to reserve 10 percent of its 354 planned units for workforce housing in exchange for a tax break.

Whether you’re looking to buy a single-family home in Phoenix, AZ, a Historic Phoenix home, or, 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!

Metro Phoenix’s Hottest Intersections to Live, Work and Play

Metro Phoenix’s Hottest Intersections to Live, Work and Play

Uptown Phoenix was a hot spot for restaurants, shops and clubs in the 1970’s and ’80’s.

Then the cachet fizzled a bit as the Valley’s suburbs boomed.

But Camelback Road and Central Avenue, the heart of Phoenix’s uptown area, as well as Phoenix’s Midtown area, are back as a thriving hub for popular restaurants, cool boutiques, office space, light rail and historic neighborhoods and their homes.

Downtown Phoenix, AZ Historic District

Central Avenue Corridor

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.
  • Washington Street and Central Avenue in the heart of downtown Phoenix ranked No. 7, down from No. 5. The city’s many new high-rises are attracting more residents and offices. ASU’s downtown Phoenix expansion near Garfield Historic District is helping.
  • Gilbert Road and Vaughn Avenue in restaurant-rich downtown Gilbert came in at No. 8. The Gilbert intersection didn’t make the previous list.
  • Phoenix’s 44th Street and Camelback in Arcadia’s prime intersection made the list at No. 9, another new Valley area for the ranking.

Because of the tie, there was no No. 10.

Four intersections that made the top 10 in 2007 didn’t make the new ranking: Scottsdale Road and Mayo Boulevard; 95th and Glendale avenues; 99th Avenue and McDowell Road; and Price and Willis roads.

I thought DeMarco summed up the test for ranking metro Phoenix hot spots really well.

“We have restaurants around most of the intersections on this list,” he said.

“I don’t look at numbers. I just drive around looking for the coolest neighborhoods.”

To buy or sell a historic Phoenix Home, contact Historic Homes Specialist, Laura B. today at 602-400-0008. Read about Laura B. here from her client testimonials.

Scottsdale restaurant brings Italian concept to Collier Center in downtown Phoenix

Mancuso’s Restaurant – which has had Italian eateries in Kierland Commons and The Borgata in Scottsdale — is moving into the Collier Center development in downtown Phoenix.

Scottsdale restaurant Mancuso’s at the Collier Center will open this summer in an 8,700-square-foot space previously occupied by Kincaid’s. That business-oriented restaurant closed last year.

Scottsdale Restaurant Collier Center

Collier Center Downtown Phoenix

The location is located at Third and Washington streets in downtown Phoenix.

“The exciting growth of downtown Phoenix, with new businesses, new residents and visitors, plus increased activity at the Phoenix Convention Center, are all reasons now is the time to come downtown,” said Bobby Mancuso, president of Mancuso’s Restaurants, in a statement. “We are looking forward to bringing this vibrant part of the city our award-winning traditional Italian food, just as we did for 25 years at our former The Borgata of Scottsdale location.”

The Mancuso family has operated Italian restaurants in the Phoenix area for years. The Borgata location closed with the redevelopment of the retail complex into residential uses.

Another concept at Kierland Commons called Bobby’s Restaurant and Lounge had its last day on April 30 with the Mancuso’s moving onto a downtown concept.

Another new restaurant called The Park is also opening this summer at the Collier Center.

The Park is going into the former Stoudemire’s space. It is a food-truck food and craft beer concept and will include live music.

RED Development handles the leasing at the Collier Center.

RED also owns CityScape in downtown Phoenix and has brought popular restaurants and retailers into the Town & Country shopping center on Camelback Road and 20th Street.

Charles Skaggs, RED’s senior leasing broker at the Collier development, said the Mancuso’s and The Park are elevating the restaurant mix at the mixed-use development.

Phoenix Business Journal
May 3, 2016, 8:24am MST Updated: May 3, 2016, 8:28am MST

Just released – Phoenix has 6.0% appreciation over last year

The latest S&P/Case-Shiller® Home Price Index® numbers came out this morning, covering sales that closed between February 2016 and February 2016. The greater Phoenix metro area came in with 6.04% appreciation over that 12 month period. 

Case Shiller IndexThe Cromford Report comments – “The west coast continues to appreciate the fastest, with Denver also very strong. Phoenix is in the middle of this pack of 20, but beat the overall average for the USA. When we look at the month to month change we see:

  1. San Francisco 1.06%
  2. Seattle 1.06%
  3. Denver 0.94%
  4. Portland 0.75%
  5. Los Angeles 0.70%
  6. Tampa 0.59%
  7. Dallas 0.52%
  8. Atlanta 0.37%
  9. Charlotte 0.35%
  10. Phoenix 0.27% 
  11. Las Vegas 0.21%
  12. Detroit 0.10%
  13. Miami 0.08%
  14. San Diego 0.06%
  15. Boston -0.08%
  16. Washington DC -0.20%
  17. Chicago -0.31%
  18. Minneapolis -0.44%
  19. New York -0.47%
  20. Cleveland -0.60%”

If you’re ready to buy a home in Phoenix, Scottsdale or surrounding areas, contact me today for a no obligation consultation.