The most recent WeKnowUrban Tour hit the hot Tempe market, visiting properties on Tempe Town Lake and the Mill Avenue District. Tempe, as well all know by now is landlocked and is seeing an abundance of vertical growth. We were fortunate enough to get of tour of many heights, from 6 stories all the way up to 33 stories. The first stop at 10am was the Northshore mid-rise condominiums by Weststone Communities who is also building the adjacent parcel coined the Onyx tower. Northshore has a great location and a great community feel, and currently, is reasonably priced for a lakefront property. The plaza level is the epicenter of the complex, with a sizable lawn and pool deck overlooking the South side of TTL. The only downside to this property is that by the time the entire lake is built up, this will be viewed as the least desirable place to be, based on the exteriors compared to the rest. A basic stucco finish will not compete with flashy glass and steel, but if that was the intention, then so be it, just not my flavor.
Jumping across the lake to the South and slightly east is the elusive Hayden Ferry Lakeside development by Suncor. While this is definitely a step up to a more luxurious level than Northshore, it did not have as friendly of a community feel. We were fortunate enough to get a taste of the 4000+ square foot customizable penthouses on the top floors. Offering expansive views of the valley, the penthouses are two-levels, with decks on both and for units facing the lake are suited with spas on both levels as well. Although luxurious, the price tag is high, especially for this market.
Saving the best for last is the highly anticipated Centerpoint project by Avenue Communities. Nearing completion of the first 23 story tower in the next couple months, we put on our hard hats and entered the construction site. Centerpoint has a very unique feel, with a major emphasis on community space, by offering more amenities than you can think of. The vision of the developers was based on a series of in-depth research on similar properties around the globe. The end is result is a an elegent combination of international ideas, themes, spaces and angles. The units are the right size for this cosmopolitan Tempe market, while the penthouses are out of this world. Each tower, the first and the second 33-story high-rise have a penthouse that expands the entire floor of each building. Boasting 7,000 square feet of indoor space and just over 4000 square feet of patio space, the 360-degree lifestyle is unmatched in Arizona. Did I mention that each of the top floor penthouses have a private pool and spa?
The Centerpoint tour was conducted by one of the principals of Avenue Communities, Ken Losch, who made major decisions for every aspect of this project. Ken really made the tour amazing, for a number of obvious reasons; he gave an overview of his company and how they envisioned this project, explained a vital researching aspect of the process and provided more little facts and quirky information on the building. I recall at the beginning when he requested that a fraction of the group follow him, it was almost a mad rush of tour attendees to follow, similar to children chasing down an ice cream truck.
All the products we visited this past tour were great, no matter what my slightly picky taste says. Each product offers different layouts, level of finishes and amenities. Northshore currently has one of the best traniest locations because of its proximity to the Loop 202, not to mention it sits on Tempe Town Lake. Bridgeview at Hayden Ferry Lakeside is one of the only ultra-modern products in Arizona, giving you a near unmatched address. Centerpoint will bring energy to Mill Avenue similar to districts in Manhattan, London, and Vancouver. They will each play a major role in the urbanization of Tempe and cater to different clientele, which is key so that no single market is oversaturated.