by Peter Corbett – Jun. 19, 2008 10:46 AM
The Arizona Republic
NORTHEAST VALLEY – There is no shortage of luxury condominiums on the market these days, but buyers are laying out seven figures for lofty perches in the midrise towers at Kierland Commons.
That includes ninth-floor penthouses and condos at the Plaza Lofts at Kierland Commons, which overlook a golf course and the area’s suburban office parks and shopping centers.
And just blocks to the north is the Landmark at Kierland, which sold one of its 3,600-square-foot penthouses this week for more than $2.1 million.
The Plaza Lofts include a 4,000-square-foot penthouse shell for $2.75 million.
One can only imagine where the prices would be if the housing market had not stalled over the past two years.
One of original Plaza Lofts residences resold in March 2007 for $3 million or $1,051 per square foot.
Buyers more cautious
Kierland developer Buzz Gosnell, president of Woodbine Southwest Corp., said people are moving to the Valley and there is still demand for the Kierland lifestyle.
“People are taking more time to make decisions and I think that’s great,” he said of sales. “We want them to look at all the projects and decide that this is the place they want to be.”
Woodbine Southwest is completing the second phase of its Plaza Lofts, a tower with 54 residences – five penthouses and 49 condominiums.
Prices start at $575,000 for ground-level condos of about 1,100 square feet.
The seven-story Landmark at Kierland, developed by Butte Properties, has just 10 condos left in the second tower, which has 48 residences.
Plaza Lofts prove popular
Kierland Commons, northwest of Greenway Parkway and Scottsdale Road, has been a hit in the marketplace since opening in 2000.
And the Plaza Lofts tower is proving as popular as the first 30 residences in the 3-year-old Plaza Lofts.
About 35 of the 54 new residences have been sold, said Trudy Hammond, Signature Properties director of sales.
That includes a handful of buyers who were residents of the first-phase lofts.
Michael and Regina Jaye sold their two-story loft in November and moved in February into a seventh-floor condo in the tower.
Their single-level, 2,800-square-foot residence includes about 75 feet of floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the golf course and the McDowell Mountains.
Loft residents move up
A Boston real estate developer, Jaye, 63, and his wife looked all over central Phoenix and downtown Scottsdale before settling on Kierland four years ago.
“It’s a wonderful quality of life here that we’re so lucky to have,” he said.
“You’re not obligated to get in your car,” Jaye said, adding that he and his wife can walk to restaurants, coffee shops or just watch kids playing in the plaza fountain.
Scottsdale Quarter rising
Demand for the Plaza Lofts should continue to be strong with development of the nearby Scottsdale Quarter on the east side of Scottsdale Road, Jaye said.
The 28-acre Scottsdale Quarter is planned for 365,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, 246,000 square feet of offices, about 240 condos and a boutique hotel.
Construction is racing along and the first phase is scheduled for completion later this year.
Similar in concept to Phoenix’s Kierland Commons, the Scottsdale Quarter will nearly double the offerings of the already popular shopping and restaurant district – and it will be in Scottsdale.
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