Highlight These Features When Staging Your Home

Every house is different, and you can use that to your advantage to help sell your home faster. The features that make your home unique will likely be the deciding factors for a potential buyer when they sign a contract to buy.

Everything about your house will be compared to other houses in the area. If you have a feature that another house doesn’t, that could move you up the list of a buyer’s favorite options. If your house lacks a feature that a similar house has, that can even hurt its value.

Home Appraising Group, home appraisers in Philadelphia, says, “If, for example, the comparable has an extra half bath that the subject doesn’t, the appraiser may deduct the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable.”

It’s a good idea for you to do some research beforehand to see what is common in houses in your area. That way, you can make adjustments before an appraisal happens.

Here are a few areas to give special attention to:

What to Highlight When Selling Your Home:

Flooring
Flooring is something homebuyers don’t want to have to worry about when they move in. If they have to replace flooring, that puts all of their other plans on hold.

Hardwood flooring is popular now, but it isn’t appropriate everywhere. Kitchens and bathrooms need a material that is waterproof, like tile, stone, or linoleum. Carpets are also acceptable if they are relatively new and don’t have any stains, tears, or other damage.

If any of your flooring is damaged, replace it immediately. The last thing a potential buyer wants to see is a future flooring project as soon as they walk into a room.

And when you replace your floors, make sure they are visible. Stage your rooms with just enough furniture to give them an idea of what the room could look like. Then leave the walls and floors open as much as possible to make the room seem larger.

Bedrooms
We spend about eight hours a day in our bedrooms, making them some of the most important rooms in our homes. That’s why most descriptions of homes start with the number of bedrooms. If your bedrooms include something unique, be sure to highlight it.

This could include a master bathroom, balcony, or walk-in closet. These kinds of features can help set your home apart from others in the area. If your master bathroom includes a jacuzzi or your bedroom balcony has a dining area, that can set you apart even more.

Outdoor Living Spaces
Speaking of a balcony dining space, outdoor living spaces are another great way to set your home apart from the competition. Porches, decks, patios, and pools can all increase the value of your home and help it sell faster.

Make sure whatever space you have outside is properly lit. Even adding lights around the exterior of your house for easy navigation at night can help sell your home faster.

Professional landscaping can help as well. A nice deck or porch won’t do much for you if the yard looks bad. If you can’t afford to hire professionals, try planting some flowers and shrubs along pathways.

Custom Features
Custom features are great because they show a potential buyer that they will only get them if they choose your house. Features like skylights, spiral staircases, and finished basements and garages are great to show off.

Other houses might have these features, but they won’t be like yours. Find a way to highlight these features even more and you’ll provide them with something they can’t live without.

If the exterior of your house includes custom architecture, that can help to set yourself apart as well. Custom spires, roofing, windows, and walls can all add a bit of uniqueness to a home.

Home Security Features
A home with all these great features will likely need a home security system. If you have one already, definitely feature it heavily. Cameras, sensors, alarms, and fences all help potential buyers feel safer.

And if you’re having trouble selling your home, adding a security system could help it sell faster, especially if similar homes in the area have them. Like any sale, it’s all about setting yourself apart from the competition.

Take Amazing Photos (like ours)!
Having all these features is great, but if you don’t take great pictures and add them to your online listings, you won’t get anybody to visit your house in the first place. When you finish staging your home, have professional photographs taken.

If you can’t afford a professional photographer, at least invest in a high-quality camera. Homebuyers want to see photos before they decide to tour a house. If yours aren’t better than your competition, you could lose out on a lead.

Video content is making its way to the real estate industry as well. If you provide them with an online video tour of your home, that will give them even more confidence to come visit in person.

What are some of the best qualities of your home? Let us know in the comments below!

Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.

Mid-Century Machines: Automobiles of the Haverhoods

As you know, we typically like to focus on Mid-Century homes here at AZ Architecture; however, with Barrett-Jackson coming up, we thought we would shift our focus a bit and take a look at some of the automobiles that were most likely parked in the driveways and carports of these unique homes.

Unlike like the simple homes in the 50’s, American automobiles of the fifties were nothing short of impressive! In fact, there wasn’t anything short about them. These cars tended to be large, roomy, and comfortable with two and three tone paint schemes, loads of chrome, and big V8 motors. Much like American homes, post WW2 years saw an amazing amount of new automobile models with creature comforts never seen before. In 1950, there were roughly 40 million cars on the road. By the end of the decade, that number had nearly doubled.

First introduced on the 1950 model cars, the hardtop convertible saw a rise of popularity in 1951. The hardtop convertible saw success by combining the open-air feel of a convertible with the comfort of a closed car. Despite an amazing amount of wiring, these hardtop convertibles were surprisingly reliable. One such hard-top convertible, the Chevrolet Corvette made its debut in 1953 at the GM Motorama in New York City. Amazingly enough, along with the Chrysler 300 and the Chevy Impala, the Corvette is one of the few cars that is still in production today.

1955 saw the creation of the several popular models such as the Chrysler C-300. The 300 was big, quick, and luxurious. Powered by Chrysler’s 331 cubic-inch Hemi V8 producing 300-horsepower, this 4,000 pound beast was based on the New Yorker model with leather upholstery and other upgrades billed as standard equipment.

In February of 1953, just one month after Chevrolet debuted their Corvette concept car at the GM Motorama in New York, Ford began developing their Thunderbird. While there were many similarities between the Corvette and the Thunderbird, the Thunderbird was more of a practical luxury car rather than a no-frills sports car like the Corvette.

The Corvette wasn’t the only popular Chevy in the mid-fifties. In 1955, the 150, 210, and Bel Air models were all brand new. Each of these models included a new frame, suspension, exterior, and a powerful new V8 engine. In addition to an upgraded electrical system, the ’55 Chevy could be ordered with air conditioning, power windows, power steering, power brakes and even power seats. These were the exact creature comforts American’s could only dream of in the affordable automobile market before the mid-1950’s. Making these options available was a huge selling point for Chevy. In 1955, over 1.7 million Chevys were produced which accounted for nearly 23% of all American car sales in the U.S. that year!

Without a doubt, Chevrolet models from 1955-1957 remain a favorite of classic car enthusiasts. Many classic car enthusiasts rate the 1957 Chevy as one of the best cars of the fifties. Throughout the fifties, options such as power brakes, power steering, electric front seats and windows, and air conditioning increased in popularity. By 1958, over 80% of American cars were equipped with automatic transmissions.

In 1958 and 59, larger, heavier cars such as the 364ci Buick, the 365ci Cadillac, and the 430ci Lincoln Continental came into production. These cars were huge inside and out. They came with not only wider seating but also lots of leg room. The 1959 Continental weighed 5,500 pounds and was powered by a 430ci big-block V8. Lots of famous celebrities owned one such as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Louie Prima, Dwight Eisenhower, Nelson Rockefeller, the Shah of Iran.

Because gas was so cheap, small, more efficient cars were not very popular in the US in the 50’s. Instead, American’s lived by the motto “bigger is better” and “speed is king”! It wasn’t until a mild recession in 1958 that interest in smaller cars began to grow. A true surge in demand for more compact cars and models such as the Ford Falcon, Chevy Corvair, Plymouth Valiant, Dodge Dart, Buick Special, Oldsmobile F-85 and the Pontiac Tempest didn’t happen until the 60’s. The 4-door sedan was still a best seller through the 60’s and the station wagon was also growing in popularity around that time.

In 1965, the Ford Mustang was released and won “Car of the Year”. While there wasn’t quite the advancement seen in the 50’s, creature comforts as well as safety features because more and more important in the cars of the 60’s. Both sports cars and muscle cars grew in popularity during this time period as well. Judging by the action at Barrett-Jackson every year, the cars from the 50’s and 60’s hold a special place in the hearts of a lot of people. In fact, the most expensive car ever sold at a Barrett-Jackson auction was a 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra Competition known as the Super Snake. It went for a cool $5.5 million at the Scottsdale auction in 2007.

So, the next time you find yourself in one of the Valley’s cute little “Haverhoods”, we hope that you can better imagine what these homes looked like with their large, shiny cars parked out front. In fact, one of the defining features of the Haver home’s are the trademark patioport. The patioport is a large, partially covered concrete slab that connects the carport with the home’s set-back front door. These patioports were designed to highlight one thing in particular, the newest American status symbol, the automobile!

If you want to take a step back in time and see one of these masterful machines in person, be sure to check out the Barrett-Jackson auction happening right here in Scottsdale at Westworld January 11-19, 2020. Click here for more information and tickets to the event.

Image courtesy of Alison King at www.modernphoenix.net.

Our Mission Statement and Credo

As we move into the New Year, we feel as though it is the perfect time to share with you exactly what it is that makes us different, special, unique, and, well, just us!

azarchitecture/Jarson & Jarson is the ONLY Real Estate Company in Arizona specializing in the sales of Architecturally Unique Homes™.

We believe that all people deserve an opportunity to live in great architecture and that design, architecture and history add value… These are our core beliefs:

OUR MISSION

To sell, creatively Market and promote good Architecture and Design regardless of price.

OUR CREDO

– We believe that honesty is the foundation to success.

– We believe in treating people as individuals and in a manner that we would like to be treated.

– We believe that Architecture, Art and Design can influence, enlighten and enrich the lives of those who interact with and within it.

– We believe that every home, building and property has their own unique character, personality and use and that built structures leave a lasting imprint on the land and the people; therefore, we must act accordingly.

– We believe that Real Estate Business is not just a matter of sales, but more a dedication to fulfilling people’s needs and desires.

– We believe that creativity and humor is an integral part of a successful business.

– We believe that the private ownership of homes and property is a worthy aspiration inherent in the American Dream.

– We believe that in our personal as well as professional life it is our obligation to give back to the community as it enriches our lives.

– We believe that our desert environment is a precious resource, and that architectural and historic structures offer a much needed connection to the past; therefore, the preservation of these gifts is essential.

– We believe that to be successful one must be flexible and attune to the ever-changing business environment.

– Therefore we shall endeavor to incorporate these beliefs in all that we do, to the best of our abilities.

While 2019 was a fabulous year for us, we absolutely cannot wait to help even more people in 2020! Let us show you how we provide a unique real estate experience to each and every one of our clients. Whether you are looking to sell your precious home or find your own piece of livable art in the desert, we are here to help you. Call us at 480.425.9300 or contact us via email at info@azarchitecture.com.

Happy New Year!

A Very Good Year to be Goodyear!

2019 has certainly been a good year for Goodyear, Arizona since it was ranked #22 in the nation on Money.com’s Best Places to Live list! According to the report, “With a brand-new Microsoft campus and a Nike manufacturing facility set to bring in more than 500 full-time jobs, the city of Goodyear, located just outside of Phoenix, has ample career opportunities. Job growth in the surrounding county increased by 23.1% from 2010 to 2018, and is projected to go up 7.7% by 2023.” This growth is great news for Goodyear as well as the rest of the Phoenix Metro Area.

If you are considering moving to Goodyear, we suggest you take a look at the community of Estrella. Estrella is a relatively new, 20,000 acre, mixed-use, Master-planned community, and it is one of the fastest growing and most popular communities in Goodyear. Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Estrella Mountains in the Sonoran Desert Valley, Estrella boasts lakeside properties, a championship golf course and easy access to the Greater Metro-Phoenix area. Estrella is located just off of the I-10 and Estrella Parkway approximately 17 miles west of Phoenix. Over 40,000 residents spanning a multitude of ages already call Estrella home. The community hosts regular family-friendly events and provides residents with a variety of amenities such as an abundance of parks, trails and open space to help support a healthy, outdoor lifestyle. Estrella is currently comprised of three distinct neighborhoods – Mountain Ranch, Montecito and CantaMia, a gated, 55-Plus community. If you are interested in making Estrella your home, we can help you find the perfect place for you. Contact us at 480-425-9300 for info@azarchitecture.com.

Click here for more information on the Best Places to Live list and see the other Arizona city ranked in the top 100! (Hint, hint: it’s our friendly neighbor up North. Way to go Flagstaff!)

 

Monthly Market Update December 2019

Let’s start with the basics – the ARMLS numbers for December 1, 2019 compared with December 1, 2018 for all areas & types:

  • Active Listings (excluding UCB & CCBS): 13,869 versus 18,563 last year – down 25.3% from last year, and down 4.5% from 14,525 last month.
  • Active Listings (including UCB & CCBS): 17,577 versus 21,736 last year – down 19.1% from last year, and down 4.1% compared with 18,322 last month.
  • Pending Listings: 5,864 versus 4,562 last year – up 28.5% from, but down 0.9% from 5,919 last month
  • Under Contract Listings (including Pending, CCBS & UCB): 9,572 versus 7,735 last year – up 23.7% from last year, but down 1.5% from 9,716 last month.
  • Monthly Sales: 7,119 versus 6,638 last year – up 7.2% from last year, but down 11.4% from 8,032 last month.
  • Monthly Average Sales Price per Sq. Ft.: $179.57 versus $166.75 last year – up 7.7% from last year, and up 3.1% from $174.21 last month.
  • Monthly Median Sales Price: $281,000 versus $260,500 last year – up 7.9% from last year, but down 1.4% from $285,000 last month.

Interpreting the Numbers:

It is important to note that November 2019 contained only 18 working days and October 2019 contained 23, so there were 22% fewer working days in November compared to October. There were 19 working days in November 2018, so this year we see a disadvantage of 5%. This means the numbers above are actually far more impressive than they appear.

According to the numbers, supply is down 25% compared to this time last year. Demand has retained strength much later into the season than normal. Pricing has moved higher over the last 2 months, but we think we are only at the beginning of the latest leg upwards. A rise of $10 per square foot represents an increase of almost 6% in just 2 months.

Another interesting note, luxury sales are breaking records throughout the valley! This year, home sales over $2 million achieved a new record of 51 as compared to 26 last year. Sales under $1 million were up 15% to 281, and sales between $1 million and $2 million were up 38% setting another all-time record for November at 112.

All in all, it does not appear as though things will get much easier for buyers in the weeks ahead. Supply typically falls during December as many sellers take their homes off the market during the holiday season. Even without this effect, the current supply simply cannot support the current level of demand. This makes it vital for buyers to work with agents to ensure they get what they want. The real test, however, will come in January. We will have to wait and see which ramps up faster from the low point of January 1, 2020. Will it be active listings or the under contract counts? Comparing these two numbers using the contract ratio should give us a good forecast of how the upcoming selling season will unfold.

What do these numbers mean for YOU? Well, if you are looking to sell your home, there is no better time than now! We have a team ready and able to create a plan to help you take advantage of these market conditions and get the most out of your home.

And, if you are looking to buy a home, it is more important that ever to use an experienced agent, because you MUST to be completely ready to go when you find that perfect place. We are happy to help in any way possible. You can reach us via email at info@azarchitecture.com or by telephone at 480-425-9300. We look forward to helping you with all of your real estate needs.

Happy Holidays!

Local Gift Guide for Design-Minded, Impossible-to-Buy-for People

It can be exhilarating to know exactly what you are going to give your loved ones for the holidays. Unfortunately, obtaining the perfect gift can be elusive for many. Here is the way it often goes: One day, your friend or family member mentions something they want or need. You quickly make a mental note, and, then, somewhere in bustle of the season, you completely forget; or, better yet, they buy that magical item for themselves on a Black Friday sale. Darn, the plan has been foisted again! If this situation sounds familiar to you, have no fear. We are here to help. Instead of trading the latest in top-gift trends, why not give your loved one something they will actually remember? To help, we put together this little list for those of you wanting to really make an impression on your loved ones this season.

For your buddy, who’s a Frank Lloyd Wright Freak… A membership to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation might just be the ticket! This is a great way to give someone an experience instead of just a trinket that may get lost in the shuffle. There are various levels of memberships, but even at the basic level, your Frank Lloyd Wright-o-phile will get to enjoy a subscription to the Frank Lloyd Wright Quarterly, a discount at the Frank Lloyd Wright Store,Annual passes to the Insights Tour at Taliesin West and discounts on additional tours at Taliesin West. Click here to check out the various levels and benefits of membership.

For your creative friend or family member that has everything… This person is the worst (and most oftentimes one of the best people in your life)! They are impossible to buy for because they have everything. For this challenging character, only an experience of a lifetime will do! You’re in luck. The interactive website, Masterclass, allows you the opportunity to digitally apprentice with notable artists and architects such as Architect Frank Gehry, Photographer Annie Liebowitz, Makeup Artist Bobbi Brown, Comedian Steve Martin or even Chef Gordon Ramsay. So, go ahead and take a bow. You just found the perfect gift for the person who has everything!

For the dramatic one in your life… theater tickets are a MUST! There are many fine theatre companies in the the Phoenix Metro Area such as Desert Stages Theatre, the Arizona Theatre Company, the Phoenix Theatre Company, and the Scottsdale Musical Theater Company. In addition to the various theatre companies, there are many excellent venues around the valley to take in a show such as the Herberger, Tempe Center for the Arts, Mesa Arts Center, and, of course, the Frank Lloyd Wright designed ASU Gammage. Click here to check out the lineup and purchase tickets at ASU Gammage. Do us a favor and take some time to admire the architecture while you are there!

For your funky friend who loves to groove to the music… a membership to the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) will have them dancing around for days! The MIM is rated the top attraction in Phoenix and one of the top 15 museums in the United States by Trip Advisor. As a member of the MIM, your loved one can explore instruments used around the world, dive into the history of music, and attend live concerts and events. Click here for information about purchasing membership to the MIM for the music lover in your life.

For the Art History buff… This person loves art, and, I mean, LOVES art in all of its forms! Be it American Art, Asian Art Contemporary Art, European Art, Latin American Art, Western American Art, Modern Art, Fashion or Photography, The Phoenix Art Museum has a variety of ever-changing exhibits on display, so your art fanatic will never get bored. In addition to the art on display, they also have films, lectures, talks, family events and special “members only” events. Click here to learn more about the membership gift packages the Phoenix Art Museum offers.

Hopefully, this list has given you a few fresh ideas for your design-minded, hard-to-buy-for loved ones this season. And, if you just happen to be that challenging loved one that has everything, feel free to forward this list to your friends and family. We are sure they will appreciate the help!

~ Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

 

Monthly Market Update November 2019


Let’s start with the basics: The ARMLS numbers for November 1, 2019 compared with November 1, 2018 for all areas & types:

  • Active Listings (excluding UCB & CCBS): 14,525 versus 17,953 last year – down 19.1% from last year, but up 5.6% from 13,755 last month.
  • Active Listings (including UCB & CCBS): 18,322 versus 21,311 last year – down 14.0% from last year, but up 4.1% from 17,592 last month.
  • Pending Listings: 5,919 versus 4,770 last year – up 24.1% from last year, but down 1.5% from 6,011 last month.
  • Under Contract Listings (including Pending, CCBS & UCB): 9,716 versus 8,128 last year – up 19.5% from last year, but down 1.3% from 9,848 last month.
  • Monthly Sales: 8,018 versus 7,352 last year – up 9.1% from last year, but a tiny amount from 8,019 last month.
  • Monthly Average Sales Price per Sq. Ft.: $174.39 versus $165.41 last year – up 5.4% from last year, and up 2.8% from $169.56 last month.
  • Monthly Median Sales Price: $285,000 versus $262,000 last year – up 8.8% from last year, and up 2.0% from $279,500 last month.

Interpreting the Numbers:

So, what are the numbers telling us? They are telling us that while the typical seasonal increase in active listings during October did take place, it was weaker than normal and much weaker than last year. It is good to note that October of 2018 and 2019 each contained 23 working days; therefore, there is no need to apply any adjustments when comparing the 2 months.

When looking at listings under contract and pending listing counts, the numbers are also telling us that demand remains high, although the numbers typically decline between September and November each year due to seasonal factors. Closed sales are still well ahead of last year, and they were almost as high as last month. Sales pricing is finally beginning to take off and has a lot of upward momentum building. Although the Cromford® Market Index has fallen a little over the past month, the huge rise over the prior 8 months is now beginning to have an effect on sales pricing. This is as expected. The CMI is a leading indicator which tends to need 6 to 12 months before its movements are reflected in sales pricing.

We are still in a market that strongly favors sellers and the upward price pressure this implies is starting to become more evident in sales recordings. Since there is little sign of supply increasing substantially, we can expect continued strong upward moves in sales pricing over the next 6 months. We should be on the lookout for any changes in demand, but, at the moment, interest rate movements appear favorable.

What does all of this mean for YOU? Well, if you are looking to sell your home, you better hop to it! This is a seller’s market, and you should definitely take advantage of it. If you are ready to make a move, contact us at 480-425-9300. We have a team ready and able to create a plan to help you take advantage of these market conditions and get the most out of your home.

Happy Thanksgiving!

(Re)introducing The “Soleri House”

There was only one Paolo Soleri, an Arizona legend in the world of design and architecture. Soleri is perhaps best known for his “Soleri Bells”. In addition to his visionary architecture, he was a ceramist as well, which allowed him to fund a great deal of his experimental concepts. Soleri established his home on Doubletree Ranch Road in Paradise Valley, naming it Cosanti. There he established a community of innovative architects, designers and artists producing his now famous ceramic and bronze bells. The Cosanti Foundation also funds Arcosanti, located 70 miles north of Phoenix established by Soleri in the 1970’s, focusing on combining both architecture and ecology. The community continues to carry out the legacy of Soleri’s dream.

Except for his open properties, this is the only residence Soleri designed that was completed. It was designed exclusively for, and with the input of, Dino DeConcini in 1982-83. Mr. DeConcini is a former Chief of Staff to the Governor of Arizona (1972). Dino’s brother is the former Democratic Senator from Arizona, Dennis DeConcini. This home is located on North 21st Street in the Biltmore area of Phoenix and, until now, has been known as the DeConcini Residence. Most recently, in January of 2019, the home was purchased by new owners who are now referring to this remarkable home as the “Soleri House”. The new owners are excited to be a part of the rich history that Soleri has played in the realm of architecture and design in Arizona and azarchitecture/Jarson & Jarson is proud to have represented both the buyer and the seller in the transaction.

Pictured, left to right: Patrick McWhorter, CEO of Cosanti Foundation, Scott Jarson and Monica Holtzhauer of azarchitecture/Jarson & Jarson Real Estate, JT Marino, Sarah Marino, John Walsh, President of Board of Directors – Cosanti Foundation

 

Top 5 Tips for Successful Adaptive Reuse Projects

The abrupt closure of the DeSoto Central Market in Downtown Phoenix left many in the local community shocked over the unannounced closure when they shuttered their doors on Aug. 21. But, what defined the character of the structure wasn’t an eclectic local gathering space with a nearly a dozen restauranteurs and vendors also occupying the space.

Instead, the appeal rested where those gathering were contained: the original 1928 red-brick building itself. The building represents a recent construction trend in Phoenix of new stewards taking tired, dilapidated structures and renewing them for different business purposes. This trend is called ‘adaptive reuse,’ a practice for which the City of Phoenix has embraced in the last decade. However, adaptive reuse isn’t simply confined to remodeling an ancient building — as defined, the program can benefit any existing structure built prior to 2000.

While there is no indication what factors forced the seemingly infallible DeSoto Market to close its doors after just three years, there is no set course for what makes a successful adaptive reuse story and what doesn’t. Sometimes, as in the case of DeSoto, we may never know what went wrong. Luckily, an Office of Customer Advocacy exists within the city bureaucracy, designed to guide a property owner through the maze of permits and zoning during the development process. Keeping this concept in mind, we recently inquired to Renee Pena, a seasoned City Planner from the Office of Customer Advocacy (OCA), about tips a property owner can perform to ensure a successful rollout of their new business in old digs.

Ensure the location has the correct zoning and land entitlements for the type of business that is proposed. 

Generally, small businesses have tight time schedules and budgets and also need to open doors and bring in revenue quickly.  Establishing land entitlements through a public hearing could delay a project anywhere between 8 weeks to 8 months and that is assuming the hearing results in an approval. 

Research the current and proposed building occupancy. 

This is especially crucial for small businesses, as changing a building occupancy in an old building almost always requires life safety upgrades, such as fire suppression systems, additional restrooms or accessibility upgrades. More often than not, the delay in time and cost of construction for these improvements are not factored in by business owners. Owners may fall in love with the surrounding area or a buildings curb appeal, but due diligence is key before signing a lease or purchasing a property.  

Will the new business require additional parking and/or does the site provide adequate parking? 

Older buildings may have an existing parking condition and business owners may assume they don’t need any more than what is currently on a site. A typical example would be a retail shop converted to a restaurant or bar, not adding any square footage to a structure or doing any exterior work. 

Retail only requires 1 space per 300 square feet, a restaurant requires 1 space per 50 square feet. A small 2,000 square foot retail shop only needs 7 spaces, but the conversion to a restaurant would require 40 spaces. This can be a significant issue for an adaptive reuse project.

Hire the professionals. Use a licensed architect to submit site plans and construction drawings, as well as a licensed contractor.

Not only is this state law, but a clear set of working construction drawings will save you time, money and delays during construction on a project. A good architect can anticipate the upgrades needed for the business and advise the owner of additional costs beforehand. A licensed contractor is required to pull any commercial building permit.

You should know cause and effect for additions or exterior work.

Building additions or parking lot improvements could require some civil work, grading and drainage plans, landscape upgrades or sometimes off-site improvements such as installing or replacing sidewalk, curb and gutters.      

Pena says these are issues that typically arise with an adaptive reuse project, but stresses her list is by no means comprehensive. Every business owner will have varying degrees of knowledge about the building permit process. For this reason, she recommends every business owner to do their due diligence of research beforehand.

If this doesn’t suffice, this is where the function of the OCA benefits the property owner. The department, which is within the City of Phoenix’s Planning and Development Department, has a staff of planners to “assist with pre-project research, formulate realistic timelines and advise small business owners on the development process and how to obtain a certificate of occupancy.”

For more information or to make an appointment, call 602-534-7344.    

Beadle Sculpture to be Installed at Loloma School

The Scottsdale Loloma School, which currently houses the Scottsdale Artist’s School, will receive a public arts installation this fall.

Normally this wouldn’t warrant its own blog post but, considering our offices at loloma 5’s proximity to the school (we are directly across the street) and, more importantly, the fact that the sculpture was based on a preliminary sketch by architect Alfred Newman Beadle, we have to believe it’s noteworthy!

Any public art installation by Beadle is almost as synonymous with the architect as his MidCentury designs are. These sculptures, painted in glossy primary colors, typically consist of simple geometric shapes  —  their futuristic designs arranged to convey harmony  — would often feature prominently in front of the latest project. If you’ve traveled past a building in central Phoenix with a large (probably fire-engine red) circular sculpture in scale with the adjacent structure, then that’s probably an installation by Beadle.

For instance, the Anderson House, designed in 1989, features such a sculpture, integrated into the entrance’s steel trellised patio.

An anonymous donor bestowed the sculpture, titled Ziggy’s Sister, produced around 2000, to Scottsdale Arts. After his passing in 1998, Beadle left behind a book of maquettes, none of which he ever made, says Wendy Raisanen, the Curator of Exhibitions and Collection at the council. The finished product meets the specifications, such as its blue paint color, as envisioned by Beadle.

Donations are rare, yet the sculpture is one of two recent acquisitions by the organization. The donation worked in the art school’s favor: For several years, they requested a sculpture to display in front their building, a property that itself belongs to the City of Scottsdale

“The way I saw it as appropriate as an historical addition to the property, how modern the Museum of the West is and then the Loloma School is much older, so this would be an aesthetic bridge from one to the next,” Raisanen said.

The City and Historical Commission currently are working to address minor issues, but Raisanen installation is tentatively scheduled for this fall, when the weather is more hospitable to hold a ceremony, as desired by the Beadle family. They plan to erect the sculpture on a concrete plinth section in one of the raised planters on the northeast corner, in front of the entrance.

Anyone with even a passing familiarity with azarchitecture knows we are fanatical followers of this architect and his ethos — just check out our site with all of his work we’ve marketed in the past. So you can expect us to be the first in line at the installation ceremony!

 

Invasion of the Bike-Sharing

When Eric Smith, Ofo’s Western Regional Head of Communications, describes the conditions their company seeks for markets to bring their bike-sharing program to, it describes the City of Phoenix, an expanding city in the midst of transition, almost to a fault.

Ofo currently operates in 27 markets (and climbing) and, when looking to expand to new cities, they look for locales with high traffic congestion and local governments consciously trying to curb their carbon emissions. In addition, they seek a third quality of municipalities willing to partner with the bike-sharing company to share data for the betterment of their own transportation grid. Smith points positively to this scenario playing out in Colorado, where the data collected by the company told city planners and managers in Aurora where people commonly rode the bikes, which gave them mathematical probabilities as to where dedicated bike lanes were needed.

With smartphones, the logistics of using a bike-sharing program are simple: You need an smartphone, a bike-sharing app, one of the bikes and a credit card, to input for payments. You ride around and initiate the shackle brake in the back when you’re finished.

The sights of distinctive banana yellow and lime bikes, the bikes respectively belonging to Ofo and LimeBike, should be familiar to any resident of Old Town Scottsdale. Rows of these distinctive brightly colored bikes are propped up every couple of blocks throughout Old Town. Ofo won’t share how many bikes are on the ground for competitive reasons, but their two biggest markets Denver and Seattle each started with about 1,000 bikes.

The two companies represent a new subset of insurgent bike-sharing companies that are dockless, where the rider can park practically anywhere. As of this writing, Ofo and LimeBike haven’t expanded into central Phoenix. For now, GR:D. the most traditional model of bike sharing fills this model. Customers retrieve bikes from a permanent rack, which are unshackled via inputing a custom pin. They initially appeared in Arizona in Fall 2014, first appearing in midtown and downtown Phoenix, and expanding to Tempe, Gilbert in the following years.

Basically, dockless bike-sharing takes out the legwork, but with that comes drawbacks. Since bikes are tracked via GPS, the company can plot onto a computer map the wonderful and strange places the biker’s riders took the transports. Like a message in a bottle, Ofo bikes have traveled downstream as far south as Mesa Community College and in the vicinity of Deer Valley Airport in north Phoenix. If they sit inactive for more than a day, a night crew is dispatched to retrieve the bicycles.

If there is one aspect that’s controversial about the pilot program in Scottsdale, and indeed a common complaint following dockless bike-sharing wherever it goes, is the bikes cause a nuisance sometimes when they’re discarded by the user after a ride. It’s a problem that Smith and Ofo openly acknowledge and are willing to work with local municipalities to address.

“We definitely have worked with the City to figure out the barriers where the bikes need to be ridden and parked, but at the same time we can’t just stop the bike-riding past a geofence,” Smith said.

Yet, there’s a sweet spot within the “dockless sharing mobility” model, as Ofo calls it. Smith cites a testimonial of the proverbial starving college student whose car unexpectedly stalls on their way to class and they choose the $1 bike-rides versus the $35 ride from either Lyft or Uber. But, like their ride-sharing ancestors, people need awareness of the system before they fully embrace it and this is where, they think, having convenient brightly colored transportation, like the pink mustaches before it, partially advertises itself.

Their analysis of their short time in Scottsdale indicates an abundance of repeat riders clocking many short bike rides they view, which, so far, vindicates the expansion as a success.

“That’s kinda the joke we’re having right now is, we’re coming into these cities and disrupting them with 200-year-old technology,” Smith said.

Ode to R.T. Evans and His Camelback Corridor Adobe

This unique 1929 adobe, “Hacienda Alta”, once stood tall atop the rich desert site it occupied. For nearly ninety years, it sat at a special place in the Camelback Corridor, it’s unique and subtle Monterey Colonial detailing juxtaposed against the harsh desert acted as a time capsule of when it was built. For a small pocket of time in our Valley, a very human and appropriate sense of scale was expressed in these designs and local architect Robert T. Evans was the muse to translate these visions into physical, (so often adobe) “brick and mortar”, form.

If you don’t know the story of Robert T. Evans, its familiarity is akin to the many local architectural icons who’ve taken up residence in Arizona: In 1923, Evans and his wife Sylvia Gates relocated to Phoenix from Ohio and never looked back. Once here, Evans found quite a niche in adobe structures for the next decade, building an architecture firm, the Evans Construction Company, as well as publishing a periodical on such homes called, Adobe: A Magazine of Arizona Architecture, regaling the benefits of living in an adobe home.

In the 1920s and 30s, Arizona was a popular winter retreat for the rich and famous, commissioning architects to build custom homes. Evans catered to this affluential cliental desiring their own place in the Arizona Sun. Commissioned from noted residents such as John C. Lincoln, Donald Kellogg (Casa Blanca Inn),  and Rose Eisendrath, the widow of a Chicago glove producer, amongst handfuls of other wealthy benefactors.

This period in Evan’s architectural life lasted for more than a decade and took him all over the Valley. At a midway point in his popularity in 1929, he was commissioned to build a home (in the Camelback Corridor) for Horace Newhall. Like his other designs, including the Eisendrath House and adjacent Jokake Inn, the new home hosted commanding views. On its elevated parcel to the north, the curvature of Camelback Mountain was on full display. If the views are still awing in present day, then it’s difficult to perceive the undiluted spectacle people would have seen in the 1930s.

Throughout its existence, the hacienda sat adjacent to another Evans design, the famous Jokake Inn, which he initially created as a residence for his family. When we listed the abode in 2015, the home was a survivor in every sense of the word. Although it changed ownership several times, stewardship remained in the family, with the grandparents of the original owner maintaining possession. Miraculously, almost a century of owners shared the same vision of keeping the architect’s vision intact: 80 years later many of the original design elements remained, from the original redwood millwork, stained concrete flooring, hearth fireplace, roof deck, and even the original hardware.

Long time azarchitecture/Jarson & Jarson agent and co-lister, Tracey Zemer, commented, “When I showed the home, buyers always spoke of the spirit of happiness they felt as they walked through. I loved watching their faces when they walked in as it went from awe to joy.”

But, now it’s gone. Like far too many original homes along this corridor, many of them built in the original local adobe brick, this home and many like it are falling to demolition to make way for current building trends without regard to the history.

Serving as a real estate firm that specializes in the sale of Architecturally Unique Homes™ reality comes with the sad truth that occasionally a few buildings slip away, despite your best efforts.

We’re happy that we were able to document this gem before it met the wrecking ball. We would have been happier still if this gem continued to shine in the Valley but time marches on. All the more reason to celebrate them while they are still here to be enjoyed.