Thursday, March 7, 2019 / by Juan Grimaldo
The Scottsdale developer of the Stewart Apartments — a 312-unit, 19-story high-rise apartment tower in downtown Phoenix — is about to embark on another tower nearby, just as its parent company is working on another custom homes project in Arcadia.
Geoff Jacobs, principal of Aspirant Development LLC, a division of Scottsdale-based Empire Group, said he expects to break ground in April on a 17-story, 254-unit project called Aspire. He estimates it will cost about $80 million to develop.
The project will be at Third Avenue and Fillmore Street, about half a mile from the Stewart, 800 N. Central Ave.
The Stewart, which is costing about $81 million to develop, is expected to be finished in about 60 days, he said.
"We're big believers in downtown Phoenix," Jacobs said.
Both projects are luxury apartments, similar to the finishes, appliance packages and lighting amenities found in condominiums, he said.
Jacobs said he expects the Aspire apartments to be completed during first-quarter 2021.
Jacobs also is busy with a couple of other projects in downtown Phoenix, including renovations of two warehouses south of Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Scientific Technologies Corp. moved its headquarters from Scottsdale to one of those buildings at 411 S. First St. That 26,000-square-foot building cost about $7 million in renovations, he said.
The other warehouse, at 402 S. First St., is about 18,000 square feet, and will house Urban Axes, a bar where customers throw axes at targets. Opening this summer, Urban Axes will take about half that building, with the remainder dedicated to office space. That renovation project is about $5 million, Jacobs said.
Financing for all these projects comes from various out-of-state lenders, including banks and debt funds, Jacobs said.
New homes in Arcadia
Meanwhile Aspirant's parent, Empire Group is investing about $28 million to develop 44 semi-custom homes on a 10-acre parcel in the Arcadia area of Phoenix, said Rich Zacher, a principal with Empire Group.
Called the Villas at Baker Park, that luxury community once was home to Baker's Nursery near 40th Street and Osborn Road.
Homes range from 2,100 square feet to 4,500 square feet and are priced from $950,000 to $1.3 million.
In January 2017, Empire selected Walt Danley Realty LLC to broker the Villas at Baker Park, but has parted ways with Walt Danley and turned to Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty to sell the project, Zacher said.
Of the 44 homes, there are 10 lots remaining, seven speculative homes under construction and three homes available for immediate move in.
"We think we'll be sold out by the end of this year and built by the first quarter of 2020," Zacher said.
Author: Angela Gonzalez, Senior Reporter, Phoenix Business Journal (Image: Empire Group)