High Rise Living on the Rise in Downtown Phoenix
Phoenix Towers view from the Heard Museum

Valley city slickers are moving on up – to deluxe apartments in the sky. With the recession turned on its side and more people clamoring for more work-life conveniences, demand for high-rise living is soaring in Downtown Phoenix and developers are answering the call.

Austin Head, an organizer for Phoenix’s annual Midtown Urban Living Tour, says high-rise living in Central Phoenix is not only convenient with its location and access to the light rail, it’s also a very environmentally-friendly way of living with biking and walking among the many transportation options.

“All over the country urban renewal is on the rise,” Head said.  “Empty nesters are involved in sports events, arts and music scenes and want to downsize and be closer.”

Millennials meantime want to “work, live and play all in one spot,” Head added. And with a growing restaurant scene and office buildings so close to downtown landmarks such as Chase Field, the Phoenix Convention Center, the Heard Museum, ASU and the Talking Stick Resort Arena, work and play can often overlap.

Held once a year on the first Saturday in November, the Midtown Urban Living Tour has attracted hundreds of people in recent years — a testament to the growing interest in high rise dwellings in the metro Phoenix area. The tour, according to its organizers, gives participants an opportunity to explore several selected homes in various buildings and encourages visitors to get around via pedicabs and bicycles in Midtown Phoenix.

Still, high demand for high-rise condos can also mean high costs. While rent varies building-by-building, Head said prices for some of units on the market can range anywhere from $180,000 to $1,000,000 — or more.

Cost can also be determined by location as the trend toward condos and other high-density, developments spreads to other downtown areas in suburban Valley communities. In fact, the move to fill high-rise condos actually began in the East Valley in Tempe where recession-stalled high-rise projects were quickly transformed into apartments as demand from buyers cooled.

Lofts and million-dollar condos have also gone up in Central Scottsdale as a result of the high-rise housing boom and builders in communities such as Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Glendale and Peoria have also reported selling condos in some areas faster than they have sold single-family homes.

– Suzanne Wilson, Phoenix.org