Vertical Living
Rules and Regulations: There are many more rules and regulations in vertical living than in single-family residential properties. Buildings often have strict policies concerning visitors, pet allowances and noise levels. In certain cases, the building policies will dictate how you can decorate and/or alter your residence. While some people may find this restrictive, many people find comfort in knowing that all residents have certain standards by which they must abide. It is always advantageous to familiarize yourself with building rules and regulations prior to purchasing a residence to determine if they match your lifestyle.

Fees: In addition to mortgage payments, residents in vertical-living developments are subject to a variety of fee assessments. For instance, building maintenance fees may be charged on a regular basis. Special-improvement fees may be assessed as needed. You also may be charged for certain amenities, such as parking or concierge service. Many developments have a homeowners association (HOA) that requires monthly dues to cover property upkeep, staff payroll, insurance and repairs to the building. HOA dues and any other potential fees must be disclosed before purchasing a residence so be sure you are fully versed prior to making your decision.

WHAT’S YOUR HIGH-RISE STYLE?
Before you go shopping, review the various styles of high-rise living available in the Phoenix area to determine what’s right for your lifestyle.

— Townhouses/Brownstones
In Phoenix, townhouses are usually two- or three-story buildings that are individually owned and interconnected. Typically these brownstones were built as single-family homes and in later years split into multiple renal or condo units. Townhouses are virtually maintenance free, conveniently located close to business centers and shopping. Prospective buyers will find an ample selection with a range of pricing, various styles and quality features. For many, townhouses provide more space and privacy as there is generally nobody living below or above you. On occasion, there is a small yard for pets and entertaining.

— Lofts
Traditionally, lofts were situated in low-rent downtown areas. While the neighborhoods were not great, the empty spaces above were appealing to artists who needed large studio space and great light. Times have changed; these spaces are now renter and owner desirable and located primarily in the city. Loft living today includes spaces usually located in downtown areas or near it with high ceilings, exposed brick walls and pipes and ducts in the ceiling; few hard walls separating rooms; expansive windows; open kitchens; hardwood floors; and contemporary design accents. In Phoenix there are very few old buildings to convert into lofts so developers have taken to building loft-style units from scratch. These “new” lofts offer modern amenities but still provide the same spacious bare layout as traditional warehouse lofts.

Located in the Downtown Phoenix Warehouse District, Stadium Lofts’ 31 loft-style condos offer residents exposed ductwork, exposed brick walls, very open floor plans, 10- to 22-foot ceilings and tall windows. Built in 2004, these “new” loft units are in close proximity to the light rail, Chase Field, U.S. Airways Arena, CityScape and the proposed Jackson Street Entertainment District.

There are only a few true examples of commercial buildings converted to lofts in Phoenix, including Orpheum Lofts, which originally was constructed in 1931 as the Phoenix Title and Trust building—the largest building in Arizona at the time. In 2004, this 11-story brick complex enjoyed a complete restoration and was renovated into 90 upscale Art Deco–style lofts.

— High-Rise Living
Where Phoenix lofts are open and airy; Phoenix high-rises are sophisticated and diverse. One delightful surprise for many is discovering the views from upper story high-rises. The Phoenix area is surrounded by an assortment of parks and mountain preserves that provide a breathtaking view to residents no matter which way they turn. One trend that is driving the move to vertical living is interest among empty-nesters to select a more maintenance-free lifestyle. With children out of the house, there is no need to do yard work, pool maintenance or gardening, leaving more time for hobbies and travel within easy access to airports. Amenities also appeal, including media rooms, concierge service, spas and lifestyle programs.

The Summit at Copper Square, located downtown on Jackson Street and 4th Street, was the first of many recently planned contemporary high-rise living projects in Phoenix. Sitting 23 stories above the Phoenix skyline, the $54-million concrete structure offers more than 160 residential luxury units, 8500 square feet of retail space, a swimming pool and spa, sauna, exercise room and five levels of parking. Currently the tallest residential development in metro Phoenix, Monroe 44 is a 34-story, 202-unit, high-rise residential tower destined to be a monument on the Phoenix skyline forever. Completed in late 2008, each condo houses a large private balcony that offers stunning panoramic mountain or city views.

— Mid-Rise Developments
Mid-rise properties are defined as consisting of buildings that are of moderate height, about 5–10 stories. Locally, mid-rise properties are enjoying great success because they are often located within or near single-family home neighborhoods and away from the commotion of high-traffic areas. The excellent locations, smaller buildings (from 70 to 100 units) and efficient floor plans are well suited for families seeking vertical living.

   
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