Saturday, January 22, 2011

Apartments are planned for site of failed projects

The Camelback Corridor property once occupied by a Hard Rock Cafe and later connected to a failed Donald Trump project soon will be abuzz with construction activity, according to a developer that purchased the land in December.

Buyer Alliance Residential Co., which owns and manages upscale multifamily housing, said it plans to build a 270-unit apartment community at the same location where real-estate mogul and TV personality Trump had planned back in 2004 to build a $200 million resort.

The resort was delayed by a fight with neighbors over its proposed height of almost 200 feet, and the project never materialized.

The nearly 5-acre parcel of land is at the southeastern corner of Camelback Road and Esplanade Lane in Phoenix. The transaction, which closed Dec. 16, is a joint venture with AEW Capital Management L.P.

The seller was New York-based lender Hypo Real Estate Capital Corp., which foreclosed on the property after its previous owners defaulted on a $36 million loan.

Developer Ian Swiergol of Alliance Residential said his company already has reached out to neighbors and does not anticipate a repeat of the Trump controversy.

He added that the maximum height of the project, to be branded under Alliance Residential's Broadstone community name, would be 56 feet tall.

Despite the real-estate market's problems overall, Swiergol said upscale, urban-core apartment communities have been doing well recently.

The fact that Alliance was able to get its hands on inexpensive property just a stone's throw from 24th Street and Camelback Road, the epicenter of affluent commerce and lifestyle in Phoenix, made the deal impossible to pass up, he said.

"At this exact location in Phoenix, (this) is basically a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Swiergol said.

Formerly home to two restaurants, the Hard Rock Cafe and Marco Polo Supper Club, the new development will feature four-story residential buildings accompanied by one level of partially below-grade parking. The existing structures will be torn down as part of the redevelopment process.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the third quarter, with sister company Alliance Residential Builders serving as the project general contractor and ORB Architecture as the project architect, Swiergol said.

The project should be open to renters by the second quarter of 2013. After completion, Alliance will manage the property's marketing and operations.

The community will feature a mix of studios and one- and two-bedroom units ranging in size from 650 square feet to 1,100 square feet.

Swiergol said it will feature a variety of high-end design features such as spiral staircases and "wood-style flooring."

The developer said it will incorporate a number of amenities into the project, including a two-story fitness center, elevators and air-conditioned exterior corridors.

Alliance already has nine Broadstone-branded communities in the Phoenix area, including Broadstone Ancala in north Scottsdale and Broadstone Twin Fields in Gilbert.

The newest project, Broadstone on Twelfth in central Phoenix, opened in December 2009 and was at 90 percent occupancy within weeks, Swiergol said.

by J. Craig Anderson The Arizona Republic Jan. 18, 2011 12:00 AM

Apartments are planned for site of failed projects

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