Developing Community-Conscious Urban Living in Historic Downtown Phoenix

by Kyle Ballew

Urban living is becoming increasingly popular in downtown Phoenix. When designing these projects in historical neighborhoods, developers must work with the surrounding community to ensure the property fits with the overall look and feel of the area.

Meeting with residents of the neighborhood is important when designing an urban living project. Holding meetings provides the residents a forum to discuss concerns and the proper way to build the property. Receiving and implementing this feedback from the community allows the development to be a welcome addition to the area. 

In developing Verde Park Condominiums and meeting with area residents, the need for workforce housing and attainable housing in downtown Phoenix was made apparent. By minimizing some amenities, such as pools and on-site gyms, we were able to set the price of each unit at an affordable level. Affordability is a bigger issue than having some of the built-in amenities.

The residents of the historic Garfield district wanted the property to embrace the overall look of the community. We achieved this by installing historical design and architectural elements.

Adding balconies to units embraced the porch-style living that was popular at the turn of the last century and created a welcoming feel to the neighborhood. Instituting archways and building with materials common throughout the neighborhood also helped the development fit in with the surrounding area. 

Embracing the historical character of these neighborhoods in the finishes and exterior features reflects on the existing community. The residents specifically requested the building of courtyards, gardens and sitting areas while not walling off the boundaries of the property. These areas add to the open feel and sense of community within the development.

Speaking with the neighbors and implementing their ideas in the design process goes a long way in creating a property that suits the needs of the tenants while providing a welcoming addition to the surrounding neighborhood.

Kyle Ballew is a partner in Denver-based Live Forward Ventures, which is currently building Verde Park Condominiums in the historic Garfield District in downtown Phoenix.

Photo courtesy of Verde Park Condominiums

Speak Your Mind

In Business Dailies

Sign up for a complimentary year of In Business Dailies with a bonus Digital Subscription of In Business Magazine delivered to your inbox each month!

  • Get the day’s Top Stories
  • Relevant In-depth Articles
  • Daily Offers
  • Coming Events