Finding a sense of community and a small-town atmosphere can be difficult in the Phoenix metro, especially in Scottsdale where many homes are far apart or behind walls and gates.
One Scottsdale project, however, combines the convenience of the classic Main Street together with the coziness of being near neighbors.
Main Street Place opened in February at 75th Street and Main Street, and includes 12 residences. The project's developers own one of them.
Steven and Wendy Vos moved into their condo in May.
"We have lived in single-family homes for 32 years," Wendy said. "Our last home, for 18 years, was in a cul-de-sac. We designed, built and now live in Main Street Place, a 'vertical cul-de-sac' that affords us the same community benefits, with the added benefits of being walkable to the park, restaurants, shopping and cultural events."
Steven and Wendy's son, Taylor, served as the project manager and said the family did not want something "status quo" for the community.
"We wanted something unique, designed with life and love," Taylor said. "We also wanted it to be very walkable. It's one of the more of the walkable spaces I've ever lived in, and I've lived in some pretty urban places."
The building has views of Camelback Mountain on one side, and Papago Park on the other. It's across the street from Civic Center Park, and is within a comfortable walk of two grocery stores, restaurants, CVS, a bank and a library.
Dreaming of a project like this
The condos range from 1,600 to 3,500 square feet. The building features a multi-purpose community room with a kitchen, bathroom, exercise facility, community deck and spa. The first floor of the building has 2,600 square feet of retail, which will soon be filled with a coffee shop and café.
The Vos family has owned the property for 30 years. Steven's land-planning company operated out of the site for 20 years and bought the lot next to it, ran out of space again, then moved to Tempe for a larger building.
"My dad's dream was to do a special multi-family multi-space project in Scottsdale," Taylor said. "Three years ago, we tore down the buildings and built this."
The family collaborated with consultants, architects and engineers with whom they've worked on other projects.
'They're not the same at all'
Each condo is unique, with its own layout, Taylor said.
"There are similarities between floors, but they're not the same at all," he added. "The designer's philosophy is that this is a custom home, so let's not copy some other designer's condo — let’s make something unique."
Most of the condos are two bedrooms with a den, but most of the walls in each unit were designed to be movable, creating more options.
"People want urban, they want downtown, but a lot of our buyers are coming from north Scottsdale where they're used to custom homes, and they want that experience in an urban environment," Taylor said.
Steven and Wendy chose every detail of their home: layout, flooring, cabinetry, counters, appliances and more. Their home has big windows, tall ceilings, its own patio and lots of natural light.
"With condos, you're not usually able to start from a blank slate, but here my parents were able to do just that," Taylor said.
Each unit has two parking spaces. Even the garage was designed carefully.
"We did a lot of work to try to make it feel special," Taylor said. "Whenever we got into the garage of buildings we want to compete with, we'd think, 'Ugh, concrete and pipes more concrete and pipes.'"
The Main Street Place garage has artistic pavers, pleasant paint and an acoustic treatment on the ceilings that makes the garage surprisingly quiet.
Steven and Wendy have another house in Michigan, but this new home is hard to beat.
"We enjoy daily the time we spend on our expansive patio looking over the city with vistas to the mountains," Steven said. "We enjoy the small community of only 11 homes, daily exercise in the indoor/outdoor workout room and the hot-and-cold plunge pool."
The Main Street of yore sure didn't involve a hot-and-cold plunge pool, but it involved knowing your neighbors and being able to walk for most of your errands. Steven and Wendy Vos’s new home has accomplished that.