A residential high-rise under construction in the downtown core marks a milestone in downtown Phoenix residential development, city officials say.
The 20-story, 253-unit apartment, retail and office development will be the first high-rise west of First Avenue since City Hall was constructed in the 1990s and the second development south of Fillmore Street since CityScape was built in 2014.
CTBUH Member Companies
(via member level)
The groundbreaking was 16 May, 2019, at the 2-acre (0.8-hectare) site between Second and Third avenues and Van Buren and Monroe streets.
X Phoenix, as the development is coined, is among the latest X Social communities sprouting up across the country by Chicago-based developer Property Markets Groups Inc. (PMG).
UEB is the general contractor for the project, and Shepley Bulfinch and Fitzgerald Associates Architects make up the architecture team.
The project will cost $300 million in total development, which will be split into two phases, according to Noah Gottlieb, principal developer for PMG. The first phase will include 253 units, from studios to four-bedroom apartments.
With the Crescent Ballroom, Comerica Theatre and the Van Buren within walking distance, X Phoenix is geared toward young professionals looking to live near where they work and play.
Downtown Phoenix’s housing boom has blanketed the area with thousands of new apartments and condominiums, with many of the thousands of units built recently located in luxury complexes with rents higher than the average Valley mortgage.
Just as X Phoenix marks a new wave of development downtown, it also is the first of what Councilman Michael Nowakowski, in a speech at the groundbreaking ceremony, characterized as a rising trend in residential development.
In addition to traditional private apartments for rent, co-housing units will be available through a “rent-by-bedroom” program, where tenants can live in a shared apartment and pay only their share of rent and utilities, Gottlieb said.
The concept fosters a more socially-engaging living environment, while maintaining the privacy of a bedroom and bathroom, he said.
The living options also translate to diversity in affordability. Through offering co-housing spaces, Gottlieb said PMG is able to offer rent at “entry-level” price points. The bedroom suites will start at under $1,000 per month and studios at about $1,500 monthly. One-bedroom apartments will be priced at $1,800 monthly, he said.
Average apartment rent in downtown Phoenix is $1,608, according to ABI Multifamily.
Christine Mackay, Phoenix community and economic development director, said the city has keenly focused on making sure downtown and midtown don’t develop into areas only those with high incomes can afford.
“The city has keenly focused on making sure downtown and midtown don’t develop into areas only those with high incomes can afford.”
“We want to make sure that people who want to live in downtown or near downtown have that opportunity,” she said. “And co-housing is one unique way of providing that.”
In addition to the variety of living spaces, X Phoenix is expected to include 36,000 square feet (3,344 square meters) of office space and 4,000 square feet (372 square meters) of co-working space.
Amenities will include a 4,000-square-foot (372-square-meter) pool a performance amphitheater and an 8,000-square-foot (743-square-meter) fitness center and yoga studio.
The first tower, or Phase I of the development, is set to be completed by fall 2021, according to the X Social website. Gottlieb said construction on the second tower will begin after the first is completed.
The two towers will be joined by the 50,000-square-foot (4,645-square-meter) pool deck, which will be open to the public, he said.
Gottlieb said everything on the project’s ground floor will be raised 30 feet (2.7 meters) to create a covered indoor-outdoor retail food and beverage location open to the public.
“We are focused on breaking down barriers between traditional public and private spaces,” he said.
Opening these spaces for the public is not only important for the city and the project’s neighbors, but also for its residents, Gottlieb said.
“We want to create unique experiences where people come together, so relying on a single building’s population to have fresh new experiences just doesn’t add up,” he said.
Gottlieb said the growth trajectory of Phoenix positions the city as the perfect location for this new kind of development.
“We are super-excited to be a part of the emergence of a revitalized downtown Phoenix,” Gottlieb said.
Attorney Nick Wood, who represented the development, said X Phoenix is pushing the residential development frontier in downtown Phoenix.
“Development follows a pattern and usually happens in cycles,” Wood said.
As the Roosevelt Arts District and Warehouse District were revitalized in the most recent development cycle, Wood said First Avenue remained a western frontier in downtown development.
Now that pioneer new businesses and art venues arrived, Wood said the development of X Phoenix marks an important next step: residential development.
Several other projects are following close behind. Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co. plans to transform a vacant piece of city-owned property on Fillmore Street between Fourth and Sixth avenues into “The Fillmore,” which would include more than 650 apartments and 20 condos.
Toll Brothers Inc. is building a luxury apartment community with 243 units at Fifth Avenue and Van Buren Street. And Wood said another developer he represents was just approved for a 17-story high-rise at Third Avenue and Filmore, which will include a workforce housing component.
As more high-rise and mid-rise development sprouts west of First Avenue, the area will start to take on its own identity, as have the Roosevelt Arts District and Warehouse District, he said, adding, “it becomes an area for the young professional.”
Mackay said X Phoenix and other incoming developments west of First Avenue will play an important role in connecting the Central Avenue area with Grand Avenue, expanding the arts district.
“When it comes to urban density, X Phoenix is at the forefront of the renaissance of the western side of downtown,” Mackay said.
Adding the energy of people moving into the area will kick start its revitalization, she said.
“It’s making downtown Phoenix into a place where people want to be,” Mackay said.
For more on this story, go to AZ Central.