By Ken Abramczyk
For the past 13 years, Irene Catsibris Clary drove by the empty lot on the southwest corner of 92nd Street and Bahia Drive.
Clary noticed the site as she drove by every day, and the creative gears of her mind were set in motion. As a Scottsdale resident, she knew all about the Airpark’s cluster of economic growth and business, the location of the Airport and the nearby “play” areas: the McDowell Mountains, the TPC of Scottsdale and WestWorld of Scottsdale, all within a few minutes of the vacant lot.
With these “play” areas already nearby and in place, why not combine the live-work concept in Arizona, and more specifically, in North Scottsdale near the Airpark?
“I always wanted to do something a little different with commercial and residential,” says Clary, principal and manager of Catclar Investments, the company name a mix of her maiden and married names that she founded in 2003. Clary’s company has planned, designed and executed large and small projects as a developer or a development consultant for a wide range of development companies.
And now she has. With world-renowned architect Bing Hu, Clary has developed plans for SOHO Scottsdale, a five-acre, 12-building development with office space inside 64 townhomes and 10 lofts, along with 8,000 square feet of retail space with an approximate 3,000 square footage planned for a restaurant.
Catclar officially broke ground on the site in February with completion expected in phases over two years. Clary opened a sales office for SOHO Scottsdale inside the McDowell Mountain Business Park. Approximately 50 percent of the project’s first phase is sold, Clary said.
Clary is also working with Hu on 421 W. Sixth St., another new project in Tempe.
SOHO is Chinese for “small office, home office” and, of course, represents that phrase’s acronym.
Prices vary between $679,700 and $937,500 for the townhomes and sizes range between 2,364 and 3,094 square feet. The luxury live-work lofts are priced $651,300 to $1.2 million. Square footage for lofts is listed at 2,004, up to 3,548.
The live-work concept “seems to be the wave of the future,” Clary says. Hu developed a similar concept in downtown Los Angeles called the Barker Block. “The architecture [at SOHO] is very contemporary,” Clary says.
The development will appeal to various backgrounds and occupations, ranging from “the single professional, the empty nester, baseball players [to] people who don’t need a larger environment,” Clary says.
Clary expects SOHO Scottsdale will appeal to those in the entrepreneurial occupations, such as architects, doctors, techies and artists, she says. “We’re capturing so many trades and industries; it is an eclectic group,” Clary says.
Tenants can use 450 to 500 square feet on the main level for office workspace, then they can expand space on the second level.
The lofts will be located inside a main building at the corner Bahia and 92nd Street. The restaurant and retail shops will be located on the ground floor, while the lofts will be on the second, third and fourth floors. The remaining 11 buildings will house the townhomes.
Visitors and residents will park in separate lots under the building with elevators that whisk residents from the lots to the foyers of their lofts, and separate elevators will take visitors to the retail and public areas.
The various floor plans for the lofts and the townhomes are named after artists. Five floor plans for the lofts are available, named the Monet, Matisse, Picasso, Michelangelo and Erte.
At 2,004 square feet the Monet is a second- or third-floor loft with two bedrooms plus a den, two bathrooms, a powder room, great room, balcony and oversized deck.
At the highest price point ($1.3 million), The Erte features a fourth-floor penthouse and three bedrooms (dual master suites), flex space, three bathrooms, one powder room, oversized great room, balcony and a large corner deck.
Townhomes open to courtyard
The townhomes will be housed in 10 “six-plexes” (six in a building) and one four-plex. The townhomes feature The Renoir (2,364 square feet, priced at $716,300) and the Dali (2,243 SF, $679,700), each located on three stories with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, one powder room, a home office and great room with a rooftop deck, balcony and two-car garage. The Rembrandt (3,094 square feet, $936,500) is four-story, three-bedroom town home with three bathrooms, a powder room, den, home office, great room and also a rooftop deck, balcony and two-car garage.
The ground level consists of the garage and approximately 500 square feet of office space, which can be expanded onto the second level, Clary says. The second level has a living room, dining room and kitchen, with bedrooms on the third level. Rooftops feature optional spas, and decks.
The office space has a unique look that takes advantage of the Arizona environment during the pleasant temperatures of spring and fall. An overhead door opens the office to the courtyard, further adding to the office’s ambience.
“You can park on one side, and you can open [the other door] right out into the courtyard,” Clary says. Residents can talk and meet with neighbors to talk business or socialize, Clary says.
Standard features include quartz countertops, hardwood, wide-plank flooring on the main floor, seamless shower doors and popouts, among others.
Optional upgrades include a fireplace in the living room, wine cooler room, rooftop spa (in townhomes), alternate tile or hardwood flooring, carpet and alternate color or style of cabinets.
Residents can order upgrades in furniture, drapery and upholstery and work with Misty Cowen of Dwellings Design, who is also located in the Airpark.
Construction materials will include GreenFiber wall system with cellulose insulation, “low-e” tinted dual pane windows, energy efficient air conditioning with digital thermometers and energy-efficient tankless gas water heater. The development will be built following the International Green Construction Code to meet “green” building standards.
Clary says the city of Scottsdale provided information on how to meet the IGCC code. Buyers can expect that this energy efficiency will cut utility bills. “Typically a buyer will save 25 percent on their bills, which is huge,” Clary says.
Courtyard Art Adds Beauty
Clary says her company is working with the city of Scottsdale’s Cultural Arts Council to have artists paint murals for the exterior walls. The courtyard will also feature large contemporary LEGO pieces of art. The murals and the LEGO art will highlight the connectivity between nature, man and technology, and the LEGO art will be displayed along Bahia Drive and 92nd Street. Lithocrete, colored concrete created by artists, also will add to the ambience and attractiveness of the development.
The development features SMART technology including the much-touted Gigablast by Cox with high-speed Internet and Wi-Fi in the courtyard. If SOHO residents are traveling in a foreign country, they will be able to connect with their Gigablast system in Wi-Fi hotspots in that country, Clary says. That access will enable them to observe inside their unit when away and control interior temperatures.
Tenants who need more space for meetings can use conference rooms in the loft building, which will include concierge-type help from administrative assistants.
The development attracts those who enjoy the nearby play areas. Beyond WestWorld’s events and activities, including the just-completed Barrett-Jackson auto auction in January, and TPC Scottsdale and the Waste Management Phoenix Open last month, there are trails in McDowell Mountains, swimming facilities and rock climbing facilities nearby in the Airpark. Parents can send their children to nearby Scottsdale Preparatory Academy and Notre Dame Preparatory High School.
“We price-pointed it very well for this type of product we are offering,” Clary says. “We’re priced significantly lower than some of the other developments nearby.”
The uniqueness of working and living at one location will draw entrepreneurs who want to start a workday without a commute and yet, have amenities near the home that don’t require a long drive, either.
“I always thought that something like this is what the city needs,” Clary says.
McDowell Mountain Medical Center
9377 E. Bell Rd., Suite 101
(888) 959-SOHO (7646)