Manhattan of the desert? 5 priciest Scottsdale apartments

Scottdale is turning into a south-western Manhattan. Here are the most expensive apartments in the swankiest part of town. Wochit

Metro Phoenix is often considered among the more-affordable places to live in the U.S., but a recent flurry of luxury-apartment construction in Scottsdale bucks that trend.

A studio at one of Scottsdale’s priciest new complexes might cost $1,300 to $1,700 a month, while a two-bedroom apartment can fetch $3,500 to $4,000 — the same price as the average two-bedroom unit in several New York City neighborhoods, according to the Manhattan Rental Market Report.

The average two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, for example, is $3,995 for a non-doorman building, according to the report. In the East Village, the average is $3,660. Average monthly rent for all units across Manhattan was about $3,957 in April, according to the report.

The luxury-apartment complexes in Scottsdale offer posh amenities, including private dog parks and indoor swimming pools near the city’s shopping, dining and nightlife hubs. Some even boast their own "pet salons."

MORE:1,000 new apartments planned in north Scottsdale | 12 luxury projects coming to Scottsdale

"Developers are offering more amenities than ever before," Scottsdale real-estate agent Monica Monson said. "It does feel like there is an overabundance of options, but the market is shifting, and first-time home buyers are waiting longer to make their first purchase."

Much of the construction has come during the past three years, when the number of multifamily-residential permits issued by the city skyrocketed, records show.

Scottsdale issued just seven multifamily permits in fiscal 2012 and 33 in 2013, but that number spiked to 154 in 2014 and 164 last year, according to Development Services Director Michael Clark. The city issues a permit for each building in an apartment complex.

Part of a culture shift

The emerging popularity of apartment living is part of a significant shift in lifestyle among Millennials and Baby Boomers alike, according to Arizona State University development expert Mark Stapp.

"These are populations who want to socialize," said Stapp, who runs the ASU master’s of real-estate development program. "It’s harder to socialize when you’re in very low-density, suburban environments."

Travis Sainsbury, a 44-year-old resident of Crescent Scottsdale Quarter in north Scottsdale, said the community feel of the 275-unit complex is something he enjoys most.

"You have the ability to get to know your neighbors by meeting them at the pool or waiting for the elevators," said Sainsbury, who lives in a one-bedroom unit with a 1,000-square-foot office on the penthouse level.

Mary and Bill Neel, both in their 60s, moved to Scottsdale Quarter last year after 35 years in a St. Louis suburb. They said they were ready for a simpler life with little maintenance and the ability to walk to shops and restaurants.

"(Our) friends thought we were crazy, but this is right for us," Mary Neel said. "We can lock and leave anytime."

Key for regional development

While Stapp wonders if the new luxury-apartment complexes will be able to perform well-enough financially to satisfy investors, he said the development of higher-density housing in the Phoenix area is important for the region’s growth.

The Valley in recent years has seen more "high-intensity nodes" spring up, with a relatively dense population near light rail and entertainment districts, Stapp said.

"This is a reflection of our maturation," Stapp said. "I think it’s a good thing. We need to see this kind of urban form develop if we want to be a serious, attractive metropolitan area."

In Scottsdale, the highest-priced complexes have followed that model, opening downtown near dozens of shops, restaurants and bars and to the north near the Kierland Commons and Scottsdale Quarter shopping centers. Unlike Phoenix and Tempe, however, Scottsdale has resisted bringing Valley Metro light rail to its emerging urban corridors.

Here’s a closer look at Scottsdale’s five most-expensive apartment complexes, according to Scottsdale real-estate agent Monica Monson.

Crescent Scottsdale Quarter
Crescent Scottsdale Quarter opened near Scottsdale Road and Greenway-Hayden Loop in 2015.
The Standard
The Standard apartment complex in downtown Scottsdale opened in 2016 with 134 units on three stories near Hotel Valley Ho.
The Stetson
The Stetson, a five-story apartment complex in downtown Scottsdale’s entertainment district, opened in 2015.
Optima Sonoran Village
The Optima Sonoran Village apartments opened in 2013 near Scottsdale and Camelback roads.
Camden Foothills
The Camden Foothills apartments in north Scottsdale opened in 2014 near Pima Road and Legacy Boulevard.

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