Historic Luxury

Andy Griffin
Co-founder, The District PHX

Could luxurious living be defined by the quiet neighborhood walk of the dog, glass of wine in hand? Can it be the window view of a 1920’s brick and mortar tudor or historically modern bungalow? Maybe modern luxury is watching the classic Ralph Haver home across the street journey through upgrades of newer utilities, smart home systems, and other modern enhancements.

One could make the case that luxury living is not defined by the amount of money spent on the home, the height of the ceilings, the sprawling landscape, or even the 6 car garage. To some in Phoenix, luxury living is being part of the rich history and craftsmanship from a period of time where homes were built with integrity. There are many pockets within Phoenix of historic neighborhoods that have just this type of home. More than anything, these homes have undeniably unique charm and style with decades worth of stories.

Living in the lap of luxury could be as simple as a historically designated home that boasts all original hardwood floors, barrel ceilings, crystal knob door handles, and a real brick fireplace. Imagine sitting on an elevated front porch spanning the entire front of your historic bungalow while your kids play with the neighbors in the front yard as opposed to being tucked away in a private backyard. What if that backyard had a quaint carriage house, originally built to “park” your horses that was converted to a cute guest quarters, artist studio, potting shed, or even a zen meditation spot that created a quiet environment for you to unwind?

Today, many of these homes have found owners that see this lifestyle as true luxury. Take a stroll down the streets of the Willo or Encanto-Palmcroft Historic Districts and marvel at what a home in these truly established communities exudes in both charm and luxury. Note the mature landscape, lush green grass and sometimes what over a decade of love has done to create a unique environment in these communities. Check out the large parks that surround the historically designated neighborhoods such as FQ Story where you can find lovely 2 bedroom, 1 bath homes; or the extremely rare and unique neo-classic home that you see on the cover of this magazine with its grand front entry, french doors, and original wood shutters on a double lot.

Take a bicycle ride through the booming Coronado Historic District and marvel at the dramatic revival that this community has experienced over the last few years. You will see many homeowners reviving these artfully crafted homes with updated utilities, smart home systems, and modern additions that pay homage to the original historic features while bringing an enhanced modern vibe to the neighborhood. Unlike many neighboring areas known for their luxury living, where new construction homes start to lose their value due to “age” and dated upgrades, these homes only get better with age, much like a fine wine.

Luxury homes can be defined as much more than cost or size. Most of these historic homes within Phoenix are close to the restaurants and nightlife that suburbanites commute to, often times within walking or biking distance. The ability to experience a night out for the First Friday Art Walk, the variety of the downtown venues, or even a tandem bike ride to your favorite local coffee shop, is freedom to explore the city and the lifestyle Phoenix has been percolating for the residents to enjoy.

With the explosive growth of downtown and central Phoenix over the last several years, there has been a steady flow of business professionals, small families, and recent college grads buying in these parts of town. Those who are getting newly acquainted to this part of town, along with many investors, are now seeing what many lifelong residents have believed in and cultivated for years. Over time they have built a strong sense of community and luxurious lifestyle along with having a home that is inherently charming.

I would argue that luxury living is defined by having the home that provides all that you need, while leaving a smaller, more environmentally friendly footprint and allowing for the experiences of life to be what fills the coffers of luxury. As these communities continue to redefine luxury we are seeing many more high end commercial and retail investors along with many local restaurateurs continue to invest in Phoenix further enhancing the lifestyle of these historic neighborhoods. Maybe the greatest part of this revitalization and recalibration of the word luxury is that there is no shortage of homes that are available to be saved and restored to this new definition of luxury living.

The District PHX began in 2014 with one vision: to restore and revitalize the historic neighborhoods of Central PHX. Today, Andy Griffin and his team of dedicated individuals have conducted hundreds of real estate deals with that same vision in mind. To see more of what they do, check out www.thedistrictPHX.com.