Real Estate

Setting and style define a suite of ultra-luxury homes—one with a $30.6 million price tag—to be built in an unspoiled canyon in Paradise Valley, Arizona’s wealthiest community. The dozen gated residences inside the vast Phoenix Mountains Preserve will be surrounded by desert and mountains yet close to restaurants, shops and airports in the greater Phoenix area.

Crown Canyon Estates takes its name from a crown-shaped rock outcropping in the canyon. In keeping with the theme, each home carries the name of a precious gem and a distinct design. The glass-and-steel homes on spacious lots that start at $11 million are designed to blend in with the natural setting and optimize views of the mountainous terrain.

The Sonoran Contemporary style, inspired in part by Frank Lloyd Wright’s horizontal Prairie designs, “is about Arizona expression and really takes its cues from the beautiful canyon, the stones, the rocks and the outcroppings,” says listing agent Silje Norbye of Scottsdale-based brokerage RETSY. It emphasizes an indoor-outdoor lifestyle that honors the surroundings.

Most planned homes come with ready-made designs. Amber, for example, blends into its surroundings with a tilted roofline and glass bridges that connect parts of the two-level home’s block-style design. It has five bedrooms and six bathrooms in 10,000 square feet and sits on more than 2 acres. It also comes with a six-car garage. The price: $14.5 million.

Three lots have been reserved for custom designs, including Amethyst, the costliest site. The five-acre lot is located at the highest point in the canyon and offers sweeping views of landmark Camelback Mountain and Piestewa Peak. The buyer may use or adapt an existing design for an 18,000-square-foot home with a 10-car garage and swimming pool.

The homes under construction are located on a rare piece of private land within the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, a 7,000-acre group of parks designed to protect the natural environment around the city’s mountains. Tall saguaro cactus and shrubby palo verde and mesquite dominate the sparse landscape.

Residents in Crown Canyon Estates will have access to a private trail that leads into the preserve for birdwatching, hiking and mountain biking. Popular hikes in the area include the tough climb to the peak of Camelback Mountain and an easier 3.6-mile Freedom Trail loop.

BedBrock Developers assembled the design team that created what Norbye calls an “architectural symphony.” Drewett Works, SWABACK (founder Vernon Swaback was a young apprentice of Wright’s) and Stratton Architects were selected for their expertise in incorporating local topography into their home designs.

Who are the optimal buyers? Likely the ultrawealthy who seek “utter tranquility and peacefulness” of the desert, Norbye says, but still want to be close to cities like Phoenix and Scottsdale.

Prices range from $11 million to $30.6 million. Norbye shares the listing with fellow RETSY agents Kirk Linehan and Chris Morrison.

RETSY is an exclusive member of Forbes Global Properties, a consumer marketplace and membership network of elite brokerages selling the world’s most luxurious homes.


RETSY an exclusive member of Forbes Global Properties, a consumer marketplace and membership network of elite brokerages selling the world’s most luxurious homes.

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