Masonry: For Solid Construction and Solid Marketing
By Kate Parrott
Masonry has long been heralded as the supreme building system for almost any type of construction. While masonry is almost always the best choice, it unfortunately isn't always the first choice. However, that is far from the case with the Chateaux on Central town homes in Phoenix. Nestled in the midst of the downtown district, these one-of-a-kind, brownstone-style homes provide upscale residential living, with an extensive use of masonry in its European, turn-of-the-century architecture.
"The design stemmed from our location here in Phoenix," said developer Phil Anderson, a managing partner with Central PHX Partners LLC who began his career 35 years ago working on Victorian restoration homes in Minneapolis and St. Paul. "We're nestled here in the downtown Phoenix area, between several residential and historic districts: Willo district, Aldarado district and Roosevelt district. Early on when we were in the designing process, we met with members of the neighborhood, and they wanted something that would complement the historic nature of the neighborhood built on that site, so we set about doing that."
But working on a project that would preserve the community's historical integrity was no easy feat. Anderson said that he and his team delved deep into the city's historical architecture archive, searching for elements they could incorporate from turn-of-the-century buildings, some of which were torn down years ago.
"We went into the historic architect archive for the city of Phoenix and found many elements of buildings we liked and incorporated those into our project," Anderson said. "Some of those elements were the corner turrets and the cone on the corner turrets. We also took some of the steeples and other features from other historic buildings we found that were built at the turn of the century. It's very European architecture."
Anderson said the use of masonry for the project was a no-brainer. "Moving into the design process we decided to go with brick because we thought it would complement the nature of what we were building. So we did all brick masonry and steel construction," he said. "About the only wood elements that are going into it are trim packages and cabinets."
While the construction of the Chateaux on Central is so striking it may not need an advertisement, Anderson said he uses the masonry as a marketing tool. "We use it in all of our [marketing] materials, in terms of the type of construction," he said. "In other words, it's highlighted in all of our features lists, along with our interior features.
""We always highlight the fact that it's masonry construction. To me, masonry says quality construction," he added. "That message is being well received by our buyers as well."
And just as the exterior of the buildings features a classic, yet contemporary, appearance, the interior is equally lavish. The 2.5-acre gated complex features 21, five-level town homes with spacious floor plans ranging from 5,100 to 8,200 square feet. Owners can choose from a long line of options, including brick pavers and stone flooring, granite countertops and other masonry details.
For more information on the Chateaux on Central, please visit www.chateauxoncentral.com.
About the Author
Kate Parrott was a Managing Editor at Lionheart Publishing including Assistant Editor for Masonry magazine.