With a deluxe home theater, six-car garage, two-bedroom guest house and an $8 million price tag, north Scottsdale’s newest home in Prado Estates is the epitome of luxury. And when the home is completed later this month, it also will be among the last crop of sprawling estates that have transformed north Scottsdale.
“There are very, very few big acreage lots available in north Scottsdale,” said Tony Calvis, a partner in Calvis Wyant homes, the developer building Prado Estates. “They’re all gone.”
Most of north Scottsdale’s masterplanned communities are built out and land in the remaining ones is quickly being bought. Only 51 lots that are four acres in size or larger are on the market in these communities, ranging in price from about $1 million to $5 million, according to a Tribune analysis of 20 upscale communities.
And by next summer, the remaining large lots will likely be sold, homebuilders predict.
Other large lots are available in north Scottsdale residential areas but are not in master-planned communities, and those too are quickly disappearing.
“It’s getting scarce,” said Dave Patterson of the Ray Group, a real estate company specializing in golf properties. “And if you want to be inside a master-planned community, the big lots are getting very scarce.”
Four- or five-acre lots are necessary for homes between 10,000 and 12,000 square feet, said Norm Kitzmiller, a north Scottsdale real estate consultant.
“We’re finding the homes continue to get bigger and bigger and bigger,” he said. “And when that happens, they need the large lot to accommodate their home.”
As the home sizes have increased, they’ve also become more and more ostentatious.
Custom homebuilders are now designing homes with “his and hers” offi ces, two kitchens, walk-in refrigerators and freezers, six to nine-car garages and 2,000-square-foot guest homes.
“When the buyers are able to do those type of things (and) want those kinds of amenities — that’s when that big lot comes into play,” Kitzmiller said.
Even some of the smallerscale luxury estate buyers want that kind of acreage to have adequate space between them and their neighbors, homebuilders say.
DC Ranch resident Doug LaBelle recently purchased a four-acre lot facing the golf course in Silverleaf, an exclusive enclave within the development.
“There aren’t a lot of good lots left in Scottsdale — in the whole city,” he said. “I think that this is going to be the next premier community in Scottsdale. They did everything first class.”
LaBelle plans to build a 10,000- to 12,000-square-foot home on the lot.
“We’re not building one of those Taj Mahal deals,” he said. “We’re building a very nice home. But there are only three of us.”
Silverleaf is one of north Scottsdale’s master-planned communities that has embraced large lots.
Instead of dense development, three- to five-acre home sites make up the majority of the community.
“When Silverleaf opened, there were very few communities that plotted their communities in large parcels,” said Debbie Beardsley, a designated broker at Silverleaf. “Silverleaf did something that was a fairly unusual thing to do.”
In January, they will roll out their remaining 40 parcels, 20 of which will be at least four acres.
A few other north Scottsdale communities also opted for large lots to meet buyers’ demands.
“As the land prices rose, so did people’s expectations of what they wanted in a house,” said Don Hadder, Scottsdale’s principal planner. “People quickly realized that the old traditional one-acre lots were not big enough to do what they wanted to do.”
While the current masterplanned communities are approaching buildout, a few undeveloped acres will open up over the next few years.
About 3,000 acres of vacant state trust land, not designated in the preserve boundaries, will likely become small subdivisions after they are auctioned by the state, Hadder said. But it depends on the city and developer if large lots are built.
“There’s definitely still more land out there. It’s not going to be in the really large master-planned developments like we’ve seen in the past, but we’ll have a few,” Hadder said. “Still, with that kind of lot size, it doesn’t end up being a high number of lots.”
Common custom features of north Scottsdale’s sprawling estates
* Wrapping paper rooms * Meditation rooms * His-and-hers home offices * Home theaters * Walk-in refrigerators and freezers * A prep kitchen in addition to the main kitchen where meals are displayed * Wine storage room and wine-tasting room * Elevators in two- and three-story homes * Six to nine-car garages Source: Calvis Wyant Luxury Home Builders