Luxury homes designed by FLW apprentice are coming to Phoenix

Crown CanyonBy Philip Haldiman, Editor-in-Chief | The Dealmaker

A Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice and luxury home developer want their endeavor to be the crown jewel of housing projects in Phoenix.

Vernon Swaback and Montage Acquisitions are working on Crown Canyon, a 12-lot gated community that they say will give the homeowner the experience of living in the upper Sonoran Desert of, say Carefree, with the convenience of urban amenities.

The project, with each site named after gems such as ruby and sapphire, is located where 40th Street dead ends at the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, north of Lincoln Drive in Phoenix.

Two custom spec homes are going to be built by the developer, and 8 lots are available for sale.

Swaback, who studied at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and is designing the project, told The Dealmaker he’s treating the unique site like a single, architectural symphony.

Nature is the designer with these mountainside home sites, he said.

“I want to bring architecture that is married to its site and not imitative, as Frank Lloyd Wright did, expressing the beautiful character of the surrounding environment,” Swaback said. “People say what style is your house? I say what style is the mountain? The teacher of design is nature itself, but we so easily ignore it.”

Chris Karas, listing agent with Russ Lyon Sotheby’s, told The Dealmaker the lots range from 1.5 acres to more than 5 acres, with prices ranging from $1.6 to $2.9 million. Custom built homes range from $6 to $15 million. However, buyers may use their own designer or builder.

The location is one of a kind, Karas said.

“With its rock outcroppings and saguaros and ocotillo, it’s really special,” he said. “Depending on the sunrise or sunset, different parts of the canyon are highlighted, coming together in the shape of a crown.”

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February 2015