Capstone Development Corp. is making sure first-year Sun Devils keep coming back for more at Taylor Place, the first residential component of Arizona State University’s new downtown Phoenix campus. The Birmingham, Ala.-based developer’s double-towered, 13-story, 664-unit student housing community incorporates the latest in technology, over-the-top amenities, and a submarket-changing design that looks to have freshman lucky enough to land a unit at Taylor Place eager to return for their upperclassmen years.
“I’m not so far removed from dorm life myself,” says Capstone executive vice president of campus development Bruce McKee. “Student housing as a whole has been moving towards new levels of design and amenities, but Taylor Place is like nothing I’ve ever seen.”
Beginning with free cable TV in every unit, Taylor Place never lets up on the tech factor: in-unit connections to the ASU data and Wi-Fi networks; common area HDTVs; e-mail- and text-alert-enabled laundry facilities; key card access to residential floors; and flat-screen digital bulletin boards on every floor keep residents plugged in and wired for studying and socializing alike. To keep students fueled and jazzed up for all-nighters, a ground floor shared by the freshman and upperclassmen towers has a dining hall, vending machines, a Chinese-fusion restaurant, and, of course, a Starbucks.
Builder: Austin Commercial
Developer: Capstone Development Corp.
Architect: The SmithGroup
Opened: August 2008
No. of Units: 664 units, 1,288 beds
Unit Mix: One- and two-bedroom apartments
Prices: $695 to $860 per month
With average Phoenix temperatures hitting the triple digits in late spring and early fall, Taylor Place’s towers are oriented to take advantage of north/south exposures, maximizing city views and reducing overall site heat gain. Loading areas are screened to provide shade, and a two-story urban shade garden compliments outdoor “pods” located between the towers and furnished as lounge space to encourage student networking and interaction. Dual-flow toilets conserve water, while condensation from in-unit programmable air conditioners is reclaimed and used for irrigation. For classes not quite within walking distance, Taylor Place is a block away from the Phoenix light rail system, which connects students to downtown and the ASU main campus in Tempe 12 miles to the east.
McKee credits a successful shared governance agreement between Capstone and ASU as key to keeping the various aspects of Taylor Place working in tandem. Similarly, a three-party public/private partnership between the developer, the university, and the City of Phoenix kept development on the fast track, allowing students to move in just 15 months after groundbreaking.
“These three-party deals between municipalities and schools and developers are likely to become more common,” McKee says. “Our partnership was very successful, and it has been great to be a part of something that positively impacts the students, the immediate community, and the city of Phoenix as a whole.”