In the Hood

Five of the North Valley’s hottest neighborhoods

By Sherry Jackson

Union Park at Norterra

It’s no secret that the real estate market in the Valley is booming. New business announcements, corporate headquarter relocations and expansions have been fueling this growth for the past several years. New home developers can barely keep up with demand. Everyone, it seems, wants to move to the North Valley.

More than 90,000 homes were sold last year with an average sales price of $326,000, according to the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service, which covers most of the Valley. Phoenix has also been named one of the top housing markets to watch in 2019 by Trulia, a real estate website.

So, what are the best, most unique developments to check out? Where are people moving to and why? Here’s a look at five of the hottest neighborhoods in the North Valley right now.

North Phoenix’s newest master-planned community, Union Park at Norterra, is set to be this year’s hottest development. Located near 19th Avenue and Happy Valley Road, the 400-acre community will serve as the suburban heart of North Phoenix. The community is unique in that USAA, a major North Phoenix employer, wanted new housing nearby for its employees and is one of the developers of the community.

Union Park at Norterra is named after its Union Peak Sonoran Preserve backdrop and is expected to include 1,100 single-family homes, 1,100 multi-family units, a hotel, office space, a school site and a retail corridor including specialty restaurants, shopping and gathering spaces.

The Union Park at Norterra plan is focused on creating a unique and special place to live, work and play that doesn’t currently exist in north Phoenix, says John Graham, president and CEO of Sunbelt Holdings. “Our vision is to make north Phoenix the place to be for authentic experiences in lifestyle and living and Union Park at Norterra’s vibrant setting, charming architecture and a phenomenal recreational centerpiece does just that.”

Phase one is currently underway with 309 lots featuring three single-family homebuilders – Ashton Woods, Cachet Homes and David Weekley Homes. Ashton Woods will offer two-story homes ranging from 1,800 to 2,481 square feet, Cachet Homes will offer one- and two-story homes ranging from 2,831 to 4,115 square feet, and David Weekley Homes will offer one- and two-story homes ranging from 2,332 to 3,864 square feet.

Shared amenities include The Post, the community’s 5,800-square-foot, private resort-styled recreation center, reminiscent of a historical farmhouse featuring a pool with cabanas, a children’s play pool, community park, event lawns, playground, outdoor barbeque area and basketball and pickleball courts. Union Park at Norterra will also feature several neighborhood parks located throughout the residential areas, walking paths lined with canopy trees and diverse streetscapes.

Single-family homes begin in the high $200s and are expected to attract families thanks to the community’s Deer Valley Unified School District locale. Professionals will enjoy its central North Phoenix location and live, work and play culture. The community is also within walking distance to a diverse range of shopping, dining and entertainment venues at The Shops at Norterra and USAA’s Phoenix Corporate Campus.

ICON Silverleaf

ICON Silverleaf is a new collection of 72 single-story, luxury condo residences in North Scottsdale. The community’s premier location also comes with access to DC Ranch and Silverleaf’s exclusive resort-style amenities.

The low maintenance lifestyle community means homeowners will have plenty of time to enjoy The Silverleaf Club’s 18-hole championship golf course and 50,000-square-foot Mediterranean-style clubhouse with world-class spa facilities, resort and lap pools and on-site restaurants. Members can also take part in social events such as wine dinners, golf outings and holiday festivities as well as enriching activities like painting, yoga and meditation.

The eight-building community, built by The New Home Company and designed by Robert Hidey Architects, features semi-private elevators, private decks and spacious flats that include expansive mountain and city views. Homeowners have the added convenience of Scottsdale’s affluent business, shopping and entertainment districts just minutes away.

The one-story flats range from 2,719 to 3,174 square feet with two to three bedrooms and 2.5-3.5 baths. Home prices range from $1.7 million and up. So far, four units have been sold. Shared amenities include a community pool and green spaces.

Located in the Scottsdale Unified School District, neighbors at ICON Silverleaf will most likely be professionals, CEOs and entrepreneurs along with empty nesters and semi-retired folks in their mid-50s who enjoy an outdoor lifestyle and the lock-and-leave convenience of the community.

SOHO Scottsdale

Located in North Scottsdale, near WestWorld, the new live/work community of SOHO Scottsdale provides urban living at its finest with dedicated office space for homeowners. The three- to four-story townhomes and lofts have office space on the first floor with roll-up doors that open onto a community courtyard.

“It’s a very innovative product,” says Irene Catsibris Clary, principal of Catclar Investments, the developer of the community.

The community began selling in March 2018 and has already sold 28 units –  50 percent of its first phase. Two additional phases are already in the planning stages. Overall, 74 live/work units (10 lofts and 64 condo/townhomes) are planned for the community. Prices range from $485,000 to $1.5 million.

SOHO Scottsdale was designed by renowned Arizona architect Bing Hu. Townhomes can be designed with or without elevators. High-end interiors and upgraded finishes are available and the units have rooftop decks that can support hot tubs, with spectacular mountain views. Each home comes pre-wired with smart-home technology and Cox Gigablast internet.

Neighbors are an eclectic bunch and include doctors, artists, professionals and empty nesters. Community amenities include a pool with ramada, dog park and on-site fitness center. It’s also a green-certified property.

Art is a key component of the neighborhood, with several pieces of public art from the City of Scottsdale placed across the property.

Approximately 8,000 square feet of retail space means residents can enjoy a quick walk to grab a coffee or bite to eat. Plans call for a restaurant, coffee shop and a “very innovative physical therapy and innovative technology,” Clary says.


You can’t talk about the North Valley and not mention Anthem. What began as a master-planned community in 1999 by Del Webb has grown into a full-fledged community with more than 27,000 residents across 10 square miles, an active community council and three separate homeowners’ associations.

New homes are still being built within Anthem at Circle Mountain Ranch by Lennar Homes, which offers five floor plans from 1,800 to 2,903 square feet.

Anthem residents are scattered across six different neighbors, each with its own vibe. Anthem Parkside features the majority of homes and amenities. Anthem Country Club residents enjoy the community’s golf club nearby. Anthem Parkside Paseo features tree-lined streets with detached patio homes and condo living is available at Anthem the Village.

Residents enjoy multiple social events each year along with a multitude of sporting activities, golf, walking, lakes, biking and pedestrian trails. Homeowners have access to a Community Center which offers fitness classes, volleyball, basketball, tennis courts, a rock wall, an aquatics park and playgrounds.

Anthem is popular with families and is in the Deer Valley Unified School District. The community has a median age of 38 years with a median household income of $78,834. Home prices range from approximately $200,000 and up.

SkyRanch at Carefree

Residents at the exclusive SkyRanch in Carefree have the added amenity of being located adjacent to the private SkyRanch Airpark and Carefree Airpark Estates. About one-third of SkyRanch residents have hangers housing their private aircraft close by.

The walled and gated community is located on 150 acres and consists of about 64 patio and single-family homes ranging from 1,700 to 3,000 square feet. Amenities include a heated pool/spa, ramada area with bathrooms, outdoor grilling and kitchen area and a zen garden.

SkyRanch is an upscale, affluent neighborhood with a median resident income of $1 million and up. Many of the homeowners are well-educated retirees, engineers, bankers, attorneys and pilots who own multiple homes across the world.

The community was designed by architect Jim Roberts and homes are a contemporary interpretation of traditional Southwestern design. With no new home sites available, resale homes are hot and are snatched up quickly.

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