By Debra Gelbart
You should expect a condo community pool to be more than merely beautiful. It ought to be spectacular in design and creation, say real estate pros.
“You should demand a ‘wow’ factor with the pool,” said David Newcombe, co-founder and associate broker at Scottsdale-based Launch Real Estate. “This is essentially your backyard pool because as a condo owner, you’ll also own a percentage of the pool,” he explained. “The pool and the pool area should be spacious and scenic and feel like they belong in a great resort. You want the pool to be really relaxing so you can have fun and easily meet the other people in the community.”
“We have found that the pool and the overall setting of the pool areas are really important for our buyers,” said David Hovey Jr., president of Optima Inc., the designer, developer and general contractor for the Optima Kierland community in Scottsdale.
Creating pool appeal
“We have found that the pool and … pool areas are really important for our buyers.” —David Hovey Jr., Optima Inc.
At Optima Kierland, the negative-edge rooftop pool “seamlessly dissolves into the deck,” Hovey said, creating a feeling that you’re standing “on the edge of an aircraft carrier.” The pool area also has a SkyDeck hot tub, steam, sauna, barbecues, rooftop bar and “fantastic sheltered landscaping that provides shade from the desert sun.” Part of the design was inspired by a design element Optima has integrated into its single-family homes. “The negative edge handrail at the pool allows people to be on the deck and not have a handrail block their views,” Hovey said. “We felt this pool was a great design element that would provide an experience homebuyers could not match anywhere else.”
“A pool is essential to prospective buyers for visual appeal,” said Brian Dworsky, sales manager for Cambridge Properties in Phoenix. “It’s an amenity that, even if never used, adds value to a condo purchase. It seems to be the one amenity that, if missing, is an issue, or a possible reason for the prospect to purchase elsewhere.”
Deco Communities’ three condo locations — Envy and Inspire in Scottsdale and Edison Midtown in Central Phoenix — each has a uniquely configured pool.
“Envy’s pool is designed as a spectacular architectural detail,” Dworsky said. “It is positioned intentionally on the northeast corner for morning sun and shaded hot afternoons. Inspire’s pool is designed for maximum usage for all residents, as a courtyard feature between the two buildings or phases.”
Community gathering areas
The pool at Edison Midtown is designed to be elevated in nature but actually is located on the first floor of the living environment, Dworsky said. “It’s built on top of the garage area which technically puts it on the third floor of the structure.” All of the pools have an adjacent spa or one that is incorporated into the pool itself, he added. “One important aspect with all the Deco pools and common areas is that they promote a sense of community gathering,” he said. “They surround the barbecue areas, lawn and other common-area features.”
Both rooftop pools and ground-level pools have advantages, Newcombe said. A ground-level pool can be more accessible and still have unforgettable views but a rooftop pool may be precisely what some condo shoppers are looking for. “You don’t have to settle for a small, cramped pool or pool area,” he said. “Today’s pools are meant to impress. You shouldn’t expect anything less than to be delighted.”