The one-acre site at 325 N. Third Ave. originally was going toboast two high-rise towers with 500 units when the developersbought the land abou 1.5 years ago. But, Cal DeSouza, partner withBelleview Communities of Scottsdale, says the condo market crashtook the wind out of that idea.

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"We pulled the plans back and decided to retool," DeSouza says."It's definitely a challenging market for condos and we want to doit right."

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Doing it right means scaling back to six stories and building asales center on the site, which will open in late summer. DeSouzasays building the center allows potential buyers to come in andtake a look at the units, which will range from 625 sf to 1,200sf.

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Doing it right also means pricing the units in the $325-per-sfrange. "Other condos developers in the area are asking between $475per sf to $500 per sf," DeSouza explains. "At the price point we'reoffering, we think we can appeal to the city workers and otherDowntown workers that are only a few minutes' walk from theirwork."

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DeSouza tells GlobeSt.com that Pointe of View Developments ofCalgary, Canada, will begin construction when 50 units have beensold, but acknowledges that banks and lenders might want up to 60sold before agreeing to finance the project. DeSouza says he'll seewhere sales are trending for a six-month period and then make adecision. "If there isn't a demand for this, there's no sense inbuilding it," he says.

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DeSouza says there is interest in the condos because of theiraffordability. In addition, Downtown Phoenix is experiencingpositive growth.

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"The city has made this monumental investment in the light rail,has given over a lot to the ASU campus and has spent $300 millionon the convention center to triple its size," DeSouza says."Downtown Phoenix is one of the few areas of Arizona that hasactually gone up in value."

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