Empire Group sells The Stewart in downtown, gears up to build Arizona's tallest tower

Posted at 11:23 AM, Sep 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 07:21:59-04

A division of The Empire Group of Cos. just sold a luxury apartment community it built in downtown Phoenix, as the Scottsdale developer gears up to begin construction on what will become Arizona's tallest tower a few blocks away.

An entity tracing to New York Life Investment Management paid $125.5 million in cash to Aspirant Development for The Stewart Apartments, 800 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, which Empire Group built in 2018, according to Tempe-based Vizzda LLC real estate database.

The 19-story building totaling 312 units sold for $402,243.59 per unit, according to Vizzda.

The property was over 95% occupied when it sold, said Randy Grudzinski, partner and head of capital markets for Empire Group.

Rental rates were up to $2.80 a square foot, which portends well for the success of its next luxury apartment tower being planned nearby.

Called The Astra Phoenix, the 47-story tower will be the tallest tower in Arizona, as was first reported by Business Journal in August 2019, and will cost about $450 million to develop, Grudzinski said.

It will be 535 feet tall. Currently, Chase Tower at the southeast corner of Central Avenue and Van Buren Street is the tallest building in the state, at 483 feet.

The new project will be built at 333 N. 2nd Ave., a few blocks away from The Stewart, which sits at Central Avenue and McKinley Street.

Read more of this story from the Business Journal.