Apartment living offers a unique experience for every renter and there are many factors that come into play when deciding on an apartment to call home. For some, it’s luxury amenities; the best clubhouse, coolest pool, and nicest gym. For others, it’s the apartment itself; the size, or things like open concept living, modern kitchens, and walk-in closets. It’s no secret that these are the things that renters consider when choosing a place to live, which is why P.B. Bell creates places that matter.

Throughout the years, we’ve learned a lot about the typical renter and what they expect from an apartment community. We also know that in our business, things are constantly evolving with time. Design styles and tastes change, so ‘luxury’ amenities and modern interiors will come in and out of popularity. Not so long ago, a community with Harvest Gold or avocado green appliances, laminate countertops, shag carpet, a swimming pool and an outdoor barbecue would have been considered the height of luxury in apartment living.

Today, the types of luxury amenities residents expect from their communities are quite different. Of course, there is one highly desirable amenity that will never go out of style and that is often the most important: location.

Way back in 1926, a real estate classified ad appeared in the Chicago Tribune that read: “Attention salesmen, sales managers: location, location, location, close to Rogers Park.” As the old saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Whether it’s new construction or a renovated property, a multifamily residential community located in a highly developed area that’s close to public transport, shopping, dining and other activities will naturally command higher rents.

Not All Locations Are Created Equal

Virgin land offers developers the chance to create something new from scratch, but it also relies heavily on branding and nearby attractions to set the tone. It can take years to reach full build-out of complementary local businesses and amenities that enhance the desirability of the area. Historic locations offer more of a challenge, but they’re well worth considering.

When building in a historic location, the design, branding and amenities for a property increase in importance, as they must fit the personality and demographics of the area. Take the Melrose District neighborhood for instance – It is one of the most eclectic locations in Central Phoenix. Dating from the 1940s, the heart of the district includes a mile-long stretch off Seventh Avenue, between Indian School and Camelback roads.

With a vibrant mix of commercial and residential properties, the district is known as one of the most desirable places to live in Phoenix. The incredible number of distinguishing vintage stores, restaurants, bars and local retailers all enhance and contribute to the vibe of the area. The Light Rail stop at 7th Avenue and Camelback adds convenient, accessible public transportation to the area amenities. Residents can hop the Light Rail to head downtown for First Fridays, Art Walks, museums, dining and drinks, exciting sports or entertainment events and get home in plenty of time to relax and recharge.

Monthly events like Melrose Third Thursday bring local residents and visitors out to enjoy vintage shopping and more. Featured attractions include local businesses with extended hours, food trucks, music, guest vendors, crafts and family fun.

With so many local favorites clustered within a short walk or Light Rail ride, the Melrose District was identified as an ideal location for establishing a P. B. Bell community. The result was a high-end multifamily property branded as The Curve at Melrose, as it’s just a short walk from the iconic Melrose Arch. The Curve’s branding, color palette, design and amenities all pay homage to the Mid-Century Modern flavor of Melrose, but its location remains the biggest luxury amenity of all.


R. Chapin Bell is CEO and president of P. B. Bell.