Construction is commencing on an innovative “attainable” housing project called Dwell: A Work @ Home Community in the heart of Tempe.

A kickoff ceremony was held this morning at a two-acre parcel at the intersection of 5th Street and Farmer Avenue that will be the home of a 129-unit multifamily project called Dwell: A Work @ Home Community. Dwell Tempe will provide new housing options for residents working in downtown Tempe, Arizona State University and other locations.

The “attainable” housing units — priced for people making 80 to 120 percent of average median income in the Valley — will be integrated with two existing creative office buildings and a pocket park to create a true mixed-use development. The Tempe project is the first in what is envisioned to be a series of Dwell developments in the Valley.

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Dwell is a unique infill project positioned to provide attainable downtown housing where property values are at the highest in the Valley. Holualoa plans to create a new, innovative work-at-home housing project at workforce rental rates without government subsidies, with the goal to be the lowest rental rates for comparable residential.

The new multifamily project will include a number of enticing amenities in an enjoyable living and working environment, including:

• Live/work oriented amenity rooms for residents, as well as “Zoom” rooms and private meeting rooms

• A fitness center and dog-friendly features

• Easy, walkable access to light rail, streetcar, restaurants and other amenities

“We are very pleased to begin construction on this innovative new community on this outstanding site adjacent to downtown Tempe,” said Stan Shafer, Chief Operating Officer of Holualoa Companies. “This is an ideal location for attainable workforce housing and we look forward to making this Dwell community a reality in Tempe, as well as expanding the concept across the Valley to increase the availability of attainable housing on a larger scale.”

“In Tempe, we recognize that development, business, housing and community are all critically linked,” said Tempe Mayor Corey Woods. “Dwell will greatly help our city by bringing much-needed workforce housing in to the heart of Downtown Tempe. These homes will allow residents to easily commute by mass transit or even walk to work and its location will encourage shopping and dining at local businesses in the area. I am thrilled to see this project come to life.”

Conceived to be a combination of flexible work space and apartments for urban professionals, Dwell is designed to address the increasing housing accessibility challenge in urban locations without sacrificing quality, while capitalizing on the emerging trend of hybrid/remote work.

Rents are kept lower by building smaller unit sizes and foregoing “resort style” amenities, and developing underutilized commercial properties to reduce land and parking costs.

The project will use the urban environment itself as an amenity. “High Walkability” scores in urban environments provide convenient access to employment, shopping, restaurants, recreation and public transportation. The design-forward units feature floor-to-ceiling glass, sliding doors and Juliette balconies. At the ground level, the buildings are positioned to engage pedestrians and create a walkable urban interface along the street frontage.

The Tempe building design blends seamlessly with the award-winning architectural design of the existing Farmer Studios creative office buildings on the site, reinforcing the pedestrian experience along both 5th Street and Farmer Avenue. Development on the site has been planned since the mid 1990s but has evolved over the course of time.

A.R. Mays Construction is the general contractor for the project, and Architekton — which is located on site — and Worksbureau are the project architects. Turner CM will provide construction management services, Sender Associates handled the entitlements and HILGARTWILSON is the civil engineer.

Tempe is set to add nearly 1.9 million square feet of office and commercial space and 962 hotel rooms within a half mile of the site. Steve Betts, Managing Director of Development for Holualoa Companies, said that “Dwell will contribute to the housing necessary to support Tempe’s growing workforce in the Downtown area where rents continue to climb out of employees’ reach”.

“Tempe is one of the fastest growing communities in the Valley, and this project will provide a critical new resource for housing to support its growth,” Betts said. “As these Dwell communities expand to have a Valleywide presence, they will be an important step forward in creating more housing options in the region.”