Gary Fries is about ready to start building a $32 million spec home in north Scottsdale — at a time when the market is cooling in metro Phoenix.
But the founder of Scottsdale-based GS Fries Construction isn't worried — even if this project represents the most expensive spec home to ever be built in Arizona.
"We feel very strongly about the design of this home and how it fits within Silverleaf," Fries said. "We always have our finger on the pulse of the economy, but we are not concerned at the moment it's going to directly impact the market for this level of home."
After all, a spec home also in Silverleaf just sold for $28.1 million in an all-cash deal on June 1.
Darren Tackett, founder of The Tackett Team with RE/MAX Fine Properties who represented the seller — the builder Mast Luxury Homes — in that $28.1 million deal, said that transaction represented the largest home sale in Arizona so far this year.
While Fries has built many spec homes over the years, this new 17,267-square-foot home will be his largest.
Building spec homes is a lot of fun, he said.
"It's certainly a bit more of a risk proposition than a custom home for a client," he said. "You have to be disciplined in how you approach the cost versus sales price structure in order for it to make sense. Hopefully you minimize your risk is how we would like to look at that."
Residence will include seven bedrooms, 90-foot pool
Fries said he's excited about this project featuring a Modern Desert Prairie design, which he describes as a more modern form of architecture that fits into the desert with a mixture of stone, stucco and glass.
"We think it's a remarkable property that's going to garner a tremendous amount of interest," he said. "We also realize it's a discerning buyer. It's going to take a special person who is going to appreciate this property as it deserves to be appreciated."
His long-time friends Jerry and Lisa Smith own the 2.07-acre lot at 20568 N. 112th St. in north Scottsdale.
They teamed up with CP Drewett, owner of Drewett Works, as lead architect, and Claire Ownby, founder of interior design firm Ownby Design LLC, and Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty luxury agent Allan MacDonald to list the property, dubbed Ellington Heights.
The estate will span three stories and include seven bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. It will include indoor/outdoor space with pocket doors that disappear into the wall, a 90-foot pool visible through glass and a 16-car subterranean vault accessed by an invisible landscaped elevator that lowers the vehicles down to the showroom.