Brass fixtures, etched glass and decorative marble finishings – the Orpheum Lofts are an Art Deco-lover’s dream. Condos here are decked with red brick walls and exposed ductwork with original windows.
Orpheum Lofts is a Downtown Phoenix condo development with a storied history. Below we offer a bit of history about the Phoenix Title and Trust building, the conversion to Orpheum Lofts, a virtual tour of the building and information about lofts homes for sale or lease at the very beautiful Orpheum Lofts.
Business Tower to Residential Lofts, a history of Phoenix Title & Trust Building
If you have been to the Orpheum Lofts and walked into the lobby, you know this is a special building. In the late 1920’s, the firm of Lescher and Mahoney was contracted to design a building for Phoenix Trust and Title, the area’s premiere title and trust firm with roots going back to the 1800’s.
(Side Note: Lescher and Mahoney’s influence in Arizona is the stuff of legends. More than 30 of its designs hold spots in the National Register of Historic Buildings. The Orpheum Theater, Moeur Building at Arizona State University, Phoenix City Hall (1928), Hanny’s Building, Brophy Chapel, and US Post Office (1931) are just a few of buildings attributed to Lescher & Mahoney.)
The Phoenix Title and Trust building, simply called the Title & Trust Building in public records, was a striking 11-story structure in the Moderne architectural style, AKA Art Deco. The mix of brick, marble, brass, etched glass and terra cotta combined with stunning design made the Title and Trust Building the place to be. Thomas Brothers Books from the 1940’s and 50’s show this was home to top law firms, bankers, investment firms much more.
The neighborhood was equally amazing with the nearby courthouse, theaters and the legendary Tom’s Tavern…a power brokers hot spot. A former employee of Tom’s said that more legal battles were won or lost at the tavern than in the courtroom.
The Phoenix Trust and Title building did well for many decades and then it didn’t. By the end of the 1900’s it was a low-rent office building that had seen its finest days gone by. Thankfully, someone saw through the dirt, grime and disinterest to envision an urban residential loft project now known as Orpheum Lofts.
Orpheum Lofts, the beginning to 2012
Denver Based TASB, LLC was the firm who converted the Phoenix Title and Trust building (AKA First Interstate Building) into the Orpheum Lofts. They were well-known for residential and mixed-used projects in the Denver area. Thankfully, they also recognized the special qualities that made the Title and Trust building significant and incorporated preservation into the building’s retrofit. The original lobby, elevators, door frames and elegant staircase were brought back to their moderne charm as was the building’s exterior. While maintaining the Art Deco charm, TASB, LLC integrated modern features, technology and design materials making the residential building appropriate for its second century of life.
In all, 90 loft homes were created within the 11 story u-shaped building. Approximately 90,000 square feet of space was held to the residential homes while an additional 47,000+ square feet served as amenities and street-level retail space. Below are some bullet points about Orpheum Lofts.
- 90 Loft Homes including a grand penthouse unit on the top floor
- Floor Plans ranging in size from 712 to 1,800 square feet with 1-bedroom/1-bath to 2-bedroom/2-bath models.
- Exposed brick in many units
- Orpheum Loft interiors greatly vary by unit. The original builder encouraged options and design upgrades. You’ll find a variety of kitchen styles, cabinets, flooring and design details. Certainly can’t be called a one-size-fits-all development.
- A Walk Score in the mid 90’s.
- Light Rail is 1 to 1.5 blocks away (Central for north bound and Washington for southbound)
- Rentals are allowed.
- Heated swimming pool & spa
- Sauna/steam room
- Nice fitness center with a variety of equipment.
- Men’s and woman’s locker room.
- Conference room.
- Event room with pool table, couches, tables and wide screen television.
- High-speed internet connections
- 24-hour doorman / Security Services
- Retail businesses on street level.
- Pets welcome
Conclusions about Orpheum Lofts
Although we were not great fans of Orpheum Lofts went they first came on the market, we are today. The HOA management company tells us they are financially healthy (always research this when buying a condo). NOTE: Make sure and put HOA fee’s into your calculation when buying a condo; Orpheum’s are more than $400 per month.
The lack of parking, although a bit of a pain, is not the problem it was in 2004. Parking can be found at the Renaissance building across the street and we are told prices range from about $70-$100 per month.
The Orpheum Loft building is the real plus. The absolute beauty, exterior and interior, is rare in Phoenix. Very few of our epic historic buildings made it though the thoughtless destruction of the 1980’s and 90’s. Even if you are not planning on buying a place here, a look at the lobby and elevators is worth the trip.
We especially like the location. Orpheum Lofts are in the heart of the city. It is true urban living with lots of options within a small radius. You still have to travel a bit to get groceries, yet it is much easier now with Valley Metro Light Rail going to the downtown Phoenix Public Market and CityScape located down the street.
Our bottom line is that we like Orpheum Lofts for people looking for a true urban experience and are not too car dependent.