Written by David M. Brown
The 85253 zipcode is one of the most desirable in the United States: the town of Paradise Valley, Arizona’s wealthiest municipality and one of the country’s 100 most affluent communities.
And the address, 5711 Yucca Drive, adds panache to that. Located in the super-luxe Cameldale neighborhood on the north side of Camelback Mountain, the almost five-acre marquee lot is a prestigious location for your estate home — designed, perhaps, by one of the Southwest’s most distinguished architects, Mark Candelaria, AIA, who has already created a number of masterpiece residences in the area.
“Mark’s vision, knowledge and experience make him the best person to create a beautiful design that blends in with the topography and the other homes in the area,” says Frank Aazami, RLSIR Brand Ambassador, principal of the Private Client Group, Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty, Scottsdale. He is cobrokering the property with PCG associate, Zoja Pedenko.
Here, in a lush foothills setting in proximity to Scottsdale, you can create your sensation, an oasis, a personalized footprint for year-round living or a resort-style Southwest desert getaway from your other homes, Pedenko explains. Here you can entertain friends, family and business associates and live the lifestyle you have earned in the way that you choose.
Zoja Pedenko, Private Client Group, Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty
Your neighbors’ homes are distinguished for architectural inspiration, building excellence, views — and continually increasing market values. “This is the most bluechip dirt in the Valley. Other homes here have been regularly trading north of $20-million dollars. A Candelaria-designed home, in fact, recently became the second-highest-selling home ever in the Valley,” Aazami says.
Just south of McDonald Drive, the parcel is between landmark Camelback and Mummy mountains, with unobstructed views of Praying Monk, a deep terra cotta granite formation suggesting a devout holy man celebrating the beauty of the Southwest desert against shifting sun strikes and shadows.
Choice lots such as this 4.96-acre rectangular site (it’s approximately 215,938 square feet) are rare, especially in well-sought-after Paradise Valley. “With so few options left available for high-end lots in Arizona, this is the state’s premier undeveloped residential lot,” Pedenko says.
The property is near the Paradise Valley Country Club, The Sanctuary Resort with award-winning elements, often selected as the Valley’s finest view restaurant, and the soon-to be-completed Ritz Carlton hotel and spa and its adjacent boutiques and restaurants.
A few minutes south are the stores, restaurants and cultural venues of Old Town Scottsdale, the Canal District and Scottsdale Fashion Square, the Southwest’s largest mall. Just north are the Kierland and Scottsdale Quarter mixed-use centers and the Scottsdale Airpark, which in 2019 welcomed approximately 90,000 private, corporate and taxi jets. Nearby is WestWorld, which hosts destination events such as the annual Barrett-Jackson car auction and equestrian competitions.
Minutes east of the property is Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, hosting Arizona Diamondbacks spring-training games, Top Golf and other attractions. And a half hour away is Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, which every year brings millions to stay or play in paradise.
Many fine golf courses, private and public, are minutes close as well as hiking and biking at the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, including centerpiece 2,610-foot Piestewa Peak, and the 30,580-acre McDowell Sonoran Preserve, the country’s largest municipal preserve.
“The unique 5711 Yucca Property is in the most coveted area of Paradise Valley, a neighborhood of five-acre lots where we have designed now seven estates over the last 15 years,” Candelaria says, noting that the parcels are relatively flat with stellar views of Camelback Mountain.
While there is no HOA, the CC&Rs encourage traditional-design homes, and the Candelaria Design Associates team in Scottsdale has created a European-inspired yet Transitional-styled estate home for the property.
The 12,000-square-foot main house comprises seven bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a living room/sitting room, formal dining room, study, bar, family room, open kitchen with a butler’s pantry and catering kitchen.
Mark Candelaria, founder and principal of Candelaria Design. Photo courtesy CDA.
Additional square footage might include a 2,700-square-foot guest/pool house and a 3,600-square-foot six-bay car-collection garage including a deep bay with tandem parking, car storage and motor coach capacity.
In the Southwest deserts, basements are an excellent option to add energy-efficient square footage. For this home, this could range from 6,000–10,000 square feet including an additional four-car garage, theater, game room, wine storage, steam room/ sauna and fitness room, Candelaria explains.
Candelaria designed the concept home to optimize views and generate a drama of approach. “The front of the home is the
back of the home by means of a serpentine drive that brings you from Yucca Drive along the entire north side of the property toward the back of the property,” he explains.
“Along the way, you pass the guest house and car-collection garage, then you turn to the front of the house with Camelback Mountain in full view,” he adds. “The back of the home and yard then face this beautiful mountain with a long reflecting pool and pool house/ cabana, providing the perfect focal point to finish the estate.”