Phoenix Metro with Paradise Valley and Scottsdale in its boundaries has drawn numerous discerning prospective residents, based on its reputation for having many hidden gems within its deserts and mountains. For the last quarter century, Rich Brock has made it his business to mine residential opportunities and forge bespoke homes and Arizona communities for top-tier clientele through his company, BedBrock Developers.
While he’s struck gold with enclaves like Cameldale Estates and Kachina, as well as numerous private home commissions, he came upon the ultimate diamond-in-the-rough about a decade ago. And today, that diamond is Crown Canyon, THE most exclusive, new development available.
And today, that diamond is Crown Canyon, THE most exclusive, new development available.
As Rich Brock tells it, the backstory leading up to what is now Crown Canyon is in itself a goldmine of Arizona community lore and hidden treasure from a geological standpoint. “This is the coolest thing…when you drive past the gate, you really feel like you’ve entered Jurassic Park,” he says with elevated enthusiasm. “You cannot believe you’re in the middle of Phoenix. The landscape, the feeling you’re in a canyon that’s quiet, secluded and exclusive—untouched.”
“A decade ago, I was randomly driving through Paradise Valley and decided to go back into a mountain preserve area when I noticed there was an old, decrepit gate with a sign on it reading, ‘Whispering Canyon,’” he recalls. “As it was locked, and I couldn’t get in, I wondered what was back there as it was almost hard to believe there may have been a home or private Arizona community.”
After a lot of digging, Brock found out that it was previously owned by a woman who bought this land—almost 30 acres—on which to build her own estate, though, he was at a point in his career where he had established a solid reputation for his developments, but this was not within his reach.
In time, Kevin Groman, founder of Crown Canyon Capital, purchased the land from the woman and began working on the tract’s infrastructure for utilities, paving a main roadway, upgrading the main gate of what would eventually become Crown Canyon, but decided to sell off the land in lots for luxury homes. He approached Rich Brock to discuss how they could work together to bring the future community to life.
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We are now leading a team to transform this place into a community that will contain some of the most advanced, clean-running, high-end luxury homes that will also be the most architecturally iconic community in Arizona.
“About two years ago, Kevin and I met and hit it off, and I gave him my thoughts on how to develop it,” Brock details. “He came to the Cameldale Estates groundbreaking ceremony, walked up to me and said, ‘I get it’ with the plans I had in mind, which included bringing the best of the best architects and builders together.
“From that point on, we put a plan together and now, here we are, having broken ground about three months ago. I ended up purchasing one of the lots myself and broke ground in February to build my own home in there. We are now leading a team to transform this place into a community that will contain some of the most advanced, clean-running, high-end luxury homes that will also be the most architecturally iconic community in Arizona—while maintaining the integrity of the natural geography.”
The ground broken earlier this year physically marks the beginning of 12 homes that will span across 30 acres and be completed over the next five years. The acreage and hillside positioning of some sites will allow all future owners plenty of space for unsurpassed privacy as well as working with the architects and builders to create one-off features—even unusual helicopter landing sites—tying into their personal interests, varied businesses.
They will also use their Crown Canyon homes as a means of pioneering new energy-efficient appliances and systems for water filtration, heating and cooling, recycling and other innovations that will hopefully catch on with a wide range of homes and dwellings.
“Water filtration systems are a must here because the water is so hard, and as fresh air and filtered air are important to our homeowners, we are looking at a lot of different systems and products because the owners want clean, safe air free of germs and viruses,” says Rich Brock of the cutting-edge technology that makes up the key architectural details not visible but just as important to the prospective owners’ quality of life.
“Lighting is also important, and as LED has undergone a paradigm shift, we now have circadian lighting, where interior light changes with the time of day, which in turn affects your mood.”
During 2021, Brock says ground will be broken on five of the homes while three lots will remain unoccupied for future bespoke home projects. The designs of first of the homes set to be completed have been placed into the hands of three of the world’s most important architecture firms.
“C.P. Drewett, who was behind Cameldale Estates and Kachina Estates, and the Swaback Partners team representing the work of Vern Swaback are not just innovative but have a solid reputation building in Phoenix and understand our unique Crown Canyon terrain,” says Brock.
“As Swaback also developed the original overall plan with Kevin, it made sense they would be brought in for some original home designs. Bing Hu, the third architect, approached Kevin about designing a home, and as his work covers the globe, you cannot do much better than having him aboard—also a Frank Lloyd Wright/Taliesin protégé. When you have those three together, it is the top of the top, architecturally speaking, especially when it comes to modern residential architecture,” says Brock.
“This is a historic project in Arizona, and I am working to make the architecture historic as well,” said Drewett, who is designing Rich Brock’s own future home on the “Onyx” lot.
“The dramatic triangular form celebrates its geometry both horizontally as well as sloping, allowing for a sense of place for the architecture within its jagged shale hillside. While the site affords amazing views, it is linear in nature. Deployment of the acute nature of the triangular form allows for view distribution and harmony with the site slopes. The design is largely one room deep, which wraps the entirety of the provided building envelope,” says Drewett
Brock brought in Mara Green of Mara Interior Designs to bring aspects of the home’s outdoor setting indoors in a way that was modern, but timeless.
“A few years ago, the sweet spot size for a luxury home was 6,500 feet, and now it’s closer to 8,500 feet,” interjects Brock. “In the wake of the pandemic’s impact on lifestyle, our buyers want larger home offices with more people working from home that are outfitted with breakthrough technology. With the closure of gyms due to COVID, owners want to add exercise rooms to their homes, and because we don’t go to movies anymore, they want home theaters,” he says.
“From a business standpoint, as entertainment companies are looking at streaming rather than theaters for their long-term business models, this means you really need to have a nice TV and sound system in your home. After years of scaling back, homes need to become personal havens for everything in the owners’ lives.”
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Another thing Rich Brock is excited about in seeing Crown Canyon unfold is the positive effects the homes will have on people beyond the eventual homeowners. During the course of the five-year process, he points out thousands of people will find work in helping build or maintain the homes, which in turn, will boost the local economy.
“I worked in the corporate and tech worlds, and after I sold my previous business to a Fortune 500 company, I realized that life wasn’t for me,” says Brock. “While I love being outdoors and working directly with other people who work hard, the most fulfilling part about what I do is that I have the ability to build somebody’s dream.
“The moment you hand someone the key to their new home is often the best part. Imagine the feeling you have when you buy a new car. Now multiply that by ten when you’ve handed the buyer the keys to his or her new house. Seeing them react to the surroundings really gives you chills. I love that, and we’re really making a difference,” finishes Brock.