Laserfiche WebLink
\ <br />million Tennis Ranch, <br />""'""''"·'-""'"'' from the "ashes" of <br />the old Paradise Valley Racquet Club, <br />John Gardiner stands on the steps of the <br />clubhouse framed by the silhouette of <br />Mummy Mountain in the background. <br />The condominium-resort is built around <br />a complex of nino tennis three <br />Republic Pho!o by Yul ConawaY!·~:· ' <br />swimming pools, a restaurant-lounge~ <br />shops and 40 two‚ÄĘbedroom casitas. <br />DON G. CAMPBELL <br />Business and Financial Editor <br />needs a little place to get <br />away from it all-a nest, a sanctuary. <br />So how about a cozy hideaway on the <br />north of Camelback Mountain? A <br />nice, two-bedroom apartment with a <br />Pullman kitchen, <br />and a great view, <br />f o r a niggardly <br />$57,000? <br />Incidentally, as <br />owner of this lux· <br />ury pad, please <br />don't expect to oc· <br />cupy it more than <br />two months out of <br />the year. <br />The project we · <br />have in mind isn't <br />dactly an urban renewal project and- <br />as a housing development of any kind-· <br />H is certainly distinct, if not unique. Who <br />in his right mind is going to lay out this <br />sort of money for a relatively small <br />apartment that he crut't even live in for <br />more thnn GO days out or the year? <br />· Oddly enough, though, t11is is the con· <br />cept of .John Gardiner's Tennis Ranch, <br />·which i<: T'~'l'r.h~d on 5'? ncrcs that hang, <br />precariously, over Paradise Valley at <br />5700 E. McDonald Drive on the site of <br />the old, ill-fated Paradise Valley Rac- <br />quet Club. 'l'hat the idea, wiggy though <br />it may appear, is sound may be seen in <br />ihc fact that almost half of the housing <br />units -the "casitas'' -are already <br />sold, or in the process of being sol~, <br />almost two weeks before the ranch offl. <br />cially opens. <br />. The wllo1c thing is rather other· <br />worldy: a posh clubhouse with a sweep· <br />ing, 90-degrce view of the north side of <br />Camelback from an elevation of 1,4DO <br />J"e~t, a cluster of 40 casitas seemingly <br />crJselcd out of the side of the mountain <br />-each with its own twin balconies com· <br />manding a breath taking view of the <br />same valley -and, below, nine cham- <br />pionship tennis courts flanked by a com· <br />plete pro shop, snack shop, locker <br />rooms, massage parlors and, stairstep- <br />ping their way up the side of the moun- <br />tain, three mvimming pools, <br />Still and an, the concept of the Tennis <br />Ranch is decidedly off-beat: half~ <br />residential condominium and half-resort, <br />1vith tho J)uyers -who pretty well have <br />to lJc wealthy tennis buffs to begin with <br />-buyinr, the apartments partially as an <br />investment, partially as personal vaca· <br />Hon spas and partially for the hell of it. <br />I <br />$57,000 for a mountainside ren·eat? 01( <br />...... hut to use it only 2 months of year? the present .fohn <br />Tennis is a bigger· <br />than-life realization of what actor John <br /> and his .Joanne Dru, had in <br />·mind in 1955 when founded and <br />built the Valley Rae· <br />that fell, almost <br />times, bounced in , <br />'··--'······-L courts, and <br />tho;n in side of the <br />Savings and Loan Asso- <br />deteriorating, litter· <br />Valley's curse <br />in 1967, finally fell into <br />local syndicate headed by <br />· Russell of Jackson and Associ- <br />Praying Monk against the setting sun looks down on <br />broad· walkWays. separating the two-bedroom casitas <br />i . <br />chiseled into the north side of Camelback Mountai1 n <br />to form heart of John. Gardiner's Tennis Ranch. <br />poses, and property tllat is bought, ex- <br />clusively, as a residence. <br />·· In t:ssence, that is -one local tax <br />expert explained -buyers of condomi- <br />niums in the Tennis Ranch are buying a <br />piece~of property that, 10 months out of <br />the y'ear, is going to be operated as a <br />business - <br /> <br />a <br /> <br />conventional resort. (The <br />owner, in fact, can take only 30 of his 60 <br />days· a year "in' season" -between <br />Christmas and Easter.) <br />This means that he can not only write <br />off, for tax purposes, his interest (and <br />the condominiums are financed at 75 <br />per cent over 25 years at 8% per cent) <br />as any home buyer can, but he can also <br />vmte off his monthly maintenance of <br />$63.50 (which the homeowner can't), and <br />depreciation on the casita for 10 out of <br />the 12 months and offset this against <br />the rental that the casita brings in while <br />he is not occupying it, personally. <br />In the owner's absence, that is, the <br />. ranch acts as a management agent and <br />rents his unit out as resort housing at a <br />rate of $130 a day for two couples or, <br />operating each two-bedroom apartment <br />as two rental units, at a rate of $85 per <br />day, per apartment for single beds, or <br />$60 per day for twin beds. It's a rental <br />fee that includes breakfast and lunch, ' <br />and compares favorably with other re· ! <br />sort hotels 'in the Valley during the sea~ <br />son. ~' <br />apartment for 10 months of the year as <br />a business property -presumably can <br />us& about $2,8W a year as depreciation, <br />under straight-line accounting, to offset <br />the rental on his $57,000 unit.'' <br />And, if Gardiner's estimate is right, <br />owners of the casitas should enjoy about <br />an 80 per cent occupancy rate during <br />their absence. On this basis, then the <br />casita owner could, conceivably, receive <br />something slightly in excess of $12,000 a <br />year in rentals as his 40 per cent of the <br />"take" less for tax purposes, the $2,800 <br />depreciation on the property. <br />A bit of finger-clicking mathematics <br />comes up with the distinct possibility <br />that the casita owner might amortize his <br />entire investment in four or five years <br />. while -at ihe same t.ime -enjoying a <br />rent-free vacation himself for 60 days <br />out of the year and, for tax: purposes, <br />writing of£ a trip or two to Phoenix <br />during the other parts of the year to <br />oversee his rental investment. <br />types as Dallas financier John Murch!.~ <br />son, Phoenician Robert W. Galvin, ch;,ir- <br />:man of the board o£ Motorola, and for· <br />mer tennis great Jack Kramer, now of <br />Los Angeles. <br />Locals capable of enjoying. tennis and <br />the fantastic view from the restaurant· <br />cocktail lounge in the clubhouse can cut <br />themselves into the action, Gardiner <br />said, through resident memberships - <br />initially limited to 50 -can-ying an ini- <br />tiation fee of $1,250 and $200 a year in <br /> Nonresident members, living out-. <br />side a 50-mile radius of Phoenix, can get <br />in with payment of a $100 initiation fee <br />and yearly dues of $50. <br />Painfully conscious of the on· <br />again-off-again, up and down, boom and <br />bust expectations surrounding the old <br />Racquet Club, the very-Irish Gardiner <br />sweeps his blue eyes over the $2 million <br />complex of courts, clubhouse, swimming <br />pools and the angular, rough-hewn, <br />. somewhat Casablancan casitas stagger· <br />, ing up the mountainside. <br />ates an( First Soutlnrcst Small Invest· <br />ment headed H. <br />O'Brien. <br />'l'he local investors then prcc~rrlPn to <br />join forces with Gardiner and Westga~c-. <br />French Construction Co. of San Francis· <br />co which undertook the face-lifting of <br />the <br />An old hand at the tennis game, Gar· <br />diner, a white-haired ex-pro, has <br />operated the well-known Tennis Ranch <br />in Carmel Calif., for the past 10 <br />years. <br />sun and all -po~h or unposh, <br />tennis-nut or tennis-indifferent -what's <br />the allure of buying a <br />apartment for either $55,000 or $.57,000 <br />(two different floor plans), possessiOn of <br />which you immediately away for 10 <br />out of every 12 months? <br />Althotwh coy on the subject ("That's <br />between ~very apartment owner and his <br />own ta.x people, Gardiner concedes <br />that a of the allure is the <br />difference the way Uncle Sam <br />""""""'h' owned for rental pm·· <br />I <br />The ArizonlJ_Republic D·l5 <br />The rental fee, in the owner's ab· <br />sence, is split between the ranch as the <br />management agent (60 per cent) and <br />the owner (40 per cent). <br />"This means," the tax experts <br />~aid, "that the owner -operating his <br />.. <br />But, at any rate, he had better like <br />tennis -whether he is a beginner, in· <br />termediate or advanced player _. be· <br />cause that's the name of the game in <br />John Gardiner's book. <br />They club will be staffed · by four <br />full-time professionals. The teaching <br />court boasts an Ampex cl95ed television <br />circuit for instant replay of the students' <br />progress and, several times a year ten· <br />nis clinics ,will be held during which en· <br />rollees will live, breathe and sleep the <br />game for anywhere from three days to <br />two weeks at a time. <br />So far, Gardiner said this past week, <br />casita buyers include such diversified <br />"It's going to go," he says deter- <br />minedly. "It's a natural, I think. Not like <br />Aspen, where the condominiums came <br />piling in, one after another, and kept, the <br />values down. Here we've built as many <br />as we can ever build because of the <br />zoning. It's a natural." ··· <br />For Paradise Valley which, a year <br />and a half ago, was faced with the pros· <br />pect of watching a rapidly eroding pile <br />of masonry steadily spreading its blight <br />over one of the most spectacular scenic <br />points on the mountain, the revitaliza- <br />tion of the club into a key resort area <br />is, like money in the bank. <br />Republic Photo bY Roy Coswa· <br />Mrs. Leon Tolleson, left, Mrs. George Isbell and Mrs. Arnold Brown