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Buyer steps up for Frank Lloyd Wright house

The exterior of the home is shown. (Photo: Robert E. Joffe)

A home in the Arcadia area of Phoenix that has been the subject of public attention is apparently here to stay.

Developer Steve Sells has agreed to sell the 2,500-square-foot home, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, to an anonymous buyer for $2.5 million dollars.

Wright designed the house for his children. The home near 56th street and Camelback was the subject of controversy after Sells' original plans for the home became public.

"It's been on and off the market," said Valley realtor Robert Joffe. "It really didn't have much attention. Ultimately, [Sells] came in, and his thoughts were to demolish the home, and build two spec homes on the property as an investment."

That led to the outcry by preservationists. The home sits on two acres of land and its spiral design is similar to the Guggenheim museum, also designed by Wright. Joffe said Sells gained a new appreciation for the home, and decided to sell it instead of demolish it.

A buyer came forward on Wednesday. Joffe said the buyer wishes to remain anonymous, but appears to have good intentions for the property.

"He's not buying it for public awareness, and he's not doing it to make money," said Joffe. "He's doing it for the right reasons. He wants to keep the house, restore the home, and bring it up to what it used to be."

Joffe does not know if the new buyer will actually live in the home.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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