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Developer says Phoenix is adding color, breaking up with beige

PHOENIX — The city of Phoenix could soon have a more colorful look to it, as one property developer said the city seems to be “breaking up with beige.”

Christina Johnson, with the development firm Private Label, said over the past few years she has seen her clients move away from the traditional desert exteriors of homes and business long apart of Phoenix’s unique look and instead begin to seek a splash of color.

“Every single client that comes to us is wanting something that’s in the vein of color,” Johnson said.

Whether that is brightly painted trim, murals or entire panels of solid color, Johnson said Private Label conducts trending analysis and found that clients are attracted to the curb appeal of more colorful buildings.

“Introducing color to the exterior is not something that is a foreign concept, it is here in Phoenix, but markets all around the world have found that there’s an energy to it,” Johnson said.

While other cities have long used bold and bright colors in architecture, Johnson said Phoenix’s desert-styling and neutral colors are a part of the city’s identity. However, the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive, according to Johnson.

She said re-purposing many of Phoenix’s mid-century buildings naturally lend themselves to colors, yet can still maintain a distinctly Phoenix look.

“What we’ve been looking at when we introduce color is to still have the natural material and the exposed block and a lot of the things that are indicative of mid-century modern architecture, but then introducing those pops of color,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the shift in demand for more color has helped attract younger renters, buyers and business owners to the city, yet it does have a broad appeal.

“We’ve found that not just the younger market, but just in general a lot of people travel and they travel all over the world,” Johnson said. “There are properties (and) building everywhere – Brazil has some really, really colorful buildings, Europe has some beautiful colorful buildings – so when you travel and you see all this really great rich color people come back and they kind of miss that.”

Johnson said she expects demand for more colorful developments to continue to rise in Phoenix.