Built in to South Mountain

Frank Aazami’s Featured Listing

This Modern 10,519-square-foot estate by well-known Phoenix companies, architect, Ilan Baldinger, and builder, The Construction Zone, will provide its second owners direct hiking and trail-biking access to the 16,000-acre South Mountain City Park. From every room of this luxury home, they’ll enjoy unobstructed views of one of the world’s great desert preserves.

Since 1998, the original owners have lived in the four-bedroom, seven-bathroom Ahwatukee luxury home, 11616 South Equestrian Trail, and are downsizing. Car collectors and those who frequently entertain will have four garage bays and seven slab spaces to enjoy.


Frank Aazami, principal of the Private Client Group at Russ Lyon | Sotheby’s International Realty, Scottsdale, says: “This estate truly deserves to be viewed privately to experience all its beauty. It still shows beautifully after more than a quarter-century of enjoyment.”

David Arustamian, Aazami’s PCG associate, who is co-brokering, adds: “The open-plan home shows beautifully because it is so well maintained by the owners, and you can truly feel their pride of ownership as you walk throughout the home.”

From initial design 30-plus years ago, the couple, the contractor and the architect focused on luxurious details and commercial-level materials and construction, such as block construction and a foam and metal roof. The home also incorporates hand-crafted copper, metal and glass finishes, colored CMU, EIFS, concrete and, to connect with the texture and colors of the park, stucco mixed with crushed granite.


Other premier materials and components included are Jerusalem Stone flooring for the 2,700-bottle stone-clad subterranean wine cellar; 600-pound hand-forged-glass on the kitchen countertop; and 60 feet of collapsible walls opening on a luxury backyard with a Pebble® lap pool next to the spa and lanai kitchen.

Copper facings on the façade, the 800-pound custom front door and the arched roofs give the home a “one-of-a-kind appeal,” says Arustamian. When showing the home to potential buyers, he emphasizes “the incredible quality of design and thought that went into every facet of the home. It is truly a rare find in Arizona. The construction is a true testament to the detailed craftsmanship. Plus, the copper finishes make it so the home can stand the test of time.”

Baldinger, LEED-AP, adds: “I am a firm believer in good design, durable materials and quality construction.” An ASU College of Architecture graduate, he has been practicing Valleywide for 45 years. Since 1986, he has been principal of Baldinger Architectural Studio in Phoenix, designing residences and specialized commercial and institutional projects.


Optimally siting the 38,246-square-foot lot and home was his central challenge. “It was important to make the house belong in the desert environment,” he says. “The site is magnificent. It slopes naturally from the street level toward the buttes in the back of the lot. As a result, the house and the yard amenities are terraced to follow the grade. The house was designed to take advantage of the unique and private backdrop of the buttes and the mountain preserve. Every space in the house has a visual connection to this environment.”

Arustamian adds: “The views are astounding, and it feels open and spacious. I feel that this home offers the unique opportunity to be immersed in both the city and desert landscape. And, there is an abundance of natural light from all sides. You truly feel like you are in your own private paradise.”

Rooms to Just Live For


In 2010/2011, Baldinger designed a west-end expansion, adding a large master suite on the second floor, a game room on the first floor and, “the surprise of the house,” the wine cellar. The first-level great room is “the heart of the house, a grand public space,” he notes.

The wife, who designed the interior, is also an accomplished cook and programed an all-star kitchen, including Gaggenau ovens; a SubZero refrigerator; Dacor warming drawers; Asko dishwashers; and a dining island for prep and seating four for entertaining; a breakfast bar; and cherry and stainless steel finishes. The adjacent dining room is circular, encompassing and intimate, and the game room opens completely to the exterior, extending the space, Baldinger explains.

On the second level, a newer master suite joined the original smaller master, with its adjoining wood-wrapped circular library. Placed on the preserve side of the addition, the large master has 380 shoe cubbies for her and 112 for him, both finished in zebrawood. Its bath suite has an extended vanity, a spacious steam shower sauna, a Mosaic Meta Tramezzo backdrop for the soaking bathtub, a toilet room and a bidet. A walk-in closet and a sitting room is also included.


The home has a loft and office as well. Included are balconies and covered patios and, in the back yard, a built-in barbecue; children’s play area; a gazebo/ramada; and storage facility. Landscaping, front and rear, combines gravel, stone and grass; both areas are maintained with auto timers. The owners and guests can also watch the stars and enjoy the preserve from a rooftop lookout/observatory.

Energy-saving features include sunscreens; dual-pane, low-E glass; mechanical sunshades; a tankless hot water heater; and solar panels.

Three gas fireplaces, including a two-way in the living room, keep the home cozy and intimate. A central vacuum, wet bar, fire sprinklers, water softener and security and smart home systems are other luxury components. To ease accessibility and movement, the hallways are 36 inches wide. Water and sewer are provided by the city of Phoenix. Your children and grandchildren can attend Kyrene, Tempe Union or charter schools.


Ahwatukee Star is Staged to Show

To showcase the home at the highest standards, as it deserves, reThink Interiors and Luxury Staging of Scottsdale has prepared the second master suite, the first floor main living space, dining room, kitchen and the large game room/ lounge, which would be great entertaining space for a corporate owner or large family gatherings, notes Lolly MacKenzie, principal and lead designer.

“The views and backyard spaces are completely transporting,” she says. In the Valley since 2010, reThink offers full-service interior design services, furniture sales, renovations and luxury staging services. “Our job is to make the home inspiring to someone who sees the value of this lot and the incredible quality of the construction and how the home is literally built in to nature. We are focusing on the timelessness of the space and its connection directly to the nature that is the backyard.”


She continues: “We wanted to give this Desert Contemporary home a refresh by using light furniture in modern shapes, focusing on organic and shapely pieces that will elevate the home to feel current and more ‘move-in ready.’ The furniture is used to show the scale of the living spaces, embracing the ‘custom’ features of this home and its original architecture.”

“With its access to the immediate outdoor spaces and views of the Southwest desert nature, this home will be a great space for entertaining and creating amazing entertaining experiences for homeowner and guests! It’s a really magical house, probably one of the most magical homes I’ve ever staged,” she says. “And it changes throughout the day because of the lighting.”

MacKenzie was recently working at the home and recalls this dramatic shifting: “As the light changed in this house, it was so transporting. I felt like I was really high up, maybe in Sedona, somewhere extremely remote because of the way the house is oriented. As we refreshed it with furniture, it came back to life, and I fell a little bit in love.”


This magnificent home is offered at $3,799,000. “That’s $361 per square foot; you cannot build it for that, considering lot value, site prep and architectural designs,” Aazami notes. The home is available for walk-throughs on the weekend. For more information or a tour, call or text Frank Aazami at 480.266.0240 or email frank@pcgagents.com. David Arustamian is at 480.331.0707 and david.arustamian@russlyon.com.