Luxury living without commitment.
Such is the draw for many residents of Tucson's newest resort-style apartment complex.
Construction of the 304-unit Encantada at Riverside Crossing was completed last month and 90 percent of the units are already rented, said Chris Evans, executive vice president of the property's developer and owner, HSL Asset Management.
"Our customer base has the capacity to purchase a home, but chooses not to," he said. "They want the amenity base without having to maintain it.
"They want the theater, the pool, the lifestyle more than they want to own a home."
Located at 1925 W. River Road, west of La Cañada, the complex has attracted upper-class professionals, Evans said.
The average age of residents is 35 to 55 with incomes of more than $100,000.
Encantada's clubhouse features a cascading waterfall, separate seating areas, flat-screen TVs and a Starbucks coffee bar.
"The idea was to take away the typical apartment feel," Evans said. "It has more of a hotel feel."
Towel service is available at the pool, which has a swim-up lounge and fireplace.
"It's perfect," said University of Arizona graduate student Tuba Ozden, 28, as she lounged poolside on a recent evening. She and her husband, who is a doctor at the UA, wanted the luxury and convenience of renting.
"We're not ready to be committed to a mortgage," Ozden said.
Because his job requires a lot of travel and frequent moves, aerospace engineer Sergio Montañez, 47, and his wife, Alejandra, 30, decided a rental was the best route for them.
Sergio, a subcontractor for Boeing, said the security of the property was a plus because of his travel schedule.
"It was the only decent place we could find," Alejandra said of her search for luxury apartments in the city.
In contrast to when the housing market was booming and apartments were morphing into condominiums, developers are investing in upscale apartments, said Mike Chapman, a senior vice president with CB Richard Ellis who tracks the multifamily market.
There were only 10 A-quality apartment complexes in the Tucson metro area that had been built since 2000, he said.
"We had a whole bunch of old apartments," Chapman said. He called Encantada's project "one of the better ones, quality-wise."
Evans said HSL plans to start construction on two other resort-style apartment complexes: One in Dove Mountain in Marana, the other at Steam Pump Ranch in Oro Valley.
Another luxury apartment complex outside the city opened in June 2011 and is more than 80 percent occupied, said Josh Krauss, assistant manager of Legacy Apartments at Dove Mountain.
The 168-unit complex features similar pamperings, minus the traffic, Krauss said.
"We're not in the middle of town," he said. "It's extremely quiet."
The down housing market has soured a lot of people on home ownership, Krauss said.
He said some residents "are getting out of owning a house and the hassle."
Others, he said, are waiting for the market to recover before buying a home. Chapman said other, smaller luxury rentals are popping up around the area.
Transplants from Boston, Keewon and Donita Stacker looked online for rental property and found Encantada.
"It was the only new place in Tucson," said Donita, 34, who works for a health-care company. She said the amenities available at the property are common in complexes back East.
Keewon, 34, an engineer at B/E Aerospace, said they wanted a transitional residence before buying.
"If we stay in Tucson," Donita reminded him with a smile.
Davis-Monthan Airman Edward Valdez, 25, said unpredictable deployments are keeping him from buying a house at this time. He decided to rent at Encantada because of its location.
"There's a lot of grocery stores and restaurants," he said. "It's gated and pet-friendly."
The perks are nice, Valdez said, and he already has plans to reserve the property's 27-seat movie theater.
"The one time I plan to use it," he said, "is for the Super Bowl."
By the numbers
Encantada at Riverside Crossing
• Completed: July 2012.
• Units: 304.
• Occupancy: 90 percent.
• Residents: Average 35 to 50 years of age.
• Average incomes $100,000-plus.
• Rents: Start at $889 for 786- square-foot, 1-bedroom, 1-bath unit. Up to $1,369 for 3-bedroom, 2-bath, 1,313-square-foot unit.
• Clubhouse with WiFi.
• Starbucks coffee counter.
• Gym with large windows overlooking the pool. Includes kids' room with books and toys.
• Large spa with plentiful seating.
• Sectioned pool with water features and poolside fireplace. A portion of the pool is shaded and there are two cabanas.
• Covered playground.
• Mountain bikes for residents to check out.
• Gated access to Rillito River Park Trail.
• Community kitchen with chef's kitchen.
• 27-seat movie theater with stadium-style seating and 400 movies to choose from on a touch screen panel. Theater can be reserved for private parties.
• 1-acre "dog ranch" with tunnels, pooch water fountain and bath station.
Contact Gabriela Rico at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-4232.