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100-Foot Gila Monster Spotted at The Mark Apartments in Tempe

Largest Mural in Tempe is Part of Major Renovation at the ASU Area Property Recently Acquired by Sundance Bay
    TEMPE, AZ, January 24, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- A 100-foot Gila monster is coming to life for residents and Valley Metro Rail travelers near Arizona State University. The expansive, 50 ft. x 55 ft. four-story work of art, which will be the largest mural in Tempe, is taking shape at The Mark, a luxury apartment complex at 1115 E. Lemon Street.

The mural is the creation of local artist Aztec Smurf. To celebrate its completion, The Mark will hold an event on Thursday, January 23, from 12 to 3 p.m., featuring food trucks, music, giveaways, property tours and an opportunity to meet the artist. ASU students can receive a free lunch by checking in with their student ID.

The mural was commissioned by the property's new owners, Utah-based Sundance Bay. Smurf, a local muralist who's work can be seen in schools, galleries and in homes around the Valley, says it was an honor to be selected from a number of artists who submitted proposals.

"We love Aztec Smurf's art, his personality, and his ties to the community," said Kathy Zuniga, Community Manager, The Mark. "We were drawn to his desert themes and color palates."

"I suggested several different designs and was thrilled that The Mark picked one of my Gila monster drawings," said Smurf. "I've always wanted to paint a Gila monster and to get to create one that is 100 feet long is just incredible. It's also a tribute to native wildlife that you don't see very often in public art."

"This entire mural is being hand-painted with a 2" and a 3" brush," explains Smurf. "No aerosols are being used, which is rare for a mural of this magnitude."

"This project has also been fun for me because I grew up in this area and have great memories of friends I rode the bus to school with who lived here," said Smurf. "In fact, the first girl I ever danced with in junior high school lived here."

Murals are often lauded for their contribution to public art, their ability to bring people together and the sense of community they create, and according to the artist, the giant Gila monster project is already doing just that.

"It has been amazing to see all the people who have come out, taken pictures or just stopped to watch me paint and admire this work of art," continued Smurf. "I've seen first hand how strangers are talking to each other and creating connections while standing in front of what once was a plain concrete wall. I have no doubt this will become a landmark in Tempe."

This is the first art project the owners, Sundance Bay, have incorporated into a property, but they say it won't be their last.

"Our investment group's specialty is acquiring neglected assets and improving them for the betterment of the local community," said Ryan Baughman, director of Acquisitions, Sundance Bay. "We pride ourselves on being able to reposition properties into aesthetically appealing apartment communities that beautify and enhance their neighborhoods. Supporting local arts just makes what we are doing that much more meaningful."

Sundance Bay acquired the property, formerly Campus Pointe, in June of 2013. The company is transforming the property into contemporary luxury apartments and has already completed the renovation of 56 of the 163 units in the 108,580 rentable square foot complex located on approximately 3 acres at the corner of Lemon Street and S. Terrace Rd. The project is expected to be completed this summer.

"We've seen a lot of activity and positive feedback on the changes we are making," said Kathy Zuniga, Community Manager, The Mark. "We believe that today's college students are looking for high quality, contemporary housing in close proximity to where they learn, work and play."

The renovation, which is being done by Scottsdale-based Edge Construction and the Phoenix office of Gould Evans Architecture, features an extensive remodel of the units including contemporary design with horizontal wood grain cabinets and stainless steel appliances, polished concrete floors and quartz countertops. Improvements are also underway on the common areas, pool and management office. The property is only a four-minute walk to ASU and conveniently located on the Metro Valley Rail line. Sundance Bay also handles management and leasing for the property.

Julie Igo, Moxie Group PR

The Mark Tempe offers young professionals and students alike a living experience that is sure to impress the most discriminate of tastes. These luxury apartments in Tempe, AZ are a short four-minute walk from campus, and are surrounded by restaurants, great shopping, and eclectic Mill Avenue. Each of the spacious studio, one-, and two-bedroom Tempe, AZ apartments for rent features offerings that have been recently renovated with stainless steel appliances, finished concrete floors and quartz countertops. The Mark is located at 1115 E. Lemon St., Tempe, AZ 85281. For more information, call (480) 968-2555, visit http://www.themarktempe.comor facebook at The Mark Tempe.
About Sundance Bay

Headquartered in Orem, Utah, Sundance Bay focuses on the acquisition, development and stabilization of distressed multi-family assets. The company also has an in-house property management arm to oversee their properties to ensure that they are responsive to the property and tenant needs. Their properties are in Arizona, Wisconsin, Missouri and Kansas. Their mission is to be recognized as an industry leader in creating wealth for investors while enhancing the neighborhoods in which they own and manage apartment communities. For more information, visit, email or call 801.400.0786.

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Contact Information

Kathy Zuniga
The Mark Tempe

Tempe, Arizona
United States
Voice: (480) 968-2555
E-Mail: Email Us Here
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