By Dolores Tropiano
Blue Sky Homes completed construction on Ashwood Circle in March, and before the last solar panels were put in place, five of the eight new North Central homes builds were sold. That says a lot for a guy who came to Arizona to play professional baseball. Nick Blue turned from green turf to green building, opening his development business in 2009. Two years later, his wife Adralyn came on board. Since then, the real estate development company has purchased and sold more than 300 properties, making $100 million in real estate transactions.
“We like to joke that he’s the visionary and I get things done,” said Adralyn.
Part of the appeal of the homes is their package of priorities – details that create an environmentally sound atmosphere and the latest technology combined with good old fashion features like front porches with fireplaces in walkable communities. Ashwood Circle is one of the Valley’s first truly smart and green communities.
“It shows that there is a legitimate demand for green projects,” said Nick Blue. “We want to meet that demand and stay inline with our own professional integrity and morals – building residences that have high efficiency together with quality materials.”
The homes include smart technology and energy-efficient building materials, including a tablet on the entry wall for home automation, spray foam insulation, no-VOC paint, and an electric vehicle charging outlet in the garage. Brand new solar systems add up to big savings. Green materials mean clean air quality and better health. And, another bonus, some of the builds have naturally cool downstairs basements.
All homes are also made with an eye to the future, including pre-wiring for complete integration.
“We are passionate about keeping our building in line with our progressive ideals,” said Nick. “Building houses that will be relevant 10 years down the road is important to us.”
Then there is a fun final touch. At closing, buyers receive two custom beach cruisers to get them out in the community.
Blue Sky Homes adhere to a high level of self-imposed scrutiny, which is both impressive from a business standpoint and a comfort for buyers. All of their properties are audited by two third-party businesses that check energy efficiency, framing, insulation and more. Blue Sky Homes are as much as 96 percent more efficient than standard new builds says Nick, adding that, “They go through everything to make sure our guys are doing it right.”
Nick and Adralyn are driven by a passion for energy savings and healthy living, motivated in part by their role as parents to their 4-year-old daughter, Gabriella.
“We have a young daughter, and our decisions are made with family in mind,” said Nick, who manages the organization’s finances. Adralyn executes design details that make each residence both beautiful and desirable. She has a gift for bringing the heart to each of the homes the couple creates.
“I bring his vision to life,” Adralyn said.
Adralyn works hard to ensure that within her communities, there is diversity in both design and style. Some homes are created with an industrial feel. Others may lean towards the traditional. “I want them to feel like they are in a custom home,” she explains, “while retaining the Blue Sky signature style.”
Big cozy front patios in homes placed strategically near local restaurants, cafés and parks are part of the plan to encourage residents to interact and to promote walkable communities. “It seems to be a trend now,” she said. “People don’t want to be in their cars all the time. Of course it is green, but it’s also a better quality of life.”
All that and more does not go unnoticed by new homeowners.
“I love the many, many, thoughtful details from the great lighting in my bathroom to the shelving and layout of my closet. So functional and amazing,” said Erica Siestma, an Arcadia property resident. “ I just love everything about my house – even with my sparse decor, the house shines due to its thoughtful and quality touches.”