Donna Krebs has owned large, beautiful houses on big properties, and says she’ll never do it again.
Krebs no longer wants a yard or a stand-alone house. She wants condo condo condo, literally — she bought three condo spaces and turned them into one.
Krebs, 58, lives in Connecticut most of the year and when she comes to Scottsdale, her condo at Optima Kierland Center is not only a home away from home, it’s a retreat.
“I wanted a place that would be like a spa so that’s why it’s very white and clean,” Krebs said. “This is my relaxation — coming out there for my spa living — that’s what I call it. I feel zen and relaxed.”
Her condo is on the ninth floor of a 12-story building near Scottsdale Road and Loop 101, across from the Kierland district. The Optima Kierland Center opened last year and includes four buildings, two of which have apartments and two of which have condos.
“It’s the best nightlife ever,” Krebs said. “You can go shopping all day and there’s lots of restaurants and a movie theater. It’s perfect. You’re close to everything. I walk to shops for lunch or breakfast — everything is in walking distance. I hardly ever have to get in my car.”
The Krebs condo is 2,775 square feet. Donna bought enough space for three standard units, and had them designed into one residence. In her building, it’s common to buy more than one unit, and to live in the building part time. Krebs visits from Connecticut every other month.
Her home has three bedrooms and 3½ bathrooms. Each bedroom is a full suite with a walk-in closet, with the master suite being the largest.
Krebs moved in last July and is thrilled with her new residence, particularly the views.
“The view is gorgeous all day,” she said. “I see it right when I walk in my front door. There are ceiling-to-floor windows in my living room. Then you go to the roof and see the 360-degree views and say, ‘Oh my god, this is beautiful. It’s absolutely awesome up there.”
Krebs has been living in Arizona part time the last 13 years. This is her fourth home in the area. She once had an 8,000-square-foot house in the Phoenix area, thinking that people would visit more often than they did. She said the property management company spent more time at the house than she did. She loves having a home in Arizona, but wanted a “lock and leave” lifestyle of a condo.
“It’s in a safe, secure building and I don’t have to worry about anything you’d worry about in a private home,” she said. “ With houses, I’ve been there and done that many times in my life. I was spending all my money on maintenance and on the pool and it was always, this isn’t working, this is broken, that’s broken. This is my free time when I’m here. I can do whatever I want and don’t have to worry about the lawn and repairs and maintenance. I don't even have to worry about packages here. Everything is safe for me while I’m gone.”
She also likes the amenities, such as a gym, sauna, steam room, golf simulator, business center, conference room and movie theater. The building also features a public area on the roof with a bar, pool, hot tub and fire pits.
Krebs and her husband, Grant Ulrick, have five adult children. Krebs owns a medical-product manufacturing company started by her late husband. Even though many of her neighbors are part-timers like her, there’s a sense of community, such as buildingwide potlucks.
“Everyone has been very nice,” she said. “We’ve met many friendly people.”
She calls her condo “perfect” but it’s not necessarily her last home. Krebs is open to other opportunities down the line, but will she own another freestanding house? Absolutely not.
“I like projects,” she said. “But I would not go back to a house, I can guarantee that.”
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