Monthly Archives: April 2014

Palma Viva Construction Photos From 1978!

With much appreciation and thanks to Jim & Sharon Roberts (the original owners of Palma Viva unit 16) we have received a collection of 11 slides from their original 1978 construction.  We are very excited to have received these photos to share with the Palma Viva community!  While the majority of the photos focus on their eventual home, Condominium #16, the photos reveal a number of quite interesting items of historical significance to Palma Viva.  First, one of the photos is  a close-up shot of the inners of the “adobe” walls (see below) from the original “Arawan Apartments“.  These walls can be found on the front and back of the building that houses Units 17 thru 20 at Palma Viva.  In the photo, Sharon Roberts and her friend are standing proudly next to the adobe wall.  In addition, many of the photos give us a rare glimpse of the size and girth of the trees circa 1978.  Others show us the insides of units 17 and 18 in their demo’d stage ready for construction of the individual condos.  Finally, there is a photo of the developer (Alan Mishkin) walking down one of the meandering paths away from the camera.


VERY BIG THANKS to Jim & Sharon Roberts for allowing us to capture these images for the Palma Viva website and all of history!  Do you have similar photography or other history from the early days of Palma Viva?  Please contact us if you do and would like to share!

Tom- Palma Viva Owner, Former HOA President & Resident

Adobe Walls at Palma Vive

What Were the “Arawan Palms Apartments”?

Historic Arawan Apartments
The Original “Arawan Palms Apartments”

According to Palma Viva folklore, prior to its redevelopment in 1978, but after it was used as a packing plant for the luscious dates grown in the Gilliland Groves, the Adobe structure located on the West side of the courtyard in Palma Viva was coined the “Arawan Palms Apartments”.   These apartments were made up of what are now condominium units 17 through 20 of Palma Viva.  Deriving their name from the brand of Dates (Arawan) once sold from the Date Palm Grove where they sit, it would seem that most of the craziest stories of Palma Viva’s history actually stem from the “Arawan Apartments”!

As an example, one of the most outlandish rumors is one that states the apartments once housed a brothel of sorts, or at the very least, prostitutes who happened to call some of the apartments their home.  Another story states that the apartments housed an easy going nudist colony.  Neither or both of these rumors might be true?  In either case, these stories make up a small part of the Palma Viva folklore.

Here is an ad from The Arizona Republic, May 18, 1959, promoting the Arawan Palms Apts:

T.A.P.A. Means The Arawan Palms Apartments which means resort living at downtown prices, lively old Spanish buildings in mature Palm grove, huge Eucalyptus trees and an old world setting. Clean new apartments w/large l.R w/ fireplace, complete electric kitchen. beautiful bedroom & bath. Heat pump cooling and healing. Private patios and beautiful pool. Will give 13 months rent for 12 months lease. Dana Nichols Realty 1100 E. Missouri Ave. “

Do you know any Palma Viva folklore?  If you do, please feel free to share!

Tom – Palma Viva Owner, Former HOA President & Resident