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

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