WAYNE HANCOCK NEVER intended to build the Luminarium at Estrella Mountain Ranch in Goodyear, Ariz. The ex-the country looking for a home-finding center he could copy but never found what he was looking for—a center that would tell the story of his community's lifestyle in a unique and engaging way.

His goal, he says, was to create an intriguing visual that would pull people off the highway and get them out of their cars long enough to find out what makes Estrella Mountain Ranch different, not just hand them a map and give them directions to the models. The sphere-shaped theater, part of an 8,400-square-foot, $3 million complex, certainly accomplishes that mission.

“Having worked for some years in a sales office, it amazed me how many people have the ‘spouse and children syndrome,'” he says. “The spouse and kids sit in the car with the motor running, and one spouse goes in and grabs a map. We wanted to get them to come in, get the map, go back, get the family, and bring them back in. It happens time and time again. They think they know what they're going to get, and they're totally shocked. We give them an experience.”

It's worked. Traffic increased 100 percent over the previous year. Within seven months after the center opened, 20,000 people visited, and Estrella Mountain Ranch sold out its available inventory.

Developer: Wespac Construction, Phoenix
Interior design: MICE Marketcraft, Phoenix

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Phoenix, AZ.