Mesa isn’t exactly known for their luxury condo market (though east Mesa has some stunning homes). Redevelopment in this part of Mesa is badly needed in my opinion. Sounds like an interesting development that we’ll definitely be keeping our eye on!
Luxury condo plan moves ahead
The Arizona Republic (LINK)
Apr. 14, 2006 12:00 AM
It’s one of the largest luxury condominium developments in Mesa, going in one of the most unusual locations.
Developers have been working to get the Villages at Country Club off the drawing board and under construction for nearly four years. But with groundbreaking scheduled for July, their efforts to bring a gated, luxury condominium development to a part of Mesa better known for trailer parks and low-rent apartments are finally coming to fruition.
The proposed 375-unit project, which will be spread among 125 buildings on more than 30 acres of land near Southern Avenue and Country Club Drive, could also be a sign of things to come for Mesa, as more developers scramble to snap up prime real estate closer to Phoenix than sprawling developments in Pinal County.
Del Mar Communities, the developers behind the Villages at Country Club, said the land’s proximity to U.S. 60, less than a mile away, was a prime selling point to pique their interest in the land that used to house a large mobile home park. Though the developers wouldn’t talk about pricing for the units, which range in size from about 1,400 to 2,100 square feet, they said the development should compete with starter homes and far-flung locations like Maricopa and Johnson Ranch, and they’re banking on its metro-area location to lure buyers.
“What we are appealing to are those people seeking a simple, country-club lifestyle in an urban environment,” said Walter Kukulka, Del Mar Communities’ vice president. “Young individuals that might be in a position to rent could be in a position to buy.”
The project’s proposed 8,000-square-foot clubhouse and three pools complete the country club lifestyle, but it’s the urban environment surrounding the plot of land, bordered by two trailer parks on the north end, that raises eyebrows among real estate experts.
“It is a good location, but it’s not real strong surroundings. The hope is that things will begin to change,” said Jay Butler, director of the Arizona Real Estate Center at Arizona State University Polytechnic. “A lot of people argue that if you build this project, it will be the stimulus to improve this area. Sometimes that works, sometimes that doesn’t. It’s a question of, do other people have the same vision you do? One project does not turn things around.”
Although that might be good for the city to bring higher income earners to an area that hasn’t seen new housing development in decades, John Smith, president of Housing for Mesa, which helps find housing for low-income families, said the city should also be aware of the residents displaced when infill developments like these come along.
“I think the challenge that we see for the families that are currently there, in those trailers, is that most of them are on a very limited income and may even be fixed,” Smith said. “They may not owe much on the trailer but it may or may not be movable. It’s very difficult, especially with older mobile home parks, for those families to take the income they’ve been living on and purchase way beyond what they’ve been budgeting for.”