One-of-a-kind townhouse development proposed for Maricopa
By: NewsBreak Original
Maricopa has approved a development that could bring the city its first townhomes.
The proposed development, called Villas at Stonegate, is a 16.1 acre plot at the southwest corner of Stonegate Road and Alan Stephens Parkway. The current plan is to put in 318 units with options of one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes.
The currently unused plot of land is located just north of the Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway, northwest of Walmart, and adjacent to the K-8 charter school Legacy Traditional School on the east side.
Introducing townhomes to Maricopa isn’t the only aspect of this development that stands out. The project would also give residents another opportunity to become homeowners.
Potential buyers could technically own the land underneath their building unlike a multifamily residential for rent.
The developer also plans to create safe bike routes and pedestrian ways within the community, and vehicle traffic wouldn’t be allowed to go directly onto Alan Stephens Parkway. Instead it would be diverted to Stonegate Road and Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway.
The area will require some rezoning in order to realize the development.
David Bohn, owner of the Mesa-based real estate development and investment firm BFH Group, has requested that the general plan for future land use be changed from Employment to High Density Residential. He also requested to rezone the area from Light Industry and Warehouse to High Density Residential.
The company will present the review permit at the next Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
Although the townhomes would provide some needed and diversified options for potential residents, city officials have a few reservations about the project.
Commissioner Dan Frank and Vice Chair Michael Sharpe both expressed worries about changing the employment general plan to additional residential. Frank also said he was concerned about the “erosion” of the employment corridor along the highway.
Sharpe said he thinks the use is appropriate, but wants to know how it would impact Maricopa’s capacity for additional employment centers, commercial and light industrial opportunities. Commissioner Ted Yocum said that due to the walkable nature of the project, more consideration would need to be given to parking options for the community.
Despite concerns, officials largely agree that the development is an overdue need for local residents.
Frank strongly supports the opportunity for homeownership that would come from the project. Sharpe said the proposal was appropriate, but he would need to wait and see how the project develops. Yocum said converting the land to residential use would be “more agreeable,” and called the development’s unique design “delightful.”
The new housing project comes at a time when towns across Pinal County are seeing a massive influx in new residents. People are pouring into the county for job opportunities and to escape Phoenix’s red hot housing market.
According to 2021 data, Pinal saw a 3.34% annual growth rate last year. The total population estimate for the county is 449,557, and it’s ranked as the third most populated county in the state. Development is struggling to keep up, and the new residents are putting a strain on affordable housing options.
Pinal is also working to establish itself as a manufacturing and technology hub. The county is working to formalize a “tech corridor” along Interstate 10.
Last year it made a name for itself with the opening of electric vehicle company Lucid Motors’ plant in Casa Grande. More recently the battery giant LG Energy Solution announced plans to open its first North American cylindrical-type battery facility in Queen Creek.
The county has also pitched itself as a potential destination for semiconductor manufacturers, a highly profitable and much needed commodity amid massive global chip shortages.