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home : latest news : local September 14, 2014

1/15/2014 9:27:00 AM
Master-planned communities building this year after 7-year lull
Prescott Valley Tribune/Donna Harrison
Prescott Valley Tribune/Donna Harrison

Briana Lonas

The prominent master-planned communities in Prescott Valley seem to share one thing in common: 2014 may shape up to be the best year since 2007. While some subdivisions are seeing mild to moderate improvements, the good news is that houses are breaking ground and plans to fill empty lots continue despite market setbacks that took place during the recession.


Universal Homes President Joe Contadino said 2013 was a great year for the Granville subdivision as they sold 125 houses throughout the year averaging 10 sales a month.

"We've got a great deal of enthusiasm for the community. Our amenities have grown. We've added two fitness centers, two pools and a tot lot. We keep expanding the homeowners' facilities. All four of our product lines have a high degree of acceptance," Contadino said, referring to the subdivision's floor plans.

The only downside, Contadino said, is they are running low on lots.

"We're in the process of developing 100 lots right now that we hope to have finished by next fall. We actually have 340 lots ready to go, 100 in the developing stage and 85 lots scheduled right behind that," he said.

Workers have nearly completed the sewer line upgrades for the Santa Fe roadway extension that will connect with the future Granville Fairway. Town funds paid for these upgrades and the rest of the construction costs fall to Universal Homes. In addition, the developer is paying for a portion of the Iron King realignment in order to accommodate the extension.

On the east side of Glassford Hill, a small parcel of land sits ready for more homes as a church project fell through. Contadino bought back the land to develop 31 lots; eight have been sold and another six remain under construction. "By next year we should be built out on that side," Contadino said.

As business can either go boom or bust, Contadino said the market acceptance has been gratifying.

"We held our prices when things were soft, we retained our employees," he said.


Dorn Homes Vice President of Sales Jim Gunby said the reception from the community has been positive since his company took over from Empire Land after a 2008 bankruptcy.

"We built 62 homes last year, it was a good year," he said.

For the new year, Gunby anticipates selling 75 to maybe 85 homes and at that pace, could see build out in three years. The subdivision has been growing 15 to 20 percent every year because of the positive reception within the community. "It's been a smooth transition."

An increase in energy efficient designs and new floor plans to include a three-car garage model will feature this year and are currently under construction.

Pronghorn Ranch

Mandalay Communities President Bill Hammond also said last year was good as the housing market took an upturn and they sold 27 homes.

"We are certainly expecting this year to be good as well," Hammond said.

Mandalay plans to develop an additional product line, a duplex, town-home style single level home with all of the amenities, to attract buyers. "A good portion of our buyers are second home buyers," Hammond said.

The new homes also will feature RV and hobby car garages as the lots will be large enough to accommodate extra storage space.

"In general, people are feeling better about the economy," Hammond said.


Estancia Communities Principal Mike Richards said last year they sold 50 homes and are anticipating similar numbers for next year.

One new project still in the planning phase is a 47-unit, nine-acre Villas at StoneRidge project ranging from 1,600 to 2,000 square feet, adjacent to the golf course, north of Old Black Canyon Highway.

The homes are part of a master-planned community that initially was to consist of 3,053 dwellings on various lot sizes.

The www.pvaz.net/index.aspx?page=54">Prescott Valley Town Council recently approved a development plan for three lots on about an acre of land at the southwest corner of Old Black Canyon and Cloud Cliff Pass.

"It's real exciting," Richards said.


Ron Owsley, owner, general contractor started building last year once he noticed the market was improving and sold three homes.

Expects 2014 to go well. "We're small, not going at a gangbuster pace. We'll build six or seven homes this year. It's steady, people want to move here," Owsley said.

Most of the new lots are north of the Viewpoint, one empty space located in an older section possibly slated for a spec home. "We have a few lots that we own and we're on a program to buy individual lots," he said.

Owsley said they are building two custom homes now for individuals that already own lots. They primarily build ADA-friendly homes with good, structural and ten-year appliance warranties.

"We install a significant amount of laminate flooring. We will build on someone else's lot, semi-custom homes anywhere from 1,300 to 1,400 square feet with a three-car garage," he said.

Jim Gunby with Dorn Homes also has a presence at the Viewpoint and said they are beginning to build, possibly six or seven homes.

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