Mesa leaders ponder building plan - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Mesa leaders ponder building plan

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Posted: Wednesday, December 6, 2006 5:31 am | Updated: 3:47 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Mesa’s leaders are considering a proposal to build 1,200 homes in the northeast section of the city to fill a growing need for executive housing.

The Stonebridge Mountain residential community would take up more than 700 acres near McKellips and Ellsworth roads.

The land was purchased by Pinnacle Holdings LLC in June 2005 from the Arizona State Land Department.

The gated community would feature a variety of executive-type housing that will range from three-bedroom, 1,500-square-foot homes to those as big as 6,000 square feet. Pinnacle Holdings also developed Mesa’s upscale Las Sendas community,

Stonebridge Mountain would feature distinctive, landscaped streets with homes built in clusters around the desert upland washes that make the property distinctive.

More than 300 acres of the Sonoran desert would be preserved as open space as part of the development. The open space and planned revegetation of damaged desert land would create wildlife corridors that developers hope will be attractive to Mesa’s wealthier residents.

A Tuscan-style bridge within the development would cross McKellips Road to link the northern and southern portions of the development — and it’s the namesake of the project.

“We’re trying to set this up as a very upscale neighborhood with lots of open space,” said Paul Dugas, director of real estate for Blandford Homes.

Developers said the project would help fill the niche for executive homes that Mesa’s leaders have called for in their long-range planning for the city. Home prices would start in the mid-$300,000 range.

The northwest area of the city is one of Mesa’s tonier areas and could be well-placed to capture the anticipated growth near the Falcon Field general aviation airport and Williams Gateway Airport, which has attracted a few commercial airliners.

Councilman Rex Griswold, who represents the growing district, said the development could lure business to the area.

“This will serve the businesses that are coming to the Falcon Field area and Williams Gateway area,” he said.

Not everyone was happy about the new development. The City Council this week delayed a decision on the project, approved in October by the city’s Planning Commission, at the request of the developer.

Residents of several neighborhoods in the area were concerned about traffic that would be generated and about the location of a planned elementary school in the Stonebridge development.

The developers plan to improve 90th Place to be a southern exit from the development and to locate the school farther inside the community than originally planned.

The developers will host a final community meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 13 at Mesa Community College’s Red Mountain Campus to work out lingering concerns.

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