By the end of October, 100 of the first residents at Anthem at Merrill Ranch in Florence moved in and many are probably close friends or family of Kevin and Lisa McGinnis.
The McGinnises, who moved from Gilbert, have four generations of their family living in the community, as well as numerous friends and fellow church members.
Anthem at Merrill Ranch is a multigenerational community, which includes a Sun City development, and is attracting everyone from young families to baby boomers and retirees. Pulte Homes officials say they are seeing extended family members living within walking distance of each other, making buying homes and living in the under-construction community a family affair.
Lisa McGinnis will have her parents, Doretta and John Allison, living around the corner. Kevin McGinnis’ sister, Hope, and her husband, Chris Terhaar, have moved in next door. Lisa’s grandmother Edna Burke, lives in Sun City Anthem just down the street. The McGinnis’ children Aiden, 4, and Quincy, 1, will be surrounded by family.
“We’re bringing the circle in, Kevin McGinnis said. They’ll get to golf with their grandparents and go to school with their cousins. We live across the street from the fishing hole and the water park. It’s ideal in our psyche in America.”
Kevin McGinnis will be the lead pastor of Mosaic Church, a Nazarene church which plans to build within the community.
John Allison said he looks forward to spending time with his grandchildren.
“We get along real well,” Allison said. It’s neat to have everybody so close. We’ll work together on projects and get to know the people in our community together.”
Pulte spokeswoman Jacque Petroulakis said the company first saw the trend of families moving into a community together at the company’s Anthem development north of Phoenix.
“Families can live in the same community but not necessarily right next door,” Petroulakis said. “It’s an opportunity to live in the same, larger community but hold onto their individuality.”
Though Pulte does not keep statistics on how many families are moving generations into their Anthem community, Petroulakis said her company is noticing the trend is continuing into their Florence community.
“I’ve heard a lot of different sociologists talk about how more than ever, families want to live closer to each other,” she said. “Some attribute that to 9/11 and wanting to be closer together. In today’s society, lives are so busy that making time for family members is more difficult, but if you’re living near them it becomes part of a daily routine.”
Kevin McGinnis said he looks forward to the time his family and friends are all moved in.
“We can drop in on each other and have meals together, we can barbecue together, work out together — it’s nice to be so connected,” he said. “We’re not just going to see each other at church on Sundays.”