Home builders buy 527 acres in Mesa's Eastmark, plan to develop - East Valley Tribune: Business

Home builders buy 527 acres in Mesa's Eastmark, plan to develop

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Posted: Friday, November 30, 2012 9:02 am | Updated: 4:25 pm, Mon Mar 11, 2013.

More plans are in place for Mesa’s Eastmark after Scottsdale-based DMB Associates sold 527 acres of the site to home builders this week.

Eastmark is a 3,200-acre master-planned community under development in east Mesa that includes the former General Motors Proving Grounds.

This week, Scottsdale-based AV Homes, Inc. and JEN Partners, a New York City-based residential investment company, through a newly formed entity, purchased 527 acres for more than $30 million.

AV Homes plans to create an active adult community with about 1,000 homes on 310 acres. JEN Partners announced it will create a gated-community with high-end homes on the remaining 217 acres. There will be about 550 luxury homes under the plan.

TerraWest, a local company, will manage the development for the joint venture.

Dea McDonald, DMB’s general manager of Eastmark, said the company was happy to see new types of housing enter the Eastmark development.

“We’re excited about adding them to the residential plans we have,” he said.

This summer, seven builders finalized the purchase of land at Eastmark to begin the first 700 homes. Sales of those homes will start early next year.

Just this month, the first curbs have been put in, McDonald said.

“As we speak, we have approximately four miles of arterial roadways under construction,” he said. “All seven builders are actively working on underground utilities ... All the grading work has been done and we’re starting curbing. It won’t be long until we start paving Ray Road.”

Scottsdale-based Nathan & Associates is the broker DMB is working with on the sale of Eastmark parcels. The company has been involved in other DMB East Valley residential developments, including Power Ranch and The Bridges in Gilbert.

Nate Nathan said Eastmark is the largest piece of property owned in the south East Valley.

Eastmark could have 15,000 residential sites before construction ends several decades from now, according to DMB’s Eastmark website. Eastmark also will include industry, commercial space, parks and more.

“What’s driving this market in the south East Valley is the strength of its schools, the transportation corridors, the amount of jobs that have been announced. The majority of those are along the 202 corridor, from Intel to Paypal to eBay to the new airport (Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport),” he said. “Those jobs are creating additional construction jobs.”

First Solar completed a 1.3 million-square-foot manufacturing plant at Eastmark this year. It is being used now as an operation center for the company until demand for its solar panels picks up.

Nathan said the south East Valley has had a “history” of master-planned communities, with Eastmark set to become “the place” to be in the south East Valley due to its amenities and the new freeways coming to the area.

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