Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Home Builder Creating Infill Condos

Jul. 7, 2006 12:00 AM


Monterey Homes, recognizing a shift in housing demand, is launching a line of infill condominiums and townhouses that could add 2,000 units to Scottsdale and the Valley over the next few years.

Scottsdale-based Monterey, known for luxury single-family homes, started last week on its first urban-living community, Sandalo, southwest of Scottsdale Road and Shea Boulevard. It includes 44 townhouses on 2.2 acres.

Construction of Monterey Ridge, with 189 condominiums at 68th Street and Princess Boulevard, is set to start in the fourth quarter.

It plans to start three other infill projects in north central Phoenix later this year.

And about 450 units will be built on the former Rawhide site at Pinnacle Peak and Scottsdale roads starting next July, said David Walls, Monterey's president.

New housing options

With land scarce in Scottsdale and condo prices hitting seven figures, Monterey decided to pursue centrally located sites for affordable condos and townhouses as an alternative to apartments converted to condos, Walls said.

"There's been a big push among baby boomers and echo boomers to infill properties," he said. "We've built a business plan around those dynamics.

"Other home builders have jumped into Arizona's townhouse and condo market in recent years, including Toll Brothers, which began building units in downtown Scottsdale last summer.

Toll Brothers recently topped out construction of its Residences on Main, a project southeast of 68th Street and Indian School Road.

Infill sites in pipeline

Monterey bought five infill sites in the Valley and has another half dozen in the pipeline.

The two- and three-story Sandalo townhouses at 70th Street and Cochise Drive are scheduled for completion at the end of next year.

Prices will start at $350,000 for two- and three-bedroom townhouses of 1,100 to 1,900 square feet, with attached garages.

Monterey Ridge will have similar prices for its two- and three-story condos, with sales and development starting by the end of the year, Walls said.

This 10-acre site, west of the Scottsdale Road car dealerships and north of the Central Arizona Project canal, is less of an infill property than the others Monterey is developing.

Plans in North Phoenix

The builder's other infill communities include:

• Andare - 41 units at Eighth Street and Rose Lane.

• Madison Place - 86 units at 16th Street and Missouri Avenue.

• Monterey Pointe - 103 units at 16th Street and Morten Avenue.

Monterey also is working a handful of housing types, from duplexes to condos, for Silverstone at Pinnacle Peak. It is a mixed-use project planned on the 160-acre Rawhide site.

Sales OK In Scottsdale

Monterey, a division of Meritage Homes Corp., has built attached housing before but is primarily known for its single-family homes.

It has three communities in Scottsdale including the Terraces at Desert Park Village and Sera Brisa, both in DC Ranch, and Monterey at Mirabel Village at Cave Creek Road and Lone Mountain Parkway. The Terraces has sold all but 17 of 151 home sites and the sales pace for the 51 sites at Sera Brisa "has been pretty comfortable," Walls said."

Scottsdale is more insulated than other parts of the Valley," the Monterey president said in reference to a decline of new-home sales in central Arizona. Monterey's sales at Verrado in Buckeye have slowed, and the company is buying down the interest rate as an incentive.

"In the last three or four years, selling your existing home was not an impediment to purchasing a new home," Walls said. "But consumers are more nervous about that right now."

For more information on luxury Scottsdale Homes, call Laura Boyajian, aka, Laura B. directly at 602.400.0008.

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