While Apache Junction is making big strides to become “the next Mesa,” southeast Mesa continues to launch one huge project after another.
Buoyed by the success of Eastmark and Cadence, a developer is launching another planned community that could bring another 2,000 people to the city.
This week, the Mesa Planning and Zoning Board approved a preliminary plan for Avalon Crossing, which will bring another 588 homes to District 6 in southeast Mesa.
And by creating a district, the developer will be able to tax Avalon Crossing residents to pay for roads and other infrastructure to be built at Williams Field and South Crismon roads.
The location is just south of Cadence and west of ET Motopark – the planned location for a massive development on former state land being annexed by Apache Junction. Developers Brookfield, who planned and built Eastmark, and D.R. Horton are partnering on the project.
Arizona State Land Commissioner Lisa Atkins told the Tribune that homebuilder D.R. Horton purchased an 8,000-acre state trust land parcel next to ET Motorsports.
Covering 270 square miles and commonly known as “Superstition Vistas,” the desert land is just outside the Mesa city limits.
“D.R. Horton is preparing a development and rezoning plan with the city of Apache Junction for the 2,783 acres, plus approximately 5,000 additional acres in the surrounding area,” Atkins said.
The developer will have to build roads and water and sewer lines to serve hundreds of homes it plans.
“While the land that was occupied by ET Motorsports has not been sold, it is included in the development plan, and will likely go to auction for sale in the near future,” she added.
D.R. Horton and Brookfield told the
state they will build a master-planned community with homes, schools, parks and businesses.
Though it is just outside his District 6, Mesa Councilman Kevin Thompson is quite familiar with the project.
“What they’re planning to do is kind of like Eastmark,” Thompson said.
He said the Brookfield project “is going to be phenomenal for Apache Junction. It’s really going to help them grow.
“It’s the shovel that’s going to create more shovels – the project that creates more projects.”
Meanwhile, ORION Investment Real Estate signaled another major development may be in the offing in the heart of Apache Junction.
It announced the sale of 47.1 acres at Idaho Road, Old West Highway and Apache for $5.8 million to Bela Flor, a custom home builder that has done numerous projects in both Mesa and Apache Junction.
ORION in a release said Bela Flor “is excited about the opportunity to work on such a large amount of land all around the downtown area.”
This land is partially located within an Opportunity Zone and has GPLET funding available as well.
“This mixed-use project is in the heart of Apache Junction’s downtown area, which gives the owner of a land parcel of this size a lot of potential to change the landscape of the downtown scene and increase its rate of growth,” ORION said.
Part of this property is referred to as the “Golden Triangle, which was the 16-acre former hotel site.
Avalon Crossing is another big addition to southeast Mesa’s exploding development scene.
It will be near Williams Field Road and the extended State Route 24 – projected to be a booming area once construction is completed.
The preliminary Avalon Crossing plan approved this week states the development “includes nonresidential uses such as retail, employment, or other commercial uses as well as some higher density multi-residence uses,” in addition to single family homes.
According to the P&Z presentation, “The overall Avalon Crossing project is comprised of predominantly undisturbed desert land, and is located adjacent to the east and south boundary of what was previously the General Motors (GM) Proving Grounds site.”
The Avalon Crossing developers note that, after GM left its desert testing facility, multiple “residential and mixed-use projects” are in various stages of development.
“Encore, which is a phase of the large master planned Eastmark Project, is currently being developed and is located adjacent to the north of Avalon Crossing.
“A master planned community called Cadence is located adjacent to the northwest, and is also under development. Destination at Gateway is still another master planned community located to the northeast of Avalon Crossing.”
SR 24 “will ultimately extend southwest and be adjacent to Avalon along its entire south border, continuing to the east. The design of Avalon Crossing has been developed to accommodate the ultimate right-of-way for SR 24,” they added.
The P&Z board also approved plans for four buildings to be called Elliot Gateway Northeast. Just west of Eastmark, this development is planned for 40 acres on Elliot Road, from the Loop 202 Freeway heading toward Ellsworth Road.
National developer Trammell Crow plans a “class-A industrial development” that “will likely include light manufacturing, office, logistics and warehousing.
“We expect the facility to attract major employment users with a wide spectrum of new job opportunities toward the rear of the site.”
In addition to “industrial” operations, the developer plans “retail and food uses that are focused on supporting the employment uses in the area.” ′