Kyle Mittan, The Republic | azcentral.com
A new pair of housing developments coming to north Phoenix will fill vacant land and help refresh the neighborhood, Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio said.
Watt Communities of Arizona is building two gated single-family home developments.The Enclave at 32nd Street will be on about 3.5 acres just south of the southwestern corner of 32nd Street and Cactus Road. And 16 Ocotillo will go in a 3-acre plot at the southwestern corner of 16th Street and Ocotillo Road.
The Enclave at 32nd Street will have 31 homes; 16 Ocotillo’s total has yet to be determined. The houses’ price range also has not been determined.
Both projects are scheduled to break ground late this year, with models set to be completed by mid-2015, said Steve Pritulsky, Watt Communities of Arizona president.
Pritulsky said that new homes in both areas were few and far between since the downturn in the housing market. Creating infill projects like these, he added, helped make the lots useable again.
“Typically, there’s a greater degree of profitability in the infill market,” Pritulsky said. “To some extent, they’re kind of insulated a great deal from direct competition.”
He said infill developments also directly help the community by using resources that already exist.
“So often you hear criticism that the development industry promotes sprawl and the outward march into the suburbs,” he said. “So I think one of the most basic things that it does for the community is that it leverages off of existing infrastructure, and it doesn’t create the need to basically expand the city. You’re filling in the gaps.”
Both locations are near shopping areas, with Paradise Valley Mall 2 miles from the Enclave at 32nd, and 16 Ocotillo within walking distance of restaurants and retail space along 16th Street.
DiCiccio said the trend to move back toward the inner city and away from the suburbs is growing. 16 Ocotillo falls within DiCiccio’s district.
“It’s better for the environment, it’s better for our neighborhoods and it’s just better long-term for the individuals using our roadways,” he said. “They don’t have to go from a spot many miles away, they can now go from the center of the city.”
DiCiccio added that a fresh look is better for a neighborhood’s longevity.
“Every neighborhood in the country goes through different stages in the growth to maturity and sometimes decline,” he said. “You have to keep re-establishing yourself.”