3 apartment developers plan projects on E. Mesa site The Mesa Tribune | The Hometown Newspaper for the city of Mesa, AZ

3 apartment developers plan projects on E. Mesa site

December 5th, 2020 Mesa Tribune Staff
3 apartment developers plan projects on E. Mesa site


An 81-acre East Mesa site once designated as a Target-anchored power center will now be home to 900 new apartment units as well as some possible commercial or office space.

Mesa-based Bela Flor Communities announced that it has secured three multifamily developers for its Mountain Vista project near Signal Butte Road and Southern Avenue.

City Council earlier this year approved the project, which included a four-story hotel expected to serve as a new gateway to East Mesa.

Mountain Vista includes 132,000 square feet of commercial space, a key consideration for Mesa as it hopes to attract jobs and produce more sales tax revenue.

“This is going to be a quality product. It’s kind of a gateway entry into Mesa from the east,’’ said Councilman Kevin Thompson at the time of its approval in July.

Thompson praised a group of developers, property owners and zoning attorneys for working together on an attractive master plan for the community.

Although Mountain Vista also will include some significant multi-family housing, the developers agreed that there would be no housing inside a key parcel along Signal Butte closest to U.S. 60. That will be the location for the hotel, office space, fitness center and drive-thru restaurants.

“We want to very much preserve commercial areas from being converted into residential,’’ Planning Director Nana Appiah said in July. “When it first came in, the staff had a major issue. We were able to come to a resolution.’’

Bela Flor said that city planning staff agreed with its proposal to convert the parcel to a mixed-use site “to attract residents and jobs to the area, and ultimately sales tax revenue for the City.”

“We had a shared vision of what this trade area could ultimately become, and Mesa really helped us advance it forward,” said Bela Flor President Hudd Hassell.

About 37 acres will devoted to multifamily complexes fronting Hampton Avenue, adjacent to Sprouts and future commercial and retail parcels.

Hassell said it’s unusual that three different developers are “all building at the same time within the same project.”

“What makes this situation unique is that the developers are catering to different demographics and therefore won’t compete directly with each other,” he said.

About 28 acres will be used for future medical office, commercial or business park uses.

DHI Communities, a subsidiary of D.R. Horton homebuilding company, plans to build 300 traditional two and three-story garden-style apartments with retail shops along Southern Avenue.

“These units will be larger in size and cater to a demographic that prefers a more suburban feel with onsite amenities and rich landscape,” said Colee Haisten, a spokesperson for Lee & Associates, which represents the seller and three buyers in the transaction.

Talos Holdings, a multifamily real estate development firm with offices in Scottsdale, Fort Worth and Atlanta, plans to build 350 four-story apartment units with surface parking.

That complex, Haisten said,  will “cater to a demographic that is constantly on the go, whether biking to their nearby offices or walking to retail shops and restaurants.

“Their vision for this project is to be a more urban environment providing residents with great amenities and spectacular views of the Superstition Mountains,” Haisten added, calling it “a unique, upscale development in the East Valley, as it is an underserved market for class A multifamily.”

Sparrow Partners, which develops, builds and manages age-restricted housing that caters to active adults, plans to build a four-story community that will offer large apartments with high-end finishes and “elevated amenities for a moderate price,” Haisten said.

 Sparrow’s latest project in the Mountain Vista development is expected to open in 2022.  The Austin, Texas, based company has recently started construction on three additional communities in the Valley.

“Together, these three developments are supplying the ever-increasing demand for housing that we are seeing in the East Valley,” Haisten said.

She added that the development provides monument signage seen by more than 90,000 vehicles a day because of the site’s location.

“It’s also located in proximity to the Elliot Road Tech Corridor which is booming with new industrial and data center developments including Google and Apple,” she said, noting its location just south of the booming Eastmark community.

It also is located near the 1,000-acre Hawes Crossing, where Haisten said 110,000 people eventually could live.

Bela Flor already has begun the infrastructure work on the site and the multifamily developers are expected to break ground in spring.

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